Rule of "Just 3 Things"…and Sales
Monday, one of my customers cancelled what was to be a day long marketing meeting for Wednesday. Bad news, no engagement in a review of a complex marketing repositioning; good news, an entire wide-open day to take care of the 2 or 3 priority activities that were quickly becoming overflowing mini-projects.
Why did I focus on just 3 things? Simply because in the 10 hours of Wednesday, I figured that I could probably pull off 2 of these, and that 3 would be a stretch. Having decided that, I also thought that if I could possibly complete all 3, then that would absolutely deserve a personal reward of taking a walk on the beach at the end of the day. Add to all of this the fact that I can barely remember 3 priorities on any given day, let alone get rid of the clutter that surrounds me to be able to deal with 3 things.
In Sales, unrelenting focus and an attention to strict time management are two of the most critically required skills that the most successful salespeople employ. Daily priority lists of “just 3 things” become highly valued currency in Sales, while responding to random time-wasting emails becomes the dreaded black hole of sales effectiveness. Just to make an example of this, since I know that I get hundreds of emails every day not including those that get chewed up in the spam filters, on Wednesday, I counted over 275 non-spam emails, and then noted that less than 20 of those could directly impact the revenue of our business.
1. Every day for the rest of this month, create a new list of activities that you must do that will impact your personal commission or bonus or your company’s revenue or margin business plan objectives for Q2 and Q3.
2. Once you achieve 1,2 or 3 of these activities, cross them off the list, and reward yourself with something personal. Maybe it's a latte. For me, it's always a walk on the beach if I’m in NH or a walk to Au Bon Pain on the corner if I’m at the office in Boston. The point is that it’s a personal reward by just being different.
3. Set specific time periods aside each day to answer emails, deal with them during that 20 minute block, and that’s it. Also make sure that you keep your “Delete" Key and “Block Sender” fingers active. Never hit “Reply All” or send “thanks” to someone who is thanking you or other equally stupid time wasters.
By the way, my “Just 3 Things” of Wednesday included launching a LinkedIn CEO search for an exciting early stage healthcare IT company, creating a sales process key account template for a new cumstomer, and putting the final touches on our “Creating a Winning Marketing Plan” guide. For a long time, I’ve read a lot of content on what goes into a marketing plan, plus I think that I have a pretty good handle on this from my love of being a marketing professor at Tufts. What I have not seen is what do you do to actually create a plan? What are the logistics? Who gets involved? What needs to be done first, then second, and so on? That's what this guide is supposed to answer.
Check it out and let me know what you think. It’s still rough, but it will get re-edited this summer, with your help, when we do our annual update of“Writing the Winning Business Plan”. To that end, I again want to thank Steve Wilchins of Seegel Lipshutz & Wilchins and the wonderful Mary Cole of B2B Marketing & Strategy for their help in last summer's editing!
Have a great weekend...
DERBY-Associated Industries of Massachusetts
SemiAnnual Sales Management Boot Camp
"Save The Date": September 30th-October 2nd, 2012
Our always sold out Sales Management Boot Camp is just being launched with Early Bird Pricing ending August 15th.
Open only to 25 managers of sales, Presidents, CEOs and General Managers, this unique experience is focused on providing real-world experience that will enable you to increase your sales productivity by 20%-30% in one year. Click HERE for a quick overview and email me to set up time for a 10 minute call. Want more detail? Click HERE for full agenda and pricing.
Guest speakers signed up so far include Greg Flynn, SVP, Brainshark; Mike Volpe, CMO, Hubspot; Ed Mallen, CEO, TimeTrade and others to be announced.
“It was an outstanding program.” ; “A great mix of attendees.”; “Jack himself was very credible, very engaged in the business, and tied together real life, examples & stories.”; “I would rate it very highly and would recommend other senior sales leaders at MFS t go through the program.”; “It was time very, very well spent.”
Tom Jessee, Senior Vice President of Sales, MFS
Just a short note to say thank you so much giving me the opportunity to participate in your sales optimization boot camp earlier this week. This was by far the most high value two-day session I have experienced in many years. The energy, passion and experience you brought to the session was contagious and motivating and enables open minds that certainly helped me take away some very key learnings.
Jack Zimmerman, VP Sales & Marketing, Current Analysis
Derby Management, Box 171322, Boston MA 02117