Embrace the Scrappy Tasks
Pre-meeting research + post-meeting follow-up ideas for sellers
I’ve got 30 minutes before a meeting with a potential customer. I’m doing my final prep, I’m getting myself mentally prepared for the meeting, and I’m pumping “Can’t Knock The Hustle” by Jay Z through my headphones…
I've had the opportunity to work in sales/business development for most of my career. I enjoy what I do and I'm fortunate in that I get to go to work every day and assist salespeople and sales teams accelerate their performance.
While I'm a big user of modern technology as part of my day-to-day sales process, I'm also a big fan of some old-school methods that I have learned over the course of my sales career. I have listed a few of these old-school methods below as I have found that they have helped me throughout my career.
#1: Show up to your in-person appointments 45-60 minutes early
I learned this tip from my Dad over 10 years ago. Showing up early allows you to have extra time to prepare and “get your head right” before the meeting. By not rushing and being at the appointment in advance you can avoid the embarrassment of being late which often results in losing credibility with your potential client.
#2: Follow up your client meetings with handwritten thank you notes
Yep, it’s old school. Yep, it requires you to buy stamps, stationery, and envelopes. It also takes your communication with your potential client ‘offline’ and it builds immediate credibility. Think about it…how many emails does your potential client get each day? How many calls? How many calendar invites? A handwritten note changes the medium of communication and more often than not will be a refreshing method of follow-up that most salespeople simply do not take the time to do.
#3: Build your planning and follow-up process into your calendar on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis
This is a big one. Your process to follow up needs to coincide with how you plan your calendar – for example, I often book in time to prep (60 minutes) some time before the meeting, time for the actual meeting (60-90 minutes), and then time for the follow up (another 60-90 minutes) depending on the nature of the meeting. Our most valuable asset is time and if we don’t manage it accordingly it can (and will) get away from us.
#4: Know your best times to work, learn, and relax
Everyone works best at different times of the day. It’s important to know yourself and your best times of the day to maximize your energy for the tasks at hand. For example, I personally know that I’m most fresh in the morning. This is when I like to meet with clients, conduct internal meetings, and follow up on current tasks and projects. After 3 pm, my energy level drops a bit and I try to plan tasks that require less energy. I also make an effort to do one thing at a time. If I’m on the phone, I’m not checking my email, I’m not checking Twitter, I’m 100% focused on that call at that time. Don’t kid yourself and think that you can do several things at one time. I’d also encourage you to book time for relaxing and downtime. You can’t work all the time. You need to have time for renewal. Plan to spend time each day doing something other than work. It will help you recharge and be more productive when you are working.
#5: Don’t knock the hustle – be scrappy, be hungry, be consistent
I’m now referring back to why I listen to Jay Z’s “Can’t Knock the Hustle” before client meetings…I don’t care what profession you are in – you’ve got to hustle, you have to be willing to work hard and hustle for it. The harder you work, the luckier you get. Don’t forget the little things - you’ve got to be scrappy and resourceful. Maybe it’s the extra piece of research you do before a meeting, maybe it’s the extra effort you put into practicing your pitch before the meeting, maybe it’s simply polishing your shoes the night before the meeting – the extra ‘hustle’ will go a long way. Trust me.
If you or other sales team members are looking to become better at the craft of sales, please let me know.
Here are a few ways that I may be able to help:
1) Grab a copy of the book or audiobook, Carry That Quota. You can order it here on Amazon or Audible.
2) Take a look at the Carry That Quota Digital Workshop Series. Here is a link to all of the online workshops.
Each workshop is less than 40 minutes and has been designed to help salespeople get better at the craft of sales by focusing on the fundamentals of the sales profession. Salespeople and sales leaders can access these workshops on their phone, their computer, or tablet.
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