It’s hard to catch the news on the radio, TV or the web without being exposed to the disturbing economy. Another company laying off; investments plummeting; housing slumping. In the sales world, we have our own unique set of problems brought on by the worst recession in over 3 decades—dropping margins, sinking closing rates, customers not calling us back. What can we do? As sales leaders we clearly have two primary paths to choose from: 1) Wait for the economy to recover (and it will!) or 2) Increase our sales efficiency to help compensate for the downturn. Naturally, option 2 is preferable so the next question becomes “How?”
Prospect every day. Block some time in your calendar daily and devote it exclusively to making introductory calls to uncover new leads. Generally, you ought to be able to make 10-15 calls per hour on the phone and 5-7 per hour in person. If your personal goals require that you make 25 calls daily to hit your revenue objectives, it means you need to set aside two hours every day. A recent study by M.I.T. shows that the best time to make calls to prospects is at the beginning and at the end of the day but I recommend starting by blocking this time for first thing in the morning. That’s when you’re at your sharpest, and are least likely to have other issues or tasks competing for your time.