Home' Australian Printer Magazine : November 2013 Contents 22 November 2013 - Australian Printer
are those that
use a time
tool such as
Getting your time
AT the end of last month's
column I promised to write
more this month about
how I use Act software as
my primary time management and
organisation tool. I have been using
Act for many years, and often tell
people that I couldn't run my life
without it, let alone my business.
I also know people who are
similarly dependent on Outlook,
SalesNet or Salesforce.com. The
point is that it is not the specifc
product but the capability that is so
important to printing salespeople.
I got some strange looks from
attendees at a recent seminar when
I told them they would never gain
new customers from prospecting --
this coming right after an hour-long
segment on prospecting strategy.
I said, if you really think about
it, you don't gain new customers
from prospecting, you gain them
from follow-up, and the reason for
prospecting in the frst place is to
fnd people and companies that are
worth following up on. It takes time
and effective follow-up to build the
kind of relationship that leads to
success in printing sales.
Act -- or Outlook, SalesNet or
Salesforce.com -- can be your follow-
up machine. As I wrote last month,
I have set up a database record
in Act for everyone I do business
with or hope to do business with,
and there I store everything from
names, addresses, phone numbers
and emails to the notes I take during
every call or contact.
I also send emails from Act and
store them in the database and
attach quotes, artwork and various
other digital fles. Most importantly,
though, I also schedule my follow-up
activities after each contact.
THE process I follow is pretty
simple. After each contact with
one of my suspects, prospects
or customers I ask myself two
questions. First, what should I do
next to follow up on what happened
today? Second, when should I do it?
From there it is just a couple of
mouse clicks and a bit of typing to
put the next stage of my marketing
plan for that suspect, prospect or
customer into Act. Once I put it in
and assign it a date, Act will remind
me on that date. Like I said, it's a
pretty simple process.
Here is where it can break down,
though. It is not enough to schedule
your activities into your contact
manager, you have to be in it every
day to get real value out of it. I start
every day by calling up my calendar
and task list in Act, so I can see
what I have put on my plate for that
day. My next step is to prioritise my
tasks, and that can be an adventure.
Yesterday was a good example.
My list contained 37 tasks: four
meetings, fve to-dos, and 28 phone
calls. In Act's daily calendar I had
the meetings blocked out with the
time I expected them to take. From
there I started blocking in the rest of
my tasks. My basic thought process
was this: how can I jam all of these
tasks into the hours of this day?
On this particular Monday I
could see right away that was not
going to happen. Too many tasks, too
little time. So now I thought: which
of these are the most important? In
other words, the ones most likely to
put money in my pocket.
Okay, I realise that you may
not be motivated totally by money,
but I hope you will recognise that
making money is the end result of
doing everything right in a sales
job. That means everything from
prospecting effectively to making
great presentations, managing your
time and closing the sale.
Consider this, too; if you are an
employee, making money is the end
result of doing what your boss wants
and what your co-workers depend on
you to do. Even if you do not want or
need the money, do not forget your
obligation to others.
A hard-working salesperson will
always have more tasks than time.
That is perfectly okay, as long as
prioritisation takes place and the
most important tasks are completed.
That is the most important of the
many things Act does for me.
Sadly, I think most printing
salespeople end their days with
low priorities completed and
high priorities left undone. Those
salespeople make less money than
the ones who end their days the
other way around.
Now the big question for today:
which of those salespeople do you
want to be? I think I know the
answer, and I think Act or Outlook
or SalesNet or Salesforce.com could
be as helpful to you as Act is to me.
And if I were you I would schedule
some time to look into those
products, and decide which one is
best for you.
Dave Fellman is the president of
David Fellman & Associates, a graphic
arts industry consulting rm based in
the US. He is a popular speaker who
has delivered keynotes and seminars
at industry events across Australia, the
United States, Canada, England and
Ireland. He is the author of "Sell More
Printing" (2009) and "Listen To The
Dinosaur" (2010). Visit his website at
Time management is essential: use the tools available
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