Organization is key. That's why we dedicate at least one blog every week to time management and productivity tips. Today, I’d like to offer some important tips on streamlining your prospecting, particularly if you’re dealing with different segments and locations.
You need to have a database for your sales opportunities.
Before business became digital you had to use a ledger. These days an equivalent is an online Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool like Salesforce, HubSpot or Zoho. If you’re looking for something less sophisticated, you could easily create your own database on a spreadsheet.
Whatever you choose, the most important thing is to keep all of your opportunities in one place. You can’t do your best work using Post-It notes, various other scraps of paper, notebooks… and especially not your email inbox. Things will inevitably slip through the cracks.
You need to make sure your mind is not running all over the place.
The best analogy for this is a compost pile. If everything is stacked and rotated, the compost will break down into high-quality topsoil. Now imagine a compost pile that’s been indiscriminately raked into a thin, disorganized layer across a lawn. You're going to wind up with a lawn full of food scraps and garbage for a very long time.
The solution? You really need to focus. Concentrate on the contacts with whom you’ve had the most success. From there you can map out similar individuals and businesses within a certain distance and pitch comparable services to them. All it takes is our three-sentence solicitation model: "We just did this project for _______ on _______ Street and they have experienced a savings of _______ and _______. I’ve noticed that you are still using ______, which is the equipment we replaced in that building. If you’d like to explore how we could extend the success we delivered for that client to your facility, I would be open to a conversation.”
While you’re leveraging your past successes, keep track of your progress. Whether you’re going door-to-door, sending emails, attending a networking event or making cold calls, focus on cloning these successes. It will keep you from swerving all over the road, which would be a sure path to failure.
As a final tip, I would recommend reading Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity by David Allen. If you’re looking for more advice in this vein, I would pick up a copy of that as well.