EXCERPT FROM THE SALES PLAYBOOK – CHAPTER 4
“I value self-discipline, but creating systems that make it next to
impossible to misbehave is more reliable than self-control.” – Tim Ferriss
I will always remember an instance when I was working in the publishing business and I called on a national account. I had managed to get the decision maker on the phone and he told me that my timing was pretty good because they were preparing and having a meeting to discuss their next year’s advertising budget in about 45 days. He told me to follow up in 30 days and he would let me know what he needed from me. I was super excited and remember writing this information down somewhere and getting back into my calls.
About two months later I saw the company’s ad in a competitor’s magazine. I called the prospect back right away. He remembered me and asked me why I never followed up after our initial call. All I could say was that I was sorry but I forgot. Clearly my response did not cut it. Being forgetful or unorganized aren’t qualities people typically look for when deciding what companies to work with.
What went wrong here? It wasn’t that I forgot to follow up. It was that I didn’t have a good system in place for taking notes and tracking my future to-do items. If I did, that prospect should have been an easy close.
From that point on I made a commitment to myself that anytime I had a promising conversation I would properly log it and set a call back appointment. You could say this single lost sale was my defining moment for becoming systemized!
BELOW ARE A FEW OF THE BASICS ALL SALESPEOPLE SHOULD HAVE IN PLACE TO SET THEMSELVES UP FOR SUCCESS
When you use the phone for prospecting, you have a lot of direct touch points where you connect one-on-one with another person. Although those conversations will mean something to you at the time, after a full day of making calls, they will probably become a little hazy. A week later, you might not remember any of the details. A month later, prospects’ names might not seem familiar at all. That said, you need to track the details from your calls somehow or you won’t have a clue what’s going on with your prospects.
WHAT TO NOTE In addition to taking copious notes on your calls in general, there are certain things you should specify about every single call you make.
Person you spoke with
Motivation to buy
Follow up Date
A SYSTEM FOR FOLLOW UP
Now that you’ve recorded when to follow up, you just need to remember to do it! This is where CRM systems can make your life a whole lot easier. When you record your notes for each call, any good CRM system will allow you to choose a date to follow up.
Whether you decide on using a CRM system, online calendar, or hard copy planner, make sure you give yourself reminders of who to call on what days. You should have one single place to look each day that tells you exactly what calls you need to make. If you don’t develop this system, you will be lost. I promise. To get the full chapter and details
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