1. Time to get to know your Gatekeepers: We all know that there are those people that are between you and the decision-maker who keep you from getting to them. They may be a secretary, an assistant or just a colleague. As a salesperson, you try different ways of getting past them so you can have your shot with the person who can approve the sale. Well, during these lean months, now is the time to work smarter, not just harder. When coming upon these “gatekeepers” now is a great time for you to finesse that relationship not only to get to your true potential client but to find out a.what the needs are for their company, b. if the person you think is the decision maker is indeed that person and c. as if an afterthought, who is currently servicing their needs. These conversations will help you with follow-up and ease of getting where you want with the right people later on during the summer.
2. Get Visible: You’ve got to be seen to be seen, they say. And in today’s world of tech, that’s all about getting a presence online. Update your LinkedIn account and make sure it’s all about what you are selling right now, not how you’d be a great employee for someone. If you’re working for someone right now and believe in what you are offering don’t look like you are shopping for a better job. Your personal LinkedIn account is nimble enough later on to be adjusted if you decide it’s time to move on. Make it work for you now. Also, set up your own webpage. You may think that is ridiculous since your company has a website. But, you are a professional and need to show you can “double down” for your company. Make sure you set up for blogs and interesting pages that tell about how you work for and what your core values are as a professional sales person. You can get your own domain cheaply through sources like GoDaddy.com using your name most time and then have a free website on Weebly, where I set up mine. Then you can add both your company’s website and your website and LinkedIn info in your email signature.
3. Stay Productive: Today, you need to make appointments even to have telephone conversations. The world is busier than ever so face it and don’t complain about it, it’s not changing. Role-play with your colleagues as you work on how to get those appointments is a great task. Yes, you can email to set them up, but those are usually better reserved for the final time and day. If you trade off with someone to try different styles to get the appointments, you will be stronger on the phone when you make those calls. Carve out a time (mornings seem to work best for me) when you are going to spend a good amount of time just working on getting those appointments (an hour or two every day)– not the sales, that’s a different process – and fill up your calendar.
4. Plan for tomorrow: Take the last hour of every day to plan out your goals and schedule for tomorrow. This does many things for a salesperson. It allows you to recap and refocus on your potential, it allows you to get off the good and bad of the current day and it gives you peace of mind when you get off work, knowing that you already have written out what lies ahead tomorrow and not sitting around worrying about it tonight – there’s no need to manufacture your own misery wondering about the “what ifs” when you are focused on possibilities that tomorrow offers.
I’ve always said sales are not for wimps. If you’re in it to win it you need to be focused, disciplined and unyielding in your belief that summer is a great time to get opportunities for you and your company. Now, go get it!!!