Beware of busy work

Sales busy workAs we talked about in the previous time management post, managing your sales time is of paramount importance to keeping your sales funnel loaded. Let me explain this post with a personal example. I had a inside salesman working for me, let’s call him Steve. Steve was always at his desk working – filing, reading, stapling, Web surfing – you name it, he was doing it.

He made me look like I was lazy.

To make a too long story shorter, this went on and on and very little actual sales fell through his sales funnel, but he was always “close to closing”. It got to the point where I literally sat right beside him for an entire day to observe his sales tactics. And all he did was busy work.

For example, if he was supposed to call on someone, he would spend all his time printing out Web stories about them and highlighting meaningless passages – in face he showed me a collection of binders filled with this “intelligence”. I forced him to stop and we made a quick cold call to the company, got an appointment and he was on his way.

Unfortunately, things didn’t work out with Steve and I had to let him go, but there is a year’s worth of posts that will come out of my working with him – as well as some good lessons for me on when to let people go.

Bottom line: Don’t get sucked into thinking that just because you are doing something, that it’s counts as selling – a single call is worth more than a dozen reams of printed paper of contact information.

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