Is Selling Time On Your Calendar Or Just On Your To Do List?

SoundAdvice Sales Rx:

I often use time on Sunday’s to look forward to the week ahead. You know, plan ahead and make sure I have things like paying bills and sending invoices all done. One thing that I also schedule is sales time.

Income Producing Activity. It’s easy to get busy doing lots of other things. Important things too. It’s not like you’re spending all day sitting on the sofa eating bon bons. But you know how things happen. You really mean to make the phone calls or follow up on your proposals and then you get busy, and then it’s time for lunch and the next thing you know, Monday is pretty much over so you decide to do it the next day. Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

So – take the time. Now. Put some sales time on your calendar for whatever your income producing activity is. When you get a new client, or make a sale/sales, you’ll be glad you made time for it.

I’d love to know how you plan your week. It’s nice to share.

What’s Your One Thing?

 I’ve been juggling lots of things lately and sometimes I feel like I’m not really getting as  much done as I should.  It’s not lack of effort, but a lack of focus.  I came across some notes that I took at a seminar that helped me get back on track and I thought I’d share it with you.   (I don’t recall whose seminar it was – and the notes aren’t dated.  I apologize that I can’t credit the person who shared this idea with me originally.)

Sometimes the simplest thing is what works.   I like to think I’m pretty smart, and can handle more than one thing at a time.  I’m sure you do too.  But for the next few days I’m going to try this.  Pick the ONE thing that will help me move forward and make progress on a lengthy to do list and DO IT.  Not start it, or spend some time on it but make it my focus for the day. 

Now the tricky part.  What is the one thing?  I’m betting you know what yours is.  I know what mine is.  Making changes to this site.  I was lucky enough to get some great advice from Catherine Caine of and Teresa Cleveland of  almost 2 weeks ago.  That’s my one thing for tomorrow.  And the next day and the next until it’s done. 

What’s Your One Thing?  Please share and let me know – we can all encourage each other!

Lessons From My Mentor(s)


 I’ve been thinking about former friends and co-workers today.   I’ve also been thinking about how everyday kind of things can end up making an impact that isn’t always expected.  Some of the lessons I learned were like that.    There’s a long, long story about my mentors that I want to write someday, but for today – here are a few things that I learned that have served me well and help me all the time.

Do It Yourself  – Or at least be willing to.  One of the owners of a company I worked for taught me this.  He was a self-made man who worked harder than anyone I knew.  He taught me how to do many things by showing me how he did it himself. 

Take Responsibility Alone – Share the Credit -  This was something I saw another owner do many times.  A big deal was lost?  He stood up and said, “My bad – I didn’t position us correctly, but we’ll learn from it and win the next one.”  A big deal landed?  “Everyone was helpful and deserved part of the credit”.   Selling is competitive and somewhat individual, but if you are a sales leader – this must be part of your leadership method.

Work Hard and Have Fun – They don’t have to be exclusive.  People who are passionate about thier work don’t always understand that a break here and there will help you and your staff blow off some steam and come back recharged.  Don’t be afraid to step back and have a good time.

Learning Never Ends – Again, in my early sales career, the owners of the company knew that regular training was critical to the success and development of the sales staff.  They encouraged it and led by example by regularly attending training and development seminars themselves. 

There are other lessons I learned along the way as well but these simple concepts have helped me to succeed.  Sometimes the most basic rules can be the foundation for guiding you through your decisions. 

What basic lessons do you refer to? 
How did you learn them?
Do you teach them at your company?


Show Me Yours?

1st Quarter Results 

  Can you believe it?  We’re already through 25% of 2010.   It made me start thinking about how things are going so far.  Like many, I started this year with some well intentioned resolutions, goals and dreams.  I had a plan.  I made lists.  I bought office supplies.  I spent some time getting ready.  I spent more time getting things done.  Taking action. 

Going Public

 Public corporations with shareholders have to publish quarterly reports.  They are required to let those who have a stake know how they did.  What if you had to do that?  Yikes!   What if you had to publish your sales and revenue numbers?  Or the number of new clients?  What about just accounting for your time spent on a project or connections made,  partnerships formed?  What if you had to demonstrate your return on investment? 

 As a small business owner, I am intimately aware of revenue and cash flow.  I have a good bead on my clients and prospects.  I keep track of my sales pipeline – those things are easy for me.   I’ll confess that I didn’t hit my projections for Q1.  I sure don’t want to have to publish my results. 

Size Matters Measurement Matters

  Being accountable, even just to yourself or include your spouse/partner or trusted friend will impact results.  What you measure matters.  If the thought of spreadsheets and bar graphs freak you out, do it your way.  But measure, track and report – even if it’s just for you.  Especially if it’s just for you. 

 Rx: Suggestions for Q2

 Post your revenue goal on your desk or calendar or iphone.  Anywhere you’ll see it every day.  
 Break it down, so you know how much you need to sell each day, or by units sold or number of clients registered.  What works   in your business?
Pick one or two next steps and commit to making them happen in Q2.  Break it into 12 steps – 1 for each week of the quarter.
Ask someone to be your accountability partner.  Report to them weekly with your progress. 

Do you have another way to track your progress? 
Do you publish your own quarterly report?  I’d love to hear how it works for you. 
How can I help you stay on track?