I have never met anybody who says: “You know what I want to do today? Spend one or two hours looking for things I cannot find, like a receipt or an email, or maybe one sock.”
Next time you’re in a parking lot, look into the car parked next to you. Is it clean and organized, or does it look like the person lives in it and they cannot see out the back window since it is full of stuff?
What does this have to do with sales?
Great salespeople are highly organized. They are on top of things and know where to find what they want when they need it. Don’t believe me yet? Take any Fortune 100 company and look at the CEO’s desk. What do you think you will find? Stacks of paper, or just a clean surface with plenty of space?
Successful people are organized – it’s one of the traits that made them successful.
Today, there are products to achieve organizational nirvana.
The first and foremost is a calendar. What kind is up to you.
You might have the old reliable daily planner that is basically a pocket calendar, or maybe a large one that sits on your desk, which is fine if that’s what you prefer.
Most people today have gone electronic and use either Gmail, iCalendar, Outlook or whatever calendar you prefer on your smartphone. You can use a reminder app if you like as well. In today’s world, every smartphone will keep you organized with regard to day-to-day tasks, appointments, telephone numbers, etc.
In fact, all I need wherever I travel is my laptop and iPhone. Combined, they have everything anyone would require to conduct business.
Here are tips for being on top of things and keeping your life simple:
Write everything down
This can be as simple as a piece of paper in your pocket, or just pull out your phone and type in who you need to call back in either the reminder or calendar app. This is a great tool for lists of anything, ranging from grocery shopping to buying a gift for your kid or getting flowers for your spouse (because you did something dumb yesterday).
Stay in touch with people
That is why you want phone numbers handy in your contacts app. You know the term “out of sight, out of mind?” If you stay in contact with your customers proactively, they will remember you. Use your cellphone while you are in your car to call a few people each day. Small numbers add up over time.
If you leave a voicemail or text for someone and they don’t get back to you, try again. Don’t leave messages every time you call if someone doesn’t call you back, or even just text them if you have their cell number, but also don’t give up.
Keep Your Word
All you have is your reputation, whether you are in sales or customer service. If you say you will do something or call someone back, do it! If you don’t write it down, you will forget. Trust me, as you get older, you will forget things. Don’t believe me? Walk into the kitchen or any room after being somewhere else in your home and say to yourself, “What did I come in here for?”
Isn’t it amazing how much we get done the day before vacation?
We all put off doing the stuff we don’t want to do, and we find the time to do the things we want to do. As they say … just do it.
Hal Becker is a nationally known speaker on sales and customer service. He is the author of numerous business books including two national best sellers, “Can I Have 5 Minutes Of Your Time?” and “Lip Service.” Hal’s newest book on sales is titled “Ultimate Sales Book.” He can be reached at Halbecker.com.