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3 Tips to Increase Sales Productivity for Crazy-Busy Sellers

How can I possibly be overwhelmed before the day has even started? Yet this morning, as I sit down at my desk to get to work, that’s exactly how I feel.

My To Do list is overflowing with calls to make, proposals to write, customers to satisfy. Checking my email only makes things worse. Now another 72 people want my attention. I sometimes wonder if there’s any light at the end of the tunnel.

Sound familiar?

After SNAP Selling (my book on selling to crazy-busy people) came out last year, I was deluged with requests from sellers who said, “I’m crazy-busy too! How can you help me?”

It’s something I’ve been studying with a vengeance since then. Because I need help – and so do you. It’s also why I wrote AGILE SELLING.

But let me give you some advice right now that can make a difference. Everything I’m sharing is based on research into how the brain works.

The truth is, your poor little brain is really incapable of handling all the things clamoring for its attention. The more things you have to do, the less efficiently it functions. Decisions are harder. You can’t think of as many ideas. Everything takes longer.

Here are three simple but highly effective strategies I use to minimize my crazy-busy feelings.

1. Pick the “One Thing”

Every day I select just one thing that absolutely has to get done the next day. If I have five things, I get bogged down. But with just one essential “to do” I can ensure its completion. (Note: Writing this article is my “one thing: for today.)

2. Put up a Barricade

It’s so easy to get distracted. A phone call leads to six other tasks. Checking your email can result in the loss of an hour. When I’m serious about getting my “one thing” done, I don’t answer the phone, check emails, or respond to any other interruptions. My time is valuable so I protect it. Usually I do this in one-hour increments.

3. Dump Your Ideas

Got some fledgling ideas floating around in your mind? How about something that you really need to remember for tomorrow? In order for your brain to function best, you don’t want it to keep using its limited resources to remember things for you. Always write things down. This frees your brain up for more important thinking – like how to best win business with a new account.

These simple ideas really do work. They enable me to focus better. My thinking is better. I see more creative options for solving my problems.

In short, I get a lot more done in a lot less time! If you’re crazy-busy too, I ‘d suggest you give them a try.


This article was written by Jill Konrath, author of AGILE SELLING & Selling to BIG Companies and originally appeared on her website.

Jill Konrath - Author/Speaker, JillKonrath
Jill Konrath is an internationally recognized sales strategist. As author of two bestselling books, SNAP Selling and Selling to Big Companies, she's a frequent speaker at sales meetings and conferences. Her newest book, AGILE SELLING, focuses on helping sellers get up to speed quickly in today's sales world. | Facebook | @jillkonrath | More from Jill


Customer Relations: Why Honesty is Always the Best Policy

We’ve all been at the crossroads before where we have to decide whether to lie or tell the truth. For instance, “Honey, does this dress make me look fat?” or “Can you have that project to me by Monday?” tell the truth and face immediate backlash or lie to appease short-term objectives and cross the preverbal bridge when you get there. I’m not married, so I will not speak on the first one, but I will attempt to shed light as to why honesty is the best policy for your business.

Honesty Builds a Credible Brand

One of the best ways to differentiate your company from competitors is by building a credible brand. Focusing on honesty can help identify you as an industry expert, generate inbound leads, minimize buyer remorse, and perpetuate trust. Sounds great right? Well, it takes some work to develop an honest brand. Here are 3 tips to do just that:

  1. Encourage honest feedback from your clients: One of the best ways to grow as a company and build credibility is to leverage strengths and minimize weakness. Encourage your clients to provide honest feedback in online reviews or internal questionnaires. Online reviews can be used as marketing collateral and negative feedbacks can be immediately addressed. With roughly 77% of online shoppers basing purchase decisions on prior reviews, this can certainly be a great tool if used correctly.
  2. Give timely and honest communication: Another great way to build credibility is to provide reliable and honest communication. Whether through social media, forums, phone/email, or even face-to-face, it is important to respond to your clients’ needs in a timely manner. Not only do you need to provide a quick response, but be sure to address their concerns entirely. If you provide honest and timely responses you will earn trust with your clients that will ensure long-term loyalty.
  3. Provide unbiased and relevant information: Use your blog or news page to share industry specific information and not just company-centric content. Leverage trending topics relevant to your users and provide a fresh/honest spin on the information.

Remember: You are the expert, take your knowledge and dispense it in a way that is easy for others to digest and retain.

Honest Expectations Lead to Customer Retention

One of the most difficult parts of client relations is setting honest expectations. From new clients to old, there is always going to be a difference between expectations and reality. Your job is to minimize this difference or set it in a way that reality exceeds expectations. Once again, this is easier said than done. Here are 3 tips to help set honest expectations.

  1. Understand your limitations: Before you can set accurate expectations you have to first understand your capabilities. Your capabilities are contingent on several variables such as time, other clients, internal bandwidth, skills, etc. Take all your variables into consideration and honestly assess what limitations you could have before you agree to any project parameters.
  2. Warn clients about potential pitfalls: Another great tool for setting honest expectations is to discuss obstacles or potential pitfalls with the client before the project begins. It is much better to address any issues before the start of the project, rather than to wait for them to come up after you begin.
  3. Under promise and over deliver: Many times companies will try to appease the client by agreeing to any parameters no matter how absurd. This is dangerous because you may be able to close the deal, but you will not retain that client once you fail to meet their expectations. Not only that, if you overpromise and do not deliver the quality or timeliness that was agreed upon you will lose credibility and face potential negative reviews.

Remember: The reason that most clients are unsatisfied is due to their expectations not being met. If you can focus your efforts on providing honest expectations then you are more likely to leave clients satisfied.

Business integrity and honesty is a powerful tool that should not be forgotten. It builds a credibility, removes barriers of expectation, and sets the foundation for a sustainable long-lasting relationship. So the next time your client asks you “Can you have this to me by yesterday?” try taking the honest approach.

Derek Miller - Business Development Manager, CopyPress
Derek has an entrepreneurial spirit, scattered mind, and marketing background. He works full time at CopyPress and devotes his free time to running a fantasy sports community at Fantasy Help. | LinkedIn| @DereksAlterEgo | More from Derek


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