Home' New Zealand Printer Magazine : December 2013 Contents 45
It may look disorganised -- but
I know where everything is
Organisation is key to a salesperson's success, and a systematic
approach will reap the best results, says Dave Fellman
VISITING a top salesperson
recently, he assured me that his
desk only looks disorganised,
and that in fact, he knows where
everything is. So I bet him that he
couldn’t fnd a hard-copy document I
sent him two or three weeks earlier.
Lunch was on him that day.
At the end of the same day, I sat with
the owner of the company in his own
offce, which was also fairly messy. On
his wall he has a poster which states
that ‘A Clean Desk Is The Sign Of A
Dirty Mind.' I pointed at his desk, and
at the poster, and said, "I'm not sure
you're setting a really good example for
your employees, especially Carl (the top
"I don't care about neatness," he
said, "I care about results, and Carl
brings in a lot of business."
The question, of course, is whether
he could be bringing in even more if
he was better organised. What do you
Everything in its place
THE secret to organisation is simply
to put everything in its place. If that
place really is on the top of your desk
--- or on top of your chair --- then that
is where whatever we are talking about
should be. But if it's not, it should be
somewhere else. That might be in a
fle folder, in a fling cabinet, in a fle
room. It might be in a digital folder,
on a computer desktop, or somewhere
deeper inside the fle structure. It might
be in the trash.
I'm not saying that your desktop,
physical or digital, must be perfectly
neat and organised at all times, but here
is what I want you to ask yourself: is
there any upside to this mess?
Now ask yourself this: what would
Carl likely fnd if he took the time to
look through every piece of paper in his
workspace? I think he would fnd that
most of the documents are no longer
current to his workfow. I think he
would also fnd some lost opportunity.
THIS is really the critical issue. I've
been saying for a long time that selling
is mostly about follow-up. And please
understand, I'm not just talking about
persistence. I’m talking about follow-up
that is appropriate to the situation at
hand. I have seen far too many printing
salespeople miss out on opportunities
because they were blindly persistent
when they should have employed
something more creative in terms
of follow-up, but that’s a topic I will
discuss on another day.
For today, it's pretty simple. If you
miss an opportunity because you didn't
follow up on time because it was hidden
under the clutter in your workspace,
that is an indefensible loss.
I actually forced Carl to dig though
his clutter as part of the follow-up to my
onsite visit. He found fve quotes that he
had never followed up. He also found 23
leads that he had never followed up on.
He even found a job jacket for an order
that had never been put into production.
He swears that he has seen the light,
and that he is going to get and keep
himself better organised. I’m confdent
that if he does that, he will bring in even
more business and make more money.
I use a software product called ACT
to keep myself organised. It is in a
category of software referred to as
CM (Contact Management) or CRM
(Customer Relationship Management).
I prefer the term Contact Management,
because a typical printing salesperson's
database will be made up of suspects,
prospects and customers, but no
matter what you call it, I think every
salesperson should be using this kind
of tool. The category also includes
products like Outlook, SalesNet and
In ACT, I have set up a database
record for everyone I do business with
or hope to do business with. In that
record I can store everything from
names, addresses, phone numbers and
e-mail addresses, to the notes I take
during every call or contact. I can send
e-mails from ACT and store them in the
database record. I can attach quotes,
artwork, or any other digital fle. I can
also schedule my follow-up activity after
each contact. In other words, ACT gives
me a place to put everything in its place.
Next month, I'll write more on how I
use ACT every day, and how it is also my
primary time management tool.
Dave Fellman is the president of David
Fellman & Associates, a graphic arts industry
consulting rm based in the US. He is a
popular speaker who has delivered keynotes
and seminars at industry events across
Australia, the United States, Canada, England
and Ireland. He is the author of "Sell More
Printing" (2009) and "Listen To The Dinosaur"
(2010). Visit his website at www.davefellman.
Sales organisation: key to success
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