It is fairly easy to become very organized, but you have to start somewhere. I have never met anybody who says, “You know what I want to do today? Spend two or three hours looking for stuff that I cannot find, like a receipt or a telephone number, or an article on being organized.”
It takes a couple of extra minutes a day to get organized, or begins with just putting things back in the place where they belong.
What does this have to do with sales?
Great salespeople are organized, and I mean highly organized. They are on top of things and know where to find what they want when they need it. Take any Fortune 100 company and look at the CEO’s desk. What do you think you will find? Gobs and gobs of paper, or just a clean surface with wood, glass or whatever the desk is made from?
Successful people are organized. That is one of the traits that made them successful, and there are an array of products to achieve organizational nirvana. The first and foremost is a calendar, digital or old school. Whatever kind you prefer is up to you.
You can still buy the reliable daily planner that is a combination calendar and phone book. It comes in all sizes, from pocket size to notebook version. It can be leather-bound or plain old vinyl. Most people use their smartphone with the calendar and contact app that came with it. Whether it is Google Calendar (Gmail), ICal (Apple), Outlook (Microsoft), it makes no difference. Find the one you will want to use and use it.
Here are tips for being on top of things and keeping your life simple:
• First, write everything down.
Example: You need to return a phone call, text, email or remember an errand you might want to do, such as pick up milk today. Jot it on the calendar or on a reminder app (smartphone) if you like as well. This is really basic stuff, but you would be surprised how many people do not do this.
• Stay in touch with people.
This is why you want phone numbers handy, especially your contacts. You know the term “out of sight, out of mind?” Well, if you stay in contact with your customers, they will remember you. Use your cellphone while you are in your car to call one or two people each day. Small numbers add up over time. Even just leaving them a voicemail lets them know you were thinking about them.
• If you leave a voicemail or email and they don’t get back to you, try again.
Don’t leave messages every time you call, but don’t give up. Also, don’t be a pest or a stalker. Know when it is appropriate to call it quits.
• Do what you say.
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 walk into the bedroom after being in the kitchen and say to yourself, “What the hell did I come in here for?”
Zig Zigler said, “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.
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.