8 Tools for an Efficient Salesperson

22 Jan


Normally, I focus on specific sales methods, but today I’m sharing some ideas that will make any salesperson run a little faster in 2014. As a manager, you can help your team use all of these methods. As a salesperson, I encourage you to hit up your manager for these tools that will make you more efficient and effective.

  1. LinkedIn & Social Media: Please, I’m begging you… it’s 2014 – if you don’t have one, create a LinkedIn profile and expand your network. Today, I have over 4,000 LinkedIn contacts and in Minneapolis, I can mine the names of anyone in the Twin Cities and reach them using LinkedIn Inmails. These Inmails have a much higher response rate in comparison to standard emails.
  2. Email Discipline: I’m a huge believer in this Timothy Ferris’ 4 Hour Work Week technique: don’t constantly answer email. Unless you are instructed otherwise, I would suggest only reading your emails at the beginning, middle and end of every work day. At first, I thought it sounded ridiculous but I decided to give it a try and fell in love with being there for people daily, but not hourly. Phone calls and texts are urgent. Emails are important – if you respond to the important ones within four hours, no one is likely to complain. If you have clients calling you throughout the day because of fires, you aren’t a salesperson, you are an Account Manager. This is not your excuse to let emails pile up in your inbox. Every email use D.R.A.F.: delete, refer, act or file it away. If you are going to prospect, block off a half hour three times a day for email – and save the other 6+ hours for selling.
  3. Personal Free Time: If you are the typical salesperson, you not only have a job, but a family 30+ minutes away from work. You run like crazy Monday through Friday, “relax” on Saturday doing chores around the house (or worse, chasing your kids around at odd hours who are participating in sports). On Sunday, you might spend half of your day attending a religious service in your community. Then after the football game, you eat dinner and start worrying about your bills or work on Monday. Sound familiar? Escape the rat race once a week. Take time to celebrate the victories! SCHEDULE some “me time” to unwind and figure out what drives you (and trade this time with your spouse so that they get the same opportunity). I can’t tell you how freeing this has become for me on Thursday nights. No one is a priority but me that night – and it allows me run that much faster throughout the hustle and bustle.
  4. Work Planning Time: People always complain because of the scenario above, that they don’t have enough time. Well, there is enough time if you have a little discipline. Stop watching television or playing solitaire on your computer and carve out just one hour a week for planning so that you are as efficient as possible. The first hour of the work day should be spent on the important and urgent items. Do the worst activities first (like the 10 phone calls to prospects), so you can have a fulfilling work hard/play hard lifestyle.
  5. Testimonials: The proof is in the pudding. You can talk about your offering all day, but prospects want to hear the stories from your happy customers. Even better, share stories from your happy customers with prospects that are in the same industry.
  6. Referrals and Warm Leads: Cold calling is dead. The best way to get referrals are to earn them.  Give people in your network who are relevant to your business a referral first and then ask nicely for one in return.
  7. Optimism: A good attitude, determination, confidence or whatever you want to call it – salespeople need to be excited about what they are doing. You need to believe in your product or service and be borderline overconfident in offering your solution to prospects and customers. I believe I am helping people. Do you feel the same way about your work?
  8. A Sales Book: Always carry one with you. Read it on the road, over lunch and in between appointments. If it’s inspiring, talk about it with your prospects and customers. Buy the good reads for your best customers. I’d rather have a salesperson give me a random business or sales book versus another brochure. Doesn’t everyone look smarter with a book under their arm?

A few book suggestions (of course 8 of them!):

  • Sam Richter’s Take the Cold Out of Cold Calling
  • David Kurlan’s Baseline Selling
  • Jeffrey Gitomer’s Sales Bible
  • Maxwell & Dickman’s Elements of Persuasion
  • David Mattson’s The Sandler Rules
  • Martin Seligman’s Learned Optimism
  • Tony Hsieh’s Delivering Happiness
  • Marshall Goldsmith’s MOJO

Order a book and start using all eight tools next month!

Make every day count!




Facebook: http://on.fb.me/131nqty

Twitter: @drew_schmitz

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