A few weeks ago my youngest son asked me, “Dad, what kind of job do you have?” “I’m chasing up people all day,” I answered. He stared at me in great disbelief. And although it rarely happens, this time he seemed lost for words.
It is true. I frequently do cold calling, make follow up calls regarding offers, inquiring when they are being signed. But it’s not just sales. I have to call people about overdue invoices, ask colleagues for their input and I even have to chase up suppliers to send me their contracts.
This tracking and monitoring alone makes a total of over 80 outstanding actions listed as Tasks in Outlook. And I have been doing this for over 15 years now. I see no other option; I’m not overly talented, do not have the charisma of Steve Jobs, or have a unique product that sells without any sales effort.
Discipline is the silver bullet. In my opinion this can only be achieved by managing your action list properly and follow up on all your agreements on time. Don’t miss out on anything. Apparently this work ethic appeals to customers, colleagues and suppliers. Possible slip ups are even excused as long as you honour your commitments. Thus resulting in goodwill, trust and confidence.
Getting back to sales, I’m confident to say now, that having this kind of discipline is far more important over skills and natural talent. What is the purpose, if you are not doing the utmost to get customer’s business? Nowadays this is essential. The crisis is making us sweat and struggle for new orders; the days of “money for nothing and your chicks for free” are over.
So the good news is: there is hope for you. Most people do not have the required discipline but you do…..for this reason alone the year 2015 will be a successful one!