The Daily Sales Non-Negotiables

You are beginning and laying out your sales day. How do you ensure to not only achieve everything you must achieve, but to make progress on other initiatives, prospect, stay on top of e-mail and your administrative tasks in the span of one day? It can be daunting, but with the right mindset and prioritization tactics, you can not only achieve it but can master your day.
There are non-negotiables to perform each day.
1 – Your schedule. The first thing I do in the morning is scan my schedule for the day. There are times when I’m double- and triple- booked (once, I was actually septuple booked!) and apply some reality to the day. There are meetings and calls and appointments that are imperative and others that are not. Be mindful but self-aware: what of these must be done today, and what is not mission critical and could conceivably wait until another day if it benefits today? There are times when we take on everything or accept every meeting; days where we are overly booked as opposed to relatively open. If there are tasks on our calendar for the day that could stand to be moved and doing so would help free up needed time, unabashedly do so.
While on the topic of schedule, spend time each day going through the following business day’s appointments and send a quick confirmation, specifically for external sessions. If you are relying on a potential client or business partner to join you at a meeting especially, it is greatly beneficial to check in on the status – “Good morning/afternoon! Just confirming our session for tomorrow. Very much looking forward to it!” It’s a great reminder that shakes out the reality of the meeting. If a meeting is going to cancel, it’s best for you to know as soon as possible. If it’s on and you get a response, you can gauge how engaged the recipient is with the meeting. It’s a great best practice because if there is a change to one or more of these appointments, it can greatly impact your day from a planning and travel perspective. Best to know ASAP.
2 – Management of Your Brand/ Prospecting. There are a variety of tools at our disposal – some company-provided and others that are for your discovery on the web. No matter what your pipeline looks like, plant seeds every day. This could mean spending some time perusing the business journals to see what’s new with your clients and prospects. It could mean analyzing your LinkedIn/Sales Navigator feed to ascertain what’s new with contacts and who could be desired new contacts. It is also portrayal of your own brand – what are you sharing to social feeds? I’m not talking about your gym pics or quoted song lyrics – this is where you blog or share a business article or create or post content that you deem relevant. This is how you create and establish a presence and brand, but also how you become and stay top of mind with folks in your network. There are numerous philosophies on this, and some folks shy away from posting on social for a variety of reasons. I’ve found that scanning my feed to see what’s top of mind for clients, prospects, partners and organizations is extremely helpful in how I not only go to market, but how I maintain or move the ball down the field in a business relationship. It’s also just as important in establishing a brand. What do you want to be, to your network and to current and potential clients? What image do you want to convey? The greatest asset a salesperson can project in these mediums is differentiation. Your personal brand is all your own, and there are platforms today that allow you to manage your brand all while prospecting by geography, industry and discipline to find people who can have the conversations you want to be having. Invest time in this every day – even if it’s 15-20 minutes – because over time it will pay massive dividends in how you build your network and book of business.
3 – Deal Management. I’ll make this one as simple as possible, because it can be quite intimidating when we have a massive pipeline. Comb through your accounts, prospects and potential deals each day and ask yourself: How can I impact this deal today? It could be as simple as calling the customer or a partner to ascertain current status and help needed. It could be ensuring that milestones in the process are being hit (or establishing said milestones, which is paramount to making sure your deal is moving toward closure). It could be as complex as putting together a deal or working through the negotiation. It could just be a quick e-mail to make sure – even if the ball isn’t in your court – that the other folks on the deal are aware you’re here to help or to see where you can add value. It is very helpful to go through your list each day and ask yourself if there’s anything you can do to move the ball down the field. If there is, do it. If there isn’t, move on. This can make what seems like a big task seem a lot more palatable.
4 – Of course, meet your commitments, but Prioritize Your Day. Frankly, I’ll make an open notepad entry to myself of the stuff I have to get done that day and I’ll check it off/ highlight it/ whatever makes me able to see I’ve completed it throughout the day. It’s quite helpful as well to carve out openings on your calendar for tasks that must be completed. Know you have to do some training or fill out a form or submit reports or even just update your substantial pipeline, and don’t feel like you have any breathing room? If you’re juggling lots of appointments, and especially when internal folks can see your calendar availability, it’s quite helpful to just shamelessly schedule time on your own calendar to get these things done. Of course, being sure you are using that time as you intentioned in an age where people can still each you via phone, text and IM is another issue altogether, but sometimes you need to make an appointment with and for yourself to get these tasks completed.
5 – Prioritize your E-mail. Scan and respond to the items that need immediate response. I’ll often save the stuff that merits response that I do not have time to address right away. If a quick response is expected or needed, those are the e-mails you must tend to as soon as you can by prioritizing relationship and revenue. If my boss is asking me for a report, I make sure that happens in the timeframe (and if it’s by end of day, I’ll add it to my aforementioned notepad entry of daily musts). If a customer where there is a pending large deal needs information right away, I’m addressing it ASAP. Furthermore, if there is an opportunity to reply and pull in other team members who will be the ones managing the next step in the process, it’s quick and easy to send this and lift this note off your plate so you can move the ball and move on to your other tasks in one motion. Be responsive, be decisive, but do not allow e-mail to run you over. You likely well know you could sit in e-mail all day every day and never feel like you’ve caught up while everything else around you that needs more attention falls by the wayside.
6 – HAVE FUN. The game of sales is exhilarating. No day will go as you intended. Go in with little to no expectation of how it will go or even how you want it to go; the pieces are set and the game is afoot when you get out of bed to begin your regimen. Yesterday might have been an utter failure, but today’s a freshly mowed and watered field and a new game is on the horizon. You’ve got to enjoy what you do. You’ve got to gravitate toward the components you enjoy most, be it time with customers and partners, leading teams, spending time in the throws of the relationship-building processes. Be proud – you’re an advocate for your clients and an ambassador of your organization. Act like it in everything you do, and have fun along the way. Take it all seriously, but don’t be so serious you miss out on the joys. Take the stressful situations in stride and don’t tackle them alone. Get others who can help you or that you can learn from either in the boat with you or seek their advice on how they’ve mastered tasks you want to master. We’re all learning, we’re all evolving, and oh what a fun journey it is along the way.
Master the day, and your body of work will be a masterpiece over time.
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Carson V. Heady has written a book entitled “Birth of a Salesman” and sequels “The Salesman Against the World” and “A Salesman Forever” which take the unique approach of serving as sales/leadership books inside of novels showing proven sales principles designed to birth you into the top producer you were born to be. If you would like to strengthen your sales skills, go to http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00ICRVMI2/ref=cm_sw_r_tw_dp_yGXKtb0G
Heady posts for “Consult Carson” serving as the “Dear Abby” of sales and sales leadership. You may post any question that puzzles you regarding sales and sales leadership careers: interviewing, the sales process, advancing and achieving.
Question submissions can be made via LinkedIn to Carson V. Heady, this Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Carson-V-Heady/125078150858064?ref=hl , Twitter via @cvheady007 or e-mail at cvheady007@yahoo.com or you may post an anonymous comment as a reply to my WordPress blog at the bottom of this page: https://carsonvheady.wordpress.com/the-home-of-birth-of-a-salesman-2010-published-by-world-audience-inc-and-the-salesman-against-the-world-2014/

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About cvheady007

I am a Christian, Husband, Dad, workaholic and author. Biography Carson Vincent Heady was born in Cape Girardeau, MO, graduated from Southeast Missouri State University and moved to St. Louis in 2001. He has served in sales and leadership across Microsoft, AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile. Carson is best-selling author of the Birth of a Salesman series, the first book of which was published by World Audience Inc. in 2010. He released The Salesman Against the World in 2014, A Salesman Forever in 2016 and Salesman on Fire in 2020. He is also featured in Scott Ingram’s B2B Sales Mentors: 20 Stories from 20 Top 1% Sales Professionals. Carson is a 7-time CEO/President’s Club winner across 5 roles at AT&T and Microsoft and National Verizon Rockstar winner. He has been recognized as a top social seller at Microsoft and is consistently ranked in the top 25 sales gurus in the world on Rise Global. He is included among the Top 50 sales authors on LinkedIn. With over 330K social followers, Carson has also been interviewed on over 30 sales and leadership podcasts, by such luminaries as Jeffrey & Jennifer Gitomer, Jeb Blount, Brandon Bornancin, Sam Dunning, Larry Levine, Darrell Amy, Scott Ingram, Thierry van Herwijnen, Jim Brown, Sam Jacobs, Luigi Prestinenzi, Donald Kelly, Marylou Tyler, George Leith, Pat Helmer, Eric Nelson, Ron Tunick, Jeff Arthur, Mary Ann Samedi, Jean Oursler, Andre Harrell, Marlene Chism, Bill Crespo, Matt Tanguay, Josh Wheeler and Chad Bostick. He has also co-hosted the Smart Biz Show on EG Marketing Radio. His articles have appeared in several noteworthy publications such as SalesGravy, Smash! Sales, Salesopedia and the Baylor Sports Department S3 Report. Carson lives in St. Louis, MO, with his wife Amy and daughters Madison, Sidonia and Charlotte.
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