Too many salespeople wing it. They just wanna “See what’s out there.” But Mark Hunter emphasizes that planning is the only way you’ll maximize the opportunities in your territory. You can’t react to whatever business is out there.
Mark loves to say, “Tomorrow begins today.” You have to plan your day, week, and month. Why? It allows you to use your time efficiently. Many salespeople are busy but not as productive as they could be if they had planned how they’d use their time. Listen to this episode of Sales Reinvented to hear Mark share more about his planning process!
The first question you must ask is who is your ideal customer? No matter the size of your territory, there will always be opportunities. You want to focus your time on the best of the best. If you don’t know your ICP, you’ll waste a tremendous amount of your time on other people.
You have to understand the outcome that you can create. No customer buys anything. They invest. They invest because they want a return on their investment. So what can you help them achieve?
Don't overlook the value of your calendar. Block time to work on projects. Mark follows the “10 am Rule.” By 10 am, he wants to have accomplished something significant. If you can do that, it motivates you. If the day were to fall apart you could still consider it successful. By mid-morning, Mark had already sent out a major proposal to a client. What has it resulted in? He’s accomplished so much more.
Your head needs to be in the right place. You have to focus on using your time efficiently—while helping customers—and never be satisfied with where you are today. Mark points out that it’s not his job as a sales manager to motivate his salespeople. His goal is to create an environment for them to motivate themselves. There are a few things Mark shares that lead to success:
How can you become more proficient? How can you be more productive? The measure of productivity is the results your customers achieve from the outcomes they’re able to achieve based on how you’ve helped them.
Mark shares some things you should—and shouldn’t do—to achieve your goals:
Mark was young and enthusiastic when he started in sales. He had a large territory assigned to him. He soon realized that territory included demanding customers. He felt he had to step up and deliver them more service. The result? He could leave their office and they’d call 20 minutes later and ask for something else.
He had been working the territory for 3 months when his boss asked him to meet for breakfast. Mark was an hour and a half late because he was visiting a customer taking care of a problem. He thought his boss would be happy. His boss was actually livid and threatened to fire him on the spot. It wasn’t because he was let. It was because he allowed his priorities to get disrupted. He was allowing problem accounts to control how he operated his territory. It’s one of the worst problems new salespeople have: the desire to want to serve and please everyone out there.
Mark’s boss told him that he would never be able to satisfy every demanding customer. Instead, the objective is to minimize them. Allow them a small percentage of your time. If not, you’ll never have time to develop customers to create the incremental business you need to meet your numbers. Failure to make your number will get you fired in a quarter.
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