The path of least resistance is the road to decreasing sales.

It is human nature to find the easiest way to do just about everything. In many cases this means the simplest solution, which is usually the best. In most others, it is a tactic of avoiding difficulty. To be clear, simple is good, avoidance is bad. Simple doesn’t always mean easy. Avoidance isn’t always simple.

“Two roads diverged in a yellow wood. And sorry I could not travel both…”

Sales people, in general, tend to be creatures of habit. Following a well-laid plan is predictable. It fills the funnel; it makes Salesforce smile. The more habitual one becomes, the less likely it is to encounter something new, but it’s comfortable and it meets expectations. This can lead to ineffectual or declining results if one’s preference is to take repeat orders, sell known products to established customers with well-defined applications. Everyone likes repeat business, but don’t become satisfied with the status quo. As sure as I’m sitting here cursing auto-correct and questioning spellcheck, repeat business is not wholly sustainable. It’s like believing in perpetual motion. Just as writing orders from new contacts resulting from a company’s good marketing efforts is easier than finding new customers who didn’t know the company existed.

When employing any means of a time management process, ensure that a significant portion is saved for exploration, prospecting or “hunting” if you prefer. Make this a routine, a priority even; not a rainy day thing. Be sure to include a “note-to-self:” try something you haven’t tried before. If you make this as habitual as ensuring you touch base with all your “a-list” customers at least once a week, you will find that prospecting is hard, frustrating and thankless. You’ll never get a pat on the back for attempting to contact ten new prospects with no new results. Just as assuredly you will get a pat on the back for meeting your quota and current business level; you have met expectations – great if you aspire to be average. But, if you want to exceed expectations, desire more recognition, higher bonuses and, most importantly, self-satisfaction, take the road less traveled. It will make all the difference.

Mike Hotchkiss
September 2, 2016

Author: Preparation Breeds Success