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  • Jerry Phillips

The Challenges of Being Busy

The challenges of being busy.

What are the challenges of being too busy? As a sales leader or a salesperson, we can get caught up in getting the product shipped, or getting the services done that we have sold. We have sold it. Our part of the job is done. Yet it isn’t. To keep a customer, we must ensure that the product of services is completed on time and that they solved the problem. But that creates a vicious cycle. When your focus is on completing the execution of the sale, you aren’t setting up the next one.

My brother was the top salesperson for his company. While he didn’t have a natural aptitude for sales, he was process driven and being a mechanical engineer, he solved problems others could not. His personal challenge was he loved to work the projects he sold and design and build them. While he was doing what he enjoyed, he neglected prospecting, which he didn’t enjoy. That led to the wave of large commissions, then dry spells. Nobody enjoys the dry spells. As his brother, a sales and marketing advisor, I pushed him to do more prospecting. As his kid brother, he didn’t appreciate the advice like I wish he would have. Still, he was the top salesperson in his company. But his business was more difficult than it needed to be.

Even though I’m aware of the need to prospect, it doesn’t make me immune to failing to prospect. During the financial crisis of 2009, I had all my retained contracts cancelled. I had failed to prospect and 95% of my income went away in one week. It was a painful lesson. Since then, I’ve had a focused effort to prospect. When I get busy executing, my fear is that I slack on prospecting. It’s challenging to continue to focus on gaining more business opportunities when you are busy with current projects.

I’m not making excuses. I’m sharing this to expose the downside of being too busy. It must be recognized and plans, and processes built to keep the less comfortable work of prospecting going.

  • Block time to prospect. Always.

  • Set it on your calendar and don’t move it.

  • Be clear on why you are prospecting and the value for yourself and your customer.

  • If you can’t find the time to prospect, consider outsourcing.

Without prospects, your fuel to drive your business will run out. Imagine life without a paycheck. For some of us that isn’t a distant memory, based on the pandemic lockdown. Build a balance of sales execution and prospecting. It makes life easier.

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