As a salesperson, time is your most valuable asset. Every second spent on administrative or repetitive tasks and not on revenue generating activities is equivalent to lighting a big pile of money on fire and watching it burn next to your desk until you can finally finish submitting your expense report to put it out.
Don't let annoying and repetitive tasks kill your commission checks. Work more efficiently, not harder. It's not about eliminating tasks, it's about finding a better way to do them. I can't think of any better way than to automate them completely. Here are some things you need to do starting yesterday that could give hours back to your work-week.
1. WRITING THANK-YOU NOTES
It's hard to beat a good ol' fashioned thank-you note to add that personal touch and stand out. You have to write them...or do you? If you could barely read your own college class notes or just never have stamps around, this could be a good task to automate.
Mailift has people in-house that will write hand-written notes for you. It costs around $6 each card, but could be worth saving you the carpel-tunnel in the long run.
Postable is a little more affordable, but they aren't hand-written (although their fonts look like it and are really convincing). It'll run you around $3/card, but they will print, ship, and send for you. We love it.
The Note Shack is similar to MailLift where the cards are completely hand-written. They are some of the newer kids on the block, but worth a try to see if you prefer their service and style.
2. FINDING FREE MEETING TIMES
Proposing a meeting time then going back-and-forth several times before actually landing on one is seriously frustrating. Put an end to it.
Calendly ends this forever. If you use gmail or Office365 you can log in and set up your preferred available times to meet. When the prospect/client goes to your personal calendar link they will be able to choose from any available time slot you have designated. It even checks against current events on your calendar to make sure not to conflict with any of your other commitments. They have a free version, but if you want to remove their branding, add your own, or have multiple different calendar signups, it'll cost you about $10/month. Well worth it.
3. COORDINATING AVAILABLE TIMES WITH MORE THAN ONE PERSON
Piggy-backing off the previous recommendation, sometimes you need to find a good time that works with multiple people. Kill me, right? You're probably getting anxiety even thinking about attempting this. Or, at least, you used to. Not anymore.
Doodle is a life-saver. You set several proposed times and send the link out to everyone that needs to participate. Each person checks-off every time they could make so you can easily see which time/s works well for everyone. This is so simple, but so valuable. Cost: nuthin'.
4. CREATING TO-DO LIST REMINDERS FROM EMAILS
When you're in a rhythm and plowing through follow-up calls, building a new prospect list, or drafting contracts, any distraction can break your flow. But all too often we can't help ourselves when a new email comes in from a contact. We check it, don't want to stop immediately to log what action we need to take, then likely forget about it.
If This Then That is a really cool tool. It allows you automate so much of your life, you basically turn into a robot. The "recipe" they have to solve the problem mentioned above will create a reminder task for you on your iPhone whenever you star an email. One click and you get a reminder set. Pretty cool stuff. Oh, and it's free.
5. KNOWING ANYTIME A CLIENT OR PROSPECT IS IN THE NEWS
Congratulating a client whenever they get press is a pro sales tactic. It shows your client you follow them and care about their success. It also gives you a good reason to reach out to a prospect or personalize a communication.
Newsle makes this so easy. Just login with your LinkedIn and forget it. Anytime one of your connections is in the news, you get an email linking to the article the next morning. This is a no-brainer, especially at no cost.
Google Alerts is similar to Newsle. It's great for following news about companies as a whole rather than solely individuals. Get an alert about pretty much anything you want. Very useful.
6. STAYING UP-TO-DATE ON CURRENT EVENTS
With everything else going on during a sales day you don't have the time to read, but then you're also somehow expected to carry a conversation with a client about current events. Luckily there's something that will save you from looking like you live under a rock.
Reading TheSkimm feels like turning an hour-glass upside down. Every morning before work, you'll get one, simple, short email summarizing the most important current events that took place the day before. It's also written in a conversational tone that's easy to read. Their branding and writing style does cater more toward a female audience, but every guy we know that subscribes proudly swears by it. This is a must for everyone. And again, free.
Did we miss anything? What do you do or automate that help save loads of time? Give us your advice in the comments below!