Best Practices #38:
Maintains an organized filing system, with all the useful information readily available.
“I’m just not a very organized person.” That’s what one of my recent seminar participants said.
“You’ll never be as successful as you could be until you overcome that,” I said in response.
If you are not organized, fix it.
Highly successful salespeople, the masters of the profession, are highly organized. They maintain a good filing system which allows them to collect, store and use useful information.
The average field salesperson spends only about 25 – 30 percent of the workweek actually talking to customers. Imagine what would happen if we could dramatically increase that number. One of the ways to do that is to get organized.
A lack of organizations means that we waste time fishing for information. A good filing system dramatically reduces that wasted time, and provides us with good information that helps us improve the quality of our sales calls as well as the quantity of the time we can devote to calling on customers.
This is the Information Age
Information is an asset to a company, and particularly to a salesperson.
Collect good information about your customers, and you are able to more closely connect with them, more sharply focus your selling time, and more finely hone your proposals. Maintain a system that allows you to access product information and you’ll rarely keep customers waiting, you’ll rarely look unprofessional, and you’ll be able to quickly access things you need to know.
In today’s world, there is no excuse for not having a good filing system and using it to collect and store useful information.
What Information Do I Need to Organize?
- The system should consist of files for each of your A & B customers and prospects, in which you maintain account profiles, logs of everything you talked about, copies of old quotes, etc.
- The system should also provide you access to all the important sales and marketing literature for all the products and services you sell.
- You should have at your fingertips a complete listing of each of your internal people, with phone numbers, extensions, and a description of what each does as it relates to your job.
- You should have files for professional development. These files contain the things that you need to read about your industry including industry trends and reports, as well as the new products or services with which you need to become conversant.
- All of this should be well organized, maintained, and readily available. Refer to the appropriate files before every sales call.
You can see what an advantage this provides to the serious professional salesperson. That’s why this is a best practice of the best. If you want to be one of the best, do what the best do.
For more resources on this best practice:
- Chapters three, four and five of How to Excel at Distributor Sales
- Chapter three of Take Your Sales Performance Up a Notch
- Chapter eight of Eleven Secrets of Time Management for Salespeople