In which we are reminded that, much as in Holiday shopping, our efficiency and effectiveness in our territories can be vastly increased through the development and implementation of a plan.
I arrived at just that point in the day where you could see the fatigue and the fear in their eyes. The salespeople behind the counters could see, too, these men, these Christmas shopping warriors, late to the battle, two days before Christmas, plodding from one store in the mall to the next in search of something, anything, that would satisfy their girlfriends, their children, or their wives who would make them pay if their gifts did not seem suitable…or, sufficient….or, appropriate symbols of devotion.
They needed inspiration, they needed miracles, and, as the afternoon wore on, their questions to the store salespeople only thinly disguised their suffering. And the salespeople made them pay dearly for relief.
Switch “salespeople behind the counters” to “prospects and customers,” and “wives and children” to “sales managers” and you have a clear picture of many of our sales representative colleagues in about four to six months. Fatigue, fear, and suffering.
Having left my Christmas shopping until the last minute, as is my custom (I r e a l l y like the adrenaline rush), I was in and out of the mall, finished in about three hours, on plan, on budget (with one exception), feeling the thrill of victory. How was this possible?
The night before my dash to the mall, I’d invested three hours on line. I obtained a floor map of the mall. I went to each store’s web site and searched their offerings. I developed my list and my route plan and pasted both to a white, 5” x 7” card. I hit the north end of the mall at a dead run, and was out the south end three hours later.
It could have been two hours EXCEPT THAT I got distracted. I found myself wandering the second level of the mall in a bit of a fog at one point, poking into stores with inviting window displays or highly engaging salespeople at their doors. As I was buying something that looked interesting for nobody in particular, a voice in my head said, “What are you DOING? You made a plan. USE IT.”
So, that’s my New Year’s wish for all us. Focus. Research. Make a territory plan. Use it.