I plead guilty to enjoying a cold beer or two, and I’ve watched with amazement as the decade-long bull market in the craft beer industry shows no signs of abating.
Success is a learnable skill, says Brian Tracy, a guy who has taught a thing or two on the topic.
It would be terrible for your sales reps to be held back in life because they lack one easily learnable skill that can enable them to multiply their results and possi-bili-ties. The key to success is effective time management and continuous learning, Tracy says.
“In military parlance they use an expression ‘force multiplier.’ A force multiplier is what enables a smaller force to defeat a larger force.”
One key force multiplier is intelligence. In business the force multiplier of intelligence means that you learn and you know things about your customers, your markets and your potential that other people don’t that enable you to get a market advantage.
In a recent blog post (BrainTracy.com/blog), Tracy offers seven force multipliers that can be used to become more productive. They are useful guidelines for more informal training sessions in the coming year.
1 Working harder
Individuals who make a concerted effort to just work hard when they get to work, concentrate on their task, put their whole heart into what they are doing and just work, work, work, will find that one of the greatest reasons for success in life is that people work harder. Eighty-five percent of self-made millionaires said that the reason they became millionaires starting with nothing was because they worked harder than their competitors.
2 Working faster
Tracy endorses “working in real time.” When something comes up, deal with it now. When you get a phone message, phone back immediately. When you have to make a decision, make it immediately. When you have to answer an email that’s important, do it now. Don’t accumulate tasks. If the task can be done in less than two minutes, in almost every case you should do it right away, and then get back to your main task.
3 Working longer
Successful people start their day earlier and get their work under way before anybody else. Maybe they work through lunchtime. Or maybe they let everybody else go home and crowd all the streets. Working only slightly longer allows people to get twice as much done.
4 Working together
There are some tasks that take an enormous amount of time for a single person to do but with a large group of people, each one specializing and doing part of the task, you can get a tremendous amount done.
5 Getting better at key tasks
Work as a team at getting better at the most important and most valuable tasks that are part of your sales process. Work all the time you work. A study by Robert Half International found that:
• 50 percent of all working time is wasted.
• 50 percent of all working time is spent on things of low value or no value.
• 50 percent of working time is spent in idle chit-chat with coworkers, checking email, reading the paper, drinking coffee, going for breaks and lunches, coming in late, leaving early, going shopping, and personal business.
6 Doing more important things
Get reps focused on leveraging the 80/20 rule: 20 percent of what they do accounts for 80 percent of their results. If they have a list of 10 things to do, two of those items will be worth more than all the others put together.
7 Clustering similar tasks for effective time management
Get reps in the habit of tackling all proposals at once, all prospecting calls at once, etc. When people do a whole series of similar tasks together they get into what is called the learning curve. The first task may take 10 minutes, the next one will take nine, the next one eight, and the next one only seven minutes. They can save 50 to 80 percent of the time on each subsequent task.