Last week I decided to try something new with my sellers.
I recognize this look of exasperation when I ask my sellers about their latest selling activity: prospecting, pre-qualifying, meetings, et cetera.
For Account Executives or Account Managers, making time for Business Development can be incredibly tough with all they have to get done in the name of servicing and delivering to existing customers.
Our approach to Business Development focuses on preparation, consistency, discipline, and a determined mindset to make biz dev as regular and important as exercise.
Annnnnnnddd, just like exercise, when your schedule gets busy and you are cramming in more stuff, business development actions get pushed to the back burner until they are a distant memory of something you “used to do.”
Also similar to exercise, actively seeking out new customers and keeping your pipeline full of promising opportunities, is key to long term growth, success, and financial health. You will always experience some customer attrition and what happens if your major customers disappear for some reason?
Letting those Business Development muscles atrophy is dangerous. Once you let off the gas, making pipeline opportunities a priority is a hard habit to get back into.
So, I started thinking about this like a health coach or personal trainer. Recently, my own schedule has gotten busier and I’ve been looking to mix up my treadmill and weights routine when I started trying out some High-Intensity Interval Training workouts. HIIT workouts vary wildly with different variations of warm up, intensity, cardio/strength, or cool down. Whatever the theory, I’ve found this a great way to break up the monotony of my workout regiment, give me new (hateful) challenges, and I can take many of them on the road. These are short intervals of intense focus and meant to stimulate your muscles, max out your efforts, and produce results in a short period of time.
So, as a trainer and coach to sales people, I thought, “Why not take this approach to attaching your business development activities?”
Finding it hard to fit in time to sell? Try these High-Intensity Interval Selling Challenges!
With just a little bit of prep, you should be able to complete these challenges in twenty to thirty minutes or less! Completing these 3 times a week can boost your pipeline opportunities, move prospects through your funnel, and improve your Business Development results – especially if you’ve let those efforts slide.
Make 5 Social Media Comments on customers’ or prospects’ posts
Make 4 Social Media Posts
Send 3 Emails to Prospects sending them a link to a relevant article
Make 2 Phone calls asking contacts for introductions
Send 1 Invitation to take current customer to lunch to discuss next quarter projects
Make 5 Phone calls to customers who haven’t purchased in the past 6 months/year
Craft 4 Personalized LinkedIn connections requests
Send 3 Offers (calls or emails) to make connections for your counterparts or clients
Make 2 Phone calls to customers to meet additional people in their organization
Take 1 Selfie with a customer and post to social network, publicly acknowledging their work
Make 5 Follow Up Calls (with a relevant reason) to Prospects who haven’t responded yet
Scavenge 4 “Found leads” from old business cards in your drawer or wallet
Set up 3 Customer Reviews
Make 2 Calls to ask for specific, named Referrals
Find and register for 1 highly visible Customer/Industry Events to attend in the next month
What do you think? Does this sound doable?
If you’re knee deep in the everyday details of managing your book of business and have been neglecting your Business Development efforts, this is a great way to challenge yourself into getting back into those habits that have big payoffs.
And, if you’re already carving out that precious time to prospect, these could be a fun way to shake up your usual routine and flex your sales muscles in a new way.
Whether your activities in pursuit of new business have been slacking, or you just need a kick in the pants to change up your routine, give this High-Intensity Interval Selling challenge a try!
Let us know what you think in the comments below!
Until next time, stop hoping, start SELLING!