By Andy Paul
Everyday you could read a thousand and one blog articles on sales. Dutifully, the authors (including this one) have followed best blogging practices and titled their articles with a specific quantity of tips to help you address a particular sales problem. Here are 12 tips to help you with this, 10 techniques to help you with that, and for the particularly ambitious reader, 15 ways to help you with the other thing.
I like to picture all these individual pieces of advice to be sales calories. If you are consuming too many sales calories per day then you risk becoming mentally overloaded, bloated and unable to move. Just like excessive food calories have to be burned off through activity so too do extra empty sales calories have to be burnt off through use. But there is just too much
I am not making judgments about the quality of the advice offered. Most of what I read each day are well-intentioned, often well-thought out pieces that provide a level of value for the reader. The problem is that often there are just too many of them. I recently read one article that was offering 15 tips to help the sales reader with one particular sales activity. The unintended message sent by the author was that none of individual pieces of advice being offered were that important since there were so many of them. After all, how likely was the sales reader to remember all, or any, of the 15 bits of sales advice on display? It is too big a bite for someone to swallow.
How then can we help the reader avoid consuming these empty sales calories? I have suggestions for both the sales blogger and the sales blog reader.
Advice for the bloggers:
Lighten the calorie load for the reader. For example, don’t lard your articles with 13 ways to improve your prospecting when what the reader really needs is 1, 2 or maybe 3 excellent suggestions that they can remember and put to immediate use. More is not better.
Advice for the reader:
Beginning on a Monday choose the one thing you glean from your daily reading that you think you could profitably put into practice with your selling. Write down that one thing each day. Just one small bite. Then each week on Friday at 5pm go through your list of the 5 best pieces of advice you collected during the week. Pick the single best tip you want to actually put into practice and then use it religiously the following week in your phone calls, sales calls, presentations, etc. See if it works. If it does, keep using it and make it an integral part of your daily sales practice. Whatever it is, just take one new thing and try it out. Then, repeat, week after week.
Lastly, take the weekend off from the blogs and forums and groups. Give yourself a break. Instead of absorbing more information, think about the implementation of the one new skill you are going to put into practice the next week.
Andy Paul is author of the award-winning book, Zero-Time Selling: 10 Essential Steps to Accelerate Every Company’s Sales. A sought-after speaker and business coach, Andy conducts workshops and consults with sales teams of all sizes to teach them how to use responsiveness, speed and intelligent processes to increase sales. Enjoy what you just read? Sign up for our regular digest of valuable Zero-Time Selling sales tips and strategies, “Selling with Maximum Impact.”
© Andy Paul 2013