Do You Need Another Vacation?

“No one needs a vacation more than the person who just returned from vacation.” — Elbert Hubbard (American author and artist)

There’s a lot of truth to Hubbard’s quip. Returning to the grind is tough. Hopefully you unplugged for a week or two, then bam, you’re back at it. Why are vacations so short?

You may feel overwhelmed with your inbox and underwhelmed with your pipeline. Although you were on vacation, your sales quota was not. Optimistically, your pipeline will be full before vacation. If not, it’s time to ramp up your efforts and kick off the second half of the year.

Here are five ideas to minimize stress and maximize performance:

Thoroughly Purge Your Pipeline

Ruthlessly review your pipeline. Those deals you pretend are still alive are dead. I call this the Weekend at Bernie’s review. Bernie died a while ago; quit pretending he’s alive. This only provides an inflated sense of worth in your pipeline. Deceptively inflated pipelines lead to missed quotas and inactive sellers. Purge the pipe.

Craft Your Message

Ensure your sales messaging is hyper-relevant to the buyer’s situation. A compelling message opens the prospect’s door and mind. Does your current message address these three questions?

  • What critical problems are your prospects experiencing? The number-one reason decision makers meet with sellers is to solve problems. Discuss this question with your team and highlight the three common problems every prospect faces.
  • What potential outcomes will the prospect experience in partnering with you? Be specific. What will they gain? It should be detailed and dollarized. Tying your outcomes to numbers makes it tangible.
  • Why should they act now? This question establishes urgency. If there is no compelling reason to act now, prospects will wait. What kind of pressure is the customer experiencing?
Focus on High-value Prospects

 Do your top ten prospects fit the profile for good business? Time is the currency you invest. Invest it wisely. As you return from vacation fully recharged and motivated, ensure you pursue the right business. Sometimes our desire to act overpowers the discipline to be strategic. Temper your excitement with practicality. Focus on the right business. Spray and pray is not a strategy.

Protect High-value Customers

 Pursue your top ten existing customers. Remember, your best customers are the competition’s best prospects. Initiate a campaign to create more value. Give the customer more than they expected. In Value-Added Selling, we call this tinkering. Conduct a tinkering sales call to uncover new ways to add value. During this meeting, ask the customer the following questions:

  • What would you change, enhance, or improve about our current solution?
  • How can we make it easier to do business with our company?
  • What do you dislike doing that we can do for you?
  • What would you like to see from suppliers that is not currently available?
  • What is missing from our current solution?
Focus on Small Wins

You DON’T need to finish everything in one day. Realize that it’ll take time to generate momentum. Adopt a small-wins approach and focus on progress, not perfection. Begin by creating your list, then cut your list in thirds and make progress. It’s easier to complete a 10-item list three times than a 30-item list once. Start small and you’ll finish fast.

Welcome back from vacation. I hope you are recharged and ready to go. I hope you enjoyed your time with those people that mean the most to you. I hope you feel grateful for the experience. And finally, I hope you spent way too much money so you’re even more motivated to work harder!

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