Any of you who know me or who have read this blog know that I am a big proponent of a life/work balance. I will always advocate that you don’t work too hard and that you give yourself plenty of time outside of work to enjoy your friends, families and things that make you happy. So please don’t be surprised by this week’s topic, which is the hours that you keep and your accessibility.
My fellow blogger Bill Farquharson and I conduct several Webinars each month on a variety of sales issues, all with a focus on helping print salespeople become more successful. Recently, I was tasked with reaching out to some of our attendees to ask them a series of questions about what they would like for us to offer in next year’s series of Webinars. I sat down here in Chicago at 3 p.m. one day to make calls. So I was calling all times zones—Eastern (one hour ahead), Central (my time zone) Mountain and Pacific (one and two hours behind me, respectively).
Let me just say that I was pretty astounded by my success rate at getting anyone on the phone. In 15 calls, I reached 2 people. For those I did not reach, I was almost always told, “She/he has left for the day.” or “She/he is not in.” Once I was asked if someone else could help me. Not ONCE was I offered to be transferred to a cell phone. Each time I was dumped into voice mail.
So what is the problem, you ask?WHAT IF I HAD BEEN A CUSTOMER?
Please understand that I am not saying that you have to put in 16 hour days in order to take good care of your customers. I am not saying that.
What I am saying, however, is that you might want to consider taking a look at how your company handles phone calls, and reconsider things from the customer’s point of view. Because I know that if I am raring to place an order and I don’t get to speak to someone when I need to, I will move on to the next company on my list until I get my questions answered and feel comfortable with the transaction.
So what should you do? Consider having your calls automatically forwarded to your cell phone when you are not in. Or, consider having the person who answers your phone dig a little to discover how the caller can be helped in your absence.
And while we’re on the subject, I’m just going to say it...If you are not CRUSHING your sales goal, you should be working until AT LEAST 5:00 each day. It is cool to head out early once in a while to get nine in before dark or stop off to buy your wife some flowers on the way home, but really folks, hard work results in higher sales. Cutting out early should only be for those of you who are beating goal by 120%.
I don’t expect this to be my most popular post by a long shot, but I am very curious to hear what you all have to say about this. Come on...Let me have it!Need leads of your own? Check out Kelly’s Webinar this Wednesday Oct. 27, called, “Hot Markets.” Along with fellow PI blogger Bill Farquharson, Kelly will deliver the identity of three industries that you need to know about. Go to http://web.me.com/aspireforbill/Aspire_For/PI_Hot_Markets_Webinar.html for details.