By Colin Wilson
Key Business Advisors Director
These days, most – if not all – people are constantly busy, struggling to manage their time effectively to achieve daily goals. Our lives seem to be filled with tasks on our to-do lists both at home and at work, perhaps even more so for business owners and managers. However, how many of those tasks really belong in your to-do list?
Accomplishing all tasks you set out to do on a certain day does not necessarily mean high productivity or guarantee massive sales results, particularly if most of the tasks in your mile-long to-do list do not take you closer to your targets in the shortest amount of time.
Real efficiency and productivity mean focusing on completing only the tasks which really matter when it to comes to achieving your sales, business and personal goals. Make sure the following five tasks (in no particular order) are in your to-do list if you want to generate more sales:
1. Make proactive calls.
Whether you’re calling a new contact to find out more about them and introduce yourself and your products/services, or an existing client to check if there are further opportunities for you or simply to touch base, you need to set aside time and connect with your contacts regularly. The frequency and length of time you have to allocate for this task would depend on your business needs, but regularity is a must.
2. Maximise the time you spend in networking events.
With a host of networking events at any given time, you need to choose a few that are most relevant to you and your business. Most people do not like the idea of networking, but it’s all about mindset. You might find networking becomes a lot easier if you keep in mind that the goal is to find out how you can help other people with what you and your business offer.
3. Harness the power of social media.
Social media is handy when it comes to getting to know your target market – plus it is low cost, if not largely free. When used effectively, social media can give you valuable insights into your potential and existing customers’ thoughts, needs and wants, as well as allow them to get to know you and be emotionally involved with your business. If you’re not social media-savvy, then don’t be afraid to ask for help from someone who is – perhaps even someone you’ve met at an actual networking event.
4. Get testimonials from clients and write effective case studies.
We are all influenced in one way or another by people around us. When people hear or read something about what you and your business have done for your customers, who may be their family, friends or colleagues, then chances are they will have you in mind when they need the products or services that you offer. However, researchers have found that people tend to talk about negative experiences more than positive ones, so don’t leave it up to your customers when to tell others about how happy they are with your store or your business. Get their testimonials and write case studies of your happiest clients. Testimonials and case studies are valuable tools which can help you secure new customers or clients.
5. Commit to further training and development for you and your staff.
Continued learning and development are critical to personal and business growth, so make sure you have a solid training and development plan for your staff. With the end of the 2012-2013 financial year on the horizon, now is a good time to invest in training and claim it on your tax.
At first glance, these tasks may seem simple, but most people don’t find them easy. However, they must be done to generate more sales, increase profit and ensure your business remains strong. Because we practice what we preach, you can be sure that these tasks are on the to-do lists of our own team members, who are collaborating with each other to make it happen. Have you reviewed your to-do lists lately, and are you willing to commit to accomplishing the tasks above, if you haven’t already?