Are You Guilty of Sales Avoidance?

I’ve been reading articles lately about all the things one can do to reduce business expenses in this weak economy.  Everything from saving a .45 cent stamp by paying your bills on-line to re-negotiating your long distance phone rates.  It got me to thinking about my fellow sales professionals who might see this as the perfect excuse to get distracted by these types of activities.

So here’s a personal confession.  I can get distracted with the best of them.  I mean, there are mornings when the last thing I want to do is talk to my customers.  I have a ton of “reasons” all of which sound totally sane as I’m waking up and before my morning latte has kicked in.  I organize my desk, update Quicken, open mail and generally avoid getting engaged with humanity – sales avoidance!  Sound familiar?  It’s called sales avoidance.

The truth is that is that this is a totally human reaction and one that we all need to face up to.  The reality is that as a sales professional there is nothing more important than moving the sales process forward with our clients.  So see your homework assignments (below) and use them on those days when you need to get in contact with your clients but aren’t ready to actually talk to anyone yet (my wife and my Yorkshire Terrier wisely avoid me for the first hour after I wake up).

Some Homework

Try logging into e-mail first.  Jump on those client e-mails and get your juices flowing.  Go after the easy stuff first and work your way up to the more challenging responses.  Next go and empty those voice mail boxes (I have two) and add callbacks to your favorite contact tracking tool (Outlook, Google Calendar, Act!, Salesforce.com, etc.).  Are you feeling a little better now?  Perhaps you are ready now to pick up the phone and set that next meeting, follow up on that purchase order or head out the door and find that next new customer?

Don’t get me wrong.  It’s cool to save a few cents on stamps and long distance but the reality is that as sales professionals we are in charge of the big bucks.  As Tom Cruise’ character points out in the movie Jerry McGuire – “Follow the Money!”  To this I would add “Follow the BIG money.”

Happy Selling!