If Your Days Seem Chaotic, Try This…
On a recent horseback-riding trip across the Andes Mountains in Peru, I stopped at this small stand out in the middle of no-where. The lady was selling homemade jams.
She spoke no English but she made it clear she wanted me to taste all of her offerings. I tasted guava, papaya, mango, passion fruit and pineapple. Yum. My mouth watered thinking of how great each of these jams would be on my morning toast.
But I had limited space in my luggage, so I had to choose which one or two would go home with me.
Many of us struggle with the same dilemma in sales … too many choices.
Should I drive across town to call on a potential customer or would my time be better spent dialing up a recent lead? Or should I get on a plane tomorrow and visit the customer who my product would be perfect for even though he is currently buying from my competitor? Or should I just work later and make sales calls to all of these?
These types of questions used to drive me crazy. But one weekend, things changed.
And it was all because of a simple, but powerful word.
Let me explain.
For years, I was exhausted at the end of each day. I was never 100% sure which sales opportunities I should go after, so I pursued as many as I could.
I fell into bed each night wondering why I didn’t close more sales and, by the end of the week, I was flat our tired.
But on Monday, I would start the same way … make a list of opportunities and then prioritize them A, B or C based on a gut feel. And, by the end of the week, after long days, I would have visited or called A, B and C priorities.
The problem was I thought all the potential customers were important. And, I was afraid that if I didn’t pursue every lead, I might miss the big one.
This is when I figured out what I REALLY needed.
One weekend, after being totally exhausted with little sales to show for it, I started playing with an idea. I needed a process – something that would make it clear where I needed to focus my time for the biggest payoff.
Here’s what happened next.
It hit me. The A, B, C priority approach by itself wasn’t working. I began to identify the keys to making the biggest money in the least amount of time. Things like barriers to entry in a market or how I measured up to my competitors. And I realized I hadn’t been thinking in an analytical way about where and with whom I spent my time.
As a result, OBOY was born and things changed for me big time.
This simple four-step process has made me a ton of money.
When I started looking at my sales efforts through OBOY, my income doubled and I worked fewer hours. I became more energized and focused with customers.
And that, my dear friends, leads to more money and more time to enjoy it.
If your days seem chaotic, this simple little OBOY process will free up time and drive up income. Really!
Let me show you how it works. Draw four columns on a blank sheet of paper and label each column like this:
1. Fill in the Opportunities column.
List in this column all the sales opportunities you can think of. This includes cold calling possibilities, warm leads, existing customers and customers that you have just acquired.
2. List any Barrier that would prevent you from pursuing each opportunity.
Try to think of anything that would make it difficult for you to capture this customer, things like a competitor is already well established, margins are too low, or its a small buyer that is remotely located and therefore difficult to visit frequently.
After you have listed all the barriers, go back and rank each one —low, medium or high. If the barrier doesn’t prevent you from easily pursuing the opportunity (for example, if it requires no special equipment or skills), it is ranked low.
If the opportunity requires a high level of expertise or a very special product, the barrier would be ranked as high. A medium rating would apply to a barrier that could be addressed with effort although it might take time. For example: a required qualification process that would take weeks would be rated medium.
3. Figure out how you can overcome each barrier
Give no thought to whether you can actually implement the proposed solution or whether you should. Doing so will restrict your thinking and cause you to possibly miss a solution that may make an opportunity available to you. Remember, you are only identifying ways to solve the barrier issue, not whether it is worthwhile to do such.
4. List the financial reward you might reap if you successfully pursued each opportunity.
This last step is perhaps the most critical of the process. In this column, you take a hard look at what kind of financial reward you might reap if you address the barriers with the options and realize the opportunity.
Often you will discover that it makes sense to go after opportunities with high barriers, because there are few competitors. Hence, they yield higher profit margins or greater sales.
The opposite is also true. You may find that the low barrier opportunities that are easy to access (and tempting to pursue) are populated with lots of competitors. Hence, they result in very little profit or minimum sales being realized.
Once you have completed the table, look at it as a whole and consider what you need based on where you currently find yourself. For example, if you want to make money fast, you want to look for the high yield opportunities that do not require much time, but perhaps require just the kind of special service or product you currently are selling.
If you are looking to build large volume to up your bonus, and you have the products or services that satisfy a low barrier to entry scenario, then a low yield opportunity might be the best place to focus your efforts.
A completed OBOY table allows you to clearly identify where you should focus your time (and your energy) at a particular point in time. Isn’t that sweet! And doing this will determine whether you enjoy long-lasting success. So say “oboy”, and start using this tool right now.