A few weeks ago, I met with a member of our new business development team who had been on the job for a week or so. A few days before the meeting, I started jotting down notes about the message I wanted to convey and the points I wanted to make. These notes are the basis for my column this month.
There were seven points I wanted to stress to help the new team member be successful in our organization. Since my notes were a little cryptic, I will not only list them but expand on what they mean.
1. 900. My belief is that everyone has 15 minutes, or 900 seconds, of extra time during the day. Nine-hundred seconds where they have nothing to do; 900 seconds of basically free time.
For me, you need to take advantage of those 900 seconds and get better at something every day. It doesn’t matter if it’s gaining better computer skills or becoming a better presenter, just as long as you get better at something every day.
2. A new best friend. This was not only easy for me, but it’s essential. You need to make LinkedIn your new best friend. Since LinkedIn will be your new best friend, you need to spend time with it and get to know it. You need to understand the value of the tool and the power it has.
I truly believe if you aren’t using LinkedIn every day as a business tool, you are not as successful, efficient or smart as you could be.
3. Uncover hidden jewels. No, this isn’t about “Storage Wars.” (Even though I love that show, it isn’t what I’m referring to.) Every company has hidden jewels.
The question is: Where are they located? Where is that great proposal hiding? Who can fill you in on the company history, and who has the best value proposition that will help me sell our products and services and turn prospects into clients?
4. Get off to a quick start. I truly believe that if you get off to a quick start in the morning, you’ll accomplish more during the day. If you get off to a quick start prior to 8:30 a.m., this will be a springboard for a successful day.
People tend to feel good about themselves if they make things happen as soon as their day starts.
5. Each “no” gets you closer to a “yes.” Sales is a numbers game. Every time you get a no, even though it might hurt or upset you, it will get you that much closer to a yes and a new client.
6. Be a creature of habit. Without question, I am a creature of habit. I get in to the office and leave at the same time almost every day. I eat oatmeal at the same time, and I check the revenue of the company as soon as I arrive. The quicker you get into a routine, the better off you will be.
If you are in new business development, set aside the same time in the morning and afternoon to call prospects. Call your friends back at lunchtime when it might not be the most productive time.
7. You’re only alone if you want to be. This point is very important — especially if, like our new team member, you work at home. It’s very easy to bury yourself in your job and try to figure everything out yourself. Don’t do that. Stay connected to your office.
When your technology isn’t working perfectly, don’t try to fix it yourself. Call your IT department. When you’re responding to a proposal, if you have writer’s block, call a team member. Don’t struggle for hours. Remember, time is money.
Incidentally, the reason I had seven points was not that I couldn’t think of another few. My belief is that there are too many top 10 lists, and a top seven list would have a better chance to resonate with our new team member.
Merrill Dubrow is president and CEO of M/A/R/C Research, located in Dallas. The company is one of the top 25 market research companies in the U.S. Dubrow is a sought-after speaker and has been writing a blog for more than four years. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (972) 983-0416.