Head of Her Class
B—stands for “Be proactive.” Don’t wait for something to happen. Take action every day. Follow up with all your best prospects within 24 hours. Stay in touch with your current clients on a regular basis, once a month or more. Call with the attitude of ‘What can I do to help you,’ not ‘What can I sell you.’ Constantly look for new opportunities. The wonderful thing about the promotional products business is that the sky is the limit. Just about every company can use your help. Decide whom you want to pursue and learn as much as possible about their business and challenges. Then, develop a strategy for getting your foot in the door of those companies.
C—stands for “Commitment.” Be committed to being the best you can be. That means get as much education as possible. Surround yourself with positive role models. Join industry organizations and never stop learning. And of course, be committed to your clients and prospects. Show them how much you care by the little things you do, such as providing order tracking and status updates and giving them some free marketing tips. You need to be doing something to differentiate yourself from the competition.
PM: One of your mantras is “work smarter, not harder.” Exactly how can distributors accomplish this?
RM: I’m a big believer in the 80/20 principle. Twenty percent of your clients are responsible for 80 percent of your income. Focus most of your time and efforts on the top 20 percent. Treat them better, reward them, stay in touch more often and watch your business grow.
Consistently evaluate how you are spending your time. Be willing to let go of low profit activities and clients.
The key to working smarter is not time management. Trying to do more in less time won’t work. The key to working smarter is concentrating on doing more of the right things, those high-payoff activities that reap the most rewards. Concentrate on the things in your business you’re naturally good at and love doing. Passion for your work and success go hand in hand.