Three activities that will see your sales thrive

You can list many activities on your daily to-do list, but I submit that they really boil down to just three activities to thrive in sales: monitor-facing, customer-facing or “air”-facing

“What’s in your cup?” a common advert inquires.

“What’s in your day?” I usually pose to participants in my workshop. “What activities would I see if I spent my day with you?”

A litany of activities usually follows to demonstrate how busy a salesperson’s day is. Making calls, schedule sales activities, walking, planning, generate leads, source referrals, prepare sales action plans, develop and maintain a customer database, develop and make presentations of company products and services to current and potential clients, monitor and report on sales activities and on and on the laundry list continues.

“Hogwash!” I say. “Absolutely rubbish! An attempt to camouflage it all. And even then it is a pathetic disguise.”

Listen to the audio version now or download (right click or click the ellipsis, the three dots) and listen later

3 activities to thrive in sales

As a salesperson you can list many activities on your daily to-do list, but let’s cut to the chase — I submit that they really boil down to just three: monitor-facing, customer-facing or “air”-facing. And your success hinges on how you allocate time to each. You may have seen the sticker that says: football is life; the rest is just details. Well, in our case, the activities of a salesperson fall into three: customer- facing, monitor-facing or “air’-facing — the rest is just details. And we all know which one pays. Now then, with all the distractions (details) gone, let’s look at these three activities beyond their face value.

Air facing

What I call air-facing is what the average salesperson loves to do — travel to occupy her time. She will justify four hours of her day as spent moving from one prospect to another; after all what else was she to do when the only two appointments in her day were at Embakasi and Westlands?(20 km apart). 

And so the four hours are allocated to travelling on foot, by matatu, taxi or even company car. On the surface this is logical. Scratch a bit lower and another picture emerges — poor planning usually emanating from a streak of laziness.

It’s too much work to continually prospect; it will mean facing six even seven prospects in a day in one general area. It’s so much easier to allocate hours in my day facing the cool air blowing into the vehicle as I cut across town to see this other prospect. And you are right. It is. Easier that is.

Three Activities to thrive in sales

Monitor-Facing. Three activities to thrive in sales

Monitor-facing is almost a decade old but has gained currency exponentially.  What with Facebook, emails, Twitter and a billion other websites? And so the salesperson hides behind the monitor “doing sales reports” and “responding to emails”. Most reports are standard Excel sheets one need only populate. Any sales manager or salesperson will tell you that the one thing salespeople hate doing is reports. They submit them late, incorrectly done and even then after many reminders week in week out.

It is the rare salesperson who submits genuine, correctly completed reports on time. Even successful salespeople. One wonders then what this lengthy time spent facing the monitor is all about.

Research, though a distant second, is another favourite excuse. In all probability, they will start the day on the Web, browse on the phone in between meetings, en route home, if not at home itself, and after work. Why not research then? This column has stated before and I wish to reiterate. Sales isn’t a desk job. With a desk job, work comes to you; with sales, you look for it. And it qualifies as work when you are facing the customer or prospect.

Customer-Facing

Customer-facing is where you get to present your product, get referrals, and a feel of the industry you are in. You are paid for facing the prospect, presenting and closingYour sales manager would be delighted to deal with the fact that you see, say six people daily and don’t close a deal, than seeing one or two at best. With the former, there are likely more objective issues to deal with than the latter. The successful salesperson thrives on facing the prospect. He eats, lives and breathes this. It’s his bread and butter. A significant portion of his time is spent here. Learn from the hawker whom many look down upon.

There are only three activities to thrive in sales: customer-facing, monitor-facing or “air’-facing — the rest are just details.


Check out our short courses and other services here. If you would like to have your sales team sell more, we can help. In order for us to do so we propose a free consultation meeting or a call. If in agreement please complete the form below and we will get in touch after receiving your details, none of which will be public. Thank you.

Views – 518

About Author

Related posts

Adapt your selling to Coronavirus uncertainty

“Even in Coronavirus uncertainty, If business unfolded In real life as it does on Microsoft Excel, then everyone would be in business.” Planning is a science. Implementation is an art. This was true ‘BC’ (Before Corona) and is truer in these times of uncertainty we are in. Unfortunately, most sellers interpret uncertainty to mean, “Why

Read More

Exploit sales pipeline management system

Sales pipeline management systems and sales administrators serve the institution, not the individual; they help in making management, not sales decisions. Sales pipeline management is a salesperson’s nemesis or ally. Pipeline management refers to a system that tracks every sale, at every stage, from initial contact with prospective buyer, all the way to its completion

Read More

Continual prospecting is key to successful selling

Continual prospecting is key to success. This eternal search can take many shapes.  A fan of this column says they are required to spend 60% of their selling time, prospecting. If you don’t prospect you die. Not in the literal sense but the professional one. Prospecting is the never-ending search for potential buyers for your product or

Read More
Stay ahead in a rapidly changing world with Lend Me Your Ears. It’s Free! Most sales newsletters offer tips on “What” to do. But, rarely do they provide insight on exactly “How” to do it. Without the “How” newsletters are a waste of time.