Marie Kondo, self-proclaimed queen of the phrase “does it spark joy?“ recently told the press that she has more or less abandoned her organizational missives due to the fact that her three children are now taking up all her time and she has no time to stay organized. She says that she’d rather spend time with her kids than worry about tidying up.
I find these statements to be perplexing as, IMHO, organization usually breeds efficiency. Right? My Mom always taught me that it was just as easy to put something in the right place the first time, rather than just lay it anywhere and have to pick it up again and put it where it belongs. If you start with a good plan, then you are that much ahead!
There – I just saved you 30 seconds!
This news got me thinking about being an organized sales person – time-wise, research-wise, and efficiency-wise. Are you doing a lack-luster job at, or have you abandoned your sales duties entirely because you are all over the place, pulled in many directions, with no organization, plan or strategy? Are you saying you are so busy that you don’t have time to do what you were hired to do? No wonder you can’t spark joy!
Sales is fun! Sales is creative! Sales is challenging! When you win a contract, you are immensely filled with joy. Planning, creating, looking for the next big group or company, these should all spark joy!
In order to bring back those “lovin’ feelings” – let’s talk about sales organization.
"A place for everything, everything in it's place." Benjamin Franklin
Whenever I take on a new task, I start a notebook. It has a cover, organizational tabs, and sometimes pockets for me to store papers. There is something about having a book with all my notes, pictures, ideas, contracts, and drawings inside that I can leaf through repeatedly. Don’t be misled, I also keep everything in digital file folders, but there is just something about the tactile version that sparks joy for me. Case in point: Charles and my upcoming wedding in July. Our wedding notebook includes a critical path that is also entered on my digital calendar and the notebook includes a budget, guest list, and task check list. It’s just my thing.
Hotel sales organization ranks right up there in importance with our wedding. Now – I am not encouraging you to have a notebook for each group or company, but what I am encouraging is a critical path and plan…. a document that outlines strategy and steps to success. In other words, a Sales & Marketing Plan (notebook)! No successful sales department can exist without a plan. Sitting at your desk, waiting for the phone to ring will not bring you success…. nor will it spark joy.
The Joy of Sales involves creating a plan and then making it happen! Do you have a formal plan? Do you have an informal plan? Or, are you just shooting from the hip?
Here are a few organizational tips:
- Time-wise: Carve out at least 1-2 hours, 2 days a week to do dedicated outside sales calls. Make sure you have your packets, know where you are going and what potential companies are in the target neighborhood.
- Research-wise: Carve out at least 1 hour per day, 5 days a week for research and telephone prospecting. Try to set up appointments for your outside sales calls.
- Efficiency-wise: Plan out all your other responsibilities. Map out a strategy for what you need to accomplish each day of the week….. not to the minutia, but, for example, if you do payroll on Mondays, and direct bills on Wednesdays, put those tasks on your calendar! Once you are done with the other tasks for that day, your phones are covered, your phone voice mail greeting is set, and the staff knows where you will be and for how long you will be gone – then GET OUT!
Getting into a weekly rhythm will make the process less like an interruption or special event and more like routine. The more you get out of the hotel and look for business, the more you will look forward to these times to grow your skills while simultaneously increasing business for the hotel. A little Vitamin D never hurt anyone!
Happy sparking joy!