Before we get to the suggestions to improve productivity, let’s make sure you’re not confusing activity with productivity. Many individuals track their activity, and conclude that because they’ve been in meetings, written proposals, driven all over town, returned dozens of calls, set 1st time appointments, attended Chamber of Commerce events, etc, that they are and have been productive. Not necessarily so.
One of my mentor’s years ago used a rather folksy tale to explain his version of “productivity.” He began by explaining how our wives, partners, significant others, etc., view our days productivity. His presentation was to a group of us, all commission salesmen, and it applies to business owners, entrepreneurs, and salespeople of all strips. Here’s his edited story,
“ Here’s what counts in your lives, ‘money in mama’s checkbook.’ She doesn’t care about ANYTHING else (meetings, pending applications, trips, trainings, new products, contests, whatever … ALL that matters is money in her checkbook! The only way money will ever get into her checkbook is when you spend time, ‘face-to-face’ ‘belly-to-belly’ with a real prospect. A real prospect is one who you can state factually is:
Once you’ve completed the presentation, answered any objections, written the order, collected the money and mailed it to the home office you’re half way there. Follow up with the home office and when and only when the money is mailed, ACH’d, direct deposited, etc into your families Joint checking account and it shows up in your online banking statement as “available funds” do you have ‘money in mama’s bank account’ and you can brag about it to her … that’s all that matters … everything else is noise!”
That’s productivity. You need not discuss this with your boss, sales manager, etc … they too understand the process and that’s all they are looking for, in their mind everything else is an excuse.
So how do you improve your businesses productivity:
1. Re-define activity (you might as well eliminate it and replace it with productivity)
2. Stop kidding yourself (I didn’t want to hurt your feelings by using the word lying to yourself)
3. Only count “money in mama’s checkbook”
Make 2014 a breakout year … “face-to-face” “belly-to-belly” is all that will get you there, and your productivity will increase I guarantee it!