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  • Outside Sales & GTD

    I cover half the state of Florida in my outside sales job. I wanted some feedback on how my system can be tweaked.
    When I am at my desk in my home (office) and I am preparing a (large) list of companies I would like to prospect or cold call, I put those companies in a notebook with the name of the city at the top of the page. As I make my calls and set an appointment, that appointment goes into my Blackberry calendar. I set up a contact sheet that goes into my Circa binder as a "project". From there if that deal is moving through the process, it will show up on my various @calls, @waiting for,@desk/computer lists. WHen it becomes a "true" deal with paperwork associated, I set up a file folder with the company name / city on the label.

    My biggest issue is handling the lists of cold calls within the GTD system. I don't want to put all these prospecting calls in my @calls list do I??? That would be a huge list.

    Any suggestions would be appreciated!!

  • #2
    Do you visit particular cities or counties on predefined dates and schedule as many clients in as possible, or do you go down a list of clients (sorted by some sort of profit estimation) and schedule them in and then travel as needed?

    Either way, a checklist might be of value. If it's geographic, you could have checklists such as "South of Disneyworld" and "Jacksonville." If it's revenue based, you could have a list for each of your 10 top prospects (e.g. "Acme"), with companies geographically close to that customer's location.

    Then, your NA would be "Spend 1 Hour Calling Jacksonville List for Potential July 12 Trip" for the geographically-oriented list or "Call top ten prospects" or "Call Acme List for July 11" for the prospect-oriented list. Either way, anybody you can't reach and leave a voicemail generates a W/F with a date to call back if you haven't heard from them by then.

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    • #3
      Thanks Chicagoan

      I'm all over the state each week. If I choose to work let's say Jax next Wed & Thursday, I will cold call by phone this week, set up appointments etc. My concern with putting all msgs I left on my W/F list is that the list may get too big. This stuff drives me crazy!!
      Some times I spend soooo much time trying to figure out systems and tools that I never get things done!

      Comment


      • #4
        Call list contexts

        I would recommend breaking up your call list into sub-lists where the context is the road trip itself. Thus if you are going to Jacksonville next Wed/Thu that trip will be in your calendar; you should have a @Jacksonville tab in your Circa notebook identifying the prospect sheets, filed in alpha (by whatever you are comfortable with: contact name, company name, etc.), and your @Waiting for folder should have your list of @Jacksonville contacts that you have not yet connected with (i.e. don't have a prospect sheet).

        Now, when you need to call someone on the phone to set an appointment, all of those potential contacts are in one place, @Waiting for/@Jacksonville. If one of them calls you back regarding the appointment, you look for them in @WF/@J first, if they are not there, then @Jacksonville tab in the Circa.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by gator View Post
          My biggest issue is handling the lists of cold calls within the GTD system. I don't want to put all these prospecting calls in my @calls list do I??? That would be a huge list.
          My advice/GTD hack would be to keep a project support folder (or Circa section) for each trip. Use the project support folder (Circa section) to gather all the information you need for a particular region, location. Each project support folder would contain a list of businesses to call.

          Then all you need to put on your @phone list would be: "spend 30 minutes calling numbers on Jax call list." You could mark the results of each phone call directly on the call list(s). Then, when you need to review everything related to the Jax trip it's all in one place, rather than scattered around your GTD lists. Successful leads could be transferred to new list, highlighted, etc. - whatever your best method is.

          If you need a reminder on your waiting/for list, then you could simply write, "waiting for responses from several Jax companies (see list)."

          Support folders could also be used to keep your schedules, notes, etc. for each trip.

          I find GTD ideal at organizing all my work stuff into a clear and coherent system - at funneling a whole bunch of different projects into the most efficient workflow. But if there's a particular project that has a big call or email list, then I generally work from within the project support material, limiting my GTD reminder to a single line ("make calls on list x").

          My rule of thumb: 1) Use a separate list if you need to track a whole bunch of calls, emails, contacts related to a particular project. I.e., anytime you need the information in one place. 2) Use the @phone list to organize all those pesky, random, unsystematic calls.

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          • #6
            planner size

            This may not relate to your situation, but I am an outside sales rep as well. My question may be simple, but I cannot seem to make up my mind. What size binder do you use? I am a Franklin Covey diehard, but eager to learn new ways of keeping organized. I continually switch from Classic to Monarch planners. Some days I am happy with the Classic, then I switch back to Monarch. Here is my dilemma...I like the portability of the Classic planner, but the reality of carrying 8 1/2 x 11 sheets of paper pushes me back to Monarch. The irony is when I make presentations or cold calls, I will bring in a letter sized porfolio to carry brochures, quotes, etc. Sometimes I carry both with me and duplicate "most" entries ( I know thats sad!).
            Anyone have similiar "planner" issues? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

            KC

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            • #7
              Thanks

              Thanks for all the responses, I now have some great ideas to try. As far as planner size, I use a ltr size circa zip folio. Love Circa / Levenger products, and I have tried evry type and size out therer. Letter size is big, but it works for me!

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              • #8
                Mandalu

                Hi,
                Would you recommend keeping one "big" notebook with tabs for each city and use that as my call list "book" or maybe keep a cheap notepad in each city / market folder with my call lists on it?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by gator View Post
                  Hi,
                  Would you recommend keeping one "big" notebook with tabs for each city and use that as my call list "book" or maybe keep a cheap notepad in each city / market folder with my call lists on it?
                  Both of these sound like great options - either one would work fine.

                  I think the key here is to create clear barriers within project support material. In other words, don't have support material for three different cities jumbled together in the same repository (notebook, folder, binder, tab section, etc.).

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