I look at the office clock. It says 10:47 PM. Yep, you read that right…PM. Why so late at the office? Well, tomorrow I’m going on vacation.
I am sure you have experienced this phenomenon. The promise of a few days off with the family at the beach or the mountains, or whatever travel destination is near and dear to you brings one thing — a TON of preparation and some anxiety about being gone.
As your find yourself deep in the preparation for this vacation, do you wonder if all the work you’re doing to get your business in order is worth it? During your last vacation did you find your mind drifting to what was going on at the office? Did your clients call and need you? Did you lose a new business opportunity because you were out of the loop?
Or maybe you thought to yourself, “If I worked this hard every week, how far along in my sales career might I have progressed with the kind of focus, drive, and determination that preparing for an extended period off of work requires?” By the way, “extended period” is defined as a week. Media sellers usually cannot fathom taking a TWO-WEEK vacation.
We know that medical professionals advise workaholics, such as those one finds in media sales, that time away is a chance to relax, recharge, ponder, and reflect. It is healthy for us to be away. So use what you learn from preparing for a vacation to make you better the other 51 weeks of the year.
Consider the following and see if these ideas can make your next vacation a real vacation and not a week of anguish wondering what the heck is going on at the office:
- Contact all of your most important accounts a week or two before your vacation and revisit the latest needs analysis you conducted with them. What has changed or moved up or down the list of urgent and important issues that you need to be in the loop on? This way you can feel comfortable that you have made a list of the concerns and opportunities they are facing, and together you have agreed to an assignment and can plan to craft a list of possible solutions and timelines.
- Make sure you have touched all of the pertinent opportunities in your sales funnel and have next steps and the appropriate activities on the calendar to move the pipeline forward. In doing this, even though you will be gone for a week, you will hit the ground running the first day of the week you return, because you had laid a good plan down before departing for Cabo.
- Make sure you have a back-up who you know and trust. Your boss will certainly be willing to assist, if available, but don’t leave it up to chance. They may be slammed when your account needs assistance with a late change in copy or production. Work with a peer you respect because you know how they treat their clients. At some point in time they will want a few days off as well.
- Communicate. Communicate to your clients that you will be out, and that you want to make sure they know how to move forward in your absence. Share with them all the important contact names, e-mails, and telephone numbers for those at the operation who can step in for you seamlessly to make sure their needs are taken care of. Nothing can make a client more upset then sending you an urgent e-mail and getting the dreaded — and might I say unexpected — out-of-office reply.
- Finally, analyze your performance the week of your vacation preparation. As mentioned earlier, sale reps have communicated to me that they are amazed at just how much they get done with they have the deadline of an impending vacation. Why can’t you have that same intensity and focus every day you come to work? The vacation forces you to move, to not procrastinate, to overcome any call reluctance you may have during a regular day because you don’t have time to do it tomorrow or next week.
I will also posit that all of the above, the preparation, notes, activities, and details of key account sales calls can be optimized when you engage in a quality CRM (contact relationship management) tool. A quality, media-focused provider like Efficio will give you a cloud-based place to keep all key client contacts, account, activities, and opportunity summaries that you can easily communicate with your trusted back up, and of course, that will be accessible to you if you just can’t stay away the entire week.
Follow some of the above suggestions and discover that time away can certainly be more relaxing and possibly more productive if you attack every day like the last day in the office before vacation.
Need help figuring out whether to get rid of an account before you head off to the beach?