Successful salesmen and saleswomen all have one thing in common. A process. One that they follow each and every time. Very busy salespeople can get a bit overwhelmed however, and can lose track of important details. Getting every detail down in a trusted system is imperative in sales. I know, as I have been in sales in the banking industry for 10 years.It can get overwhelming when you get 5 or 6 complex files all going at once, each with their nuances, time lines and expectations. Was Mr. Jones the one that wanted the fixed rate over 25 years? Or was that Mr. Samuels? Did I order that appraisal? When? When am I getting it back? I’ve have made all the mistakes. I have woken up in the middle of the night thinking that I had forgotten to fund a mortgage. I never have(luckily), but my brain was trying to remember all the details, and stressing me out.
Last year I moved into a new role that put me on the road a lot. I spent a lot of time schmoozing, taking people out for lunches, and I spent hours upon hours on the phone. I was missing lots of important details because I didn’t have a trusted system to get this into. My lack of a bomb proof system made keeping track of everything a nightmare. This is when I stumbled upon Getting Things Done. Slowly I have customized my GTD system to my work life. Switching over to Remember the Milk has streamlined my sales process, and helped me keep track of everything!
I wanted to share with you my client workflow.
1) I set up a new smart list with my client’s last name as the tag. I keep my work and personal projects separated by prefacing them with P- or W-. So, for Mr. Smith, my tag would be #smith, and I would save it as W-Smith. I put the purpose of the project as my first task. I get an approximate time line from them for when they expect the loan or mortgage to fund and tag this task with this due date. This task is like a master task that is only completed if the project/file is done.
2) All my projects have to have a running account of my conversations, rate guarantees, and general information. I use the RTM note feature and add all my notes to the primary task I mentioned above. Any new information is added as a new note, so that I can keep track of dates and times with it’s time stamp. I also put in their phone numbers and e-mail addresses for quick and easy access.
3) Every time I am waiting for the client to call me back, or waiting for some important information, I add a task and tag it with @waiting_for. That way I can search by my saved Smart List @waiting_for quickly to see all my clients and items that may be causing me delays. This is good for things like items that have been ordered, but you are waiting for.
4) Any e-mail that I need to reference later on, I forward using the hidden e-mail address that RTM gives you. In the subject line I put the gist of the email, tag it with the client’s last name, and if I need to action it, I tag it with @computer, @phone, etc…Otherwise it is not labelled with any action step.
5) One of the biggest parts of the sales process is not the sale! It is the Thank You, and Follow Up. When I set up each of my projects, right away I add two future tasks. The first is Thank You Card! I tag it as a Next Action(#na), so I remember to send it after the sale is complete. How many times have you gotten too busy, moved onto the next project/client and totally forgotten this step? Me too! Now, I don’t forget. Sweet. The second task is Follow Up after 60 days(use whatever time line you wish). I label it with #na, but change it on the funding date to 60 days. This way it will pop up on my calendar, but until then, I don’t need to think about it!
Once my file is complete, I archive my smart list. Make sure to complete all the tasks in the project first, of course…
One of the best features of Remember the Milk is the Archive. Can’t remember what you did last year for a client? You can search for all your previous projects that are complete to recall any previous file! This is like a Contact Database. Brilliant.
One last note on sales. Not everyone will buy what you are selling or offering…To keep track of all those missed but future possibilities, create a single task with the tag #prospect. Add all the details you need into the Note area, and if they come back, you can recall everything you went over last time!
There you have it! This is how I use Remember the Milk to keep track of my Sales Process.
Do you have any tips you’d like to share on how you use GTD and/or Remember the Milk to make your job easier?
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