In previous blogs, I’ve talked about how extremely busy people are today. We’ve discussed “the swarm” of the many different day-to-day tasks and simple to-dos in life both in and out of the office. That swarm makes achieving a balanced life challenging for any already-busy person. For more on that topic, go to: http://bit.ly/1VlohhX
Let’s look at busyness from a different angle—one that doesn’t always have to do with time management.
I see lots of salespeople who are busy being very responsive to clients and especially to potential new clients. These sales professionals often will go to any lengths to meet with someone who might buy from them. I’ve seen people cancel all types of other appointments if a potential new opportunity comes their way.
Their justification is: “You gotta strike while the iron’s hot.” This is the attitude of a lot of people who are new to sales as well as those who are struggling. They think: If I don’t meet with this potential client right now, they might go to someone else, and I’ll lose the deal altogether. I call this a limiting mentality.
Obviously, being available and responsive is admirable—especially to current clients. And yet, unavailability is important, too.
Most of my top rainmakers are not as available as you might think. For one thing, they are exceptionally busy with an already-full book of business to service as well as dedicating time to go after additional, larger opportunities. (Plus, they still have to manage their “swarm,” which correlates directly to how successful they are—it’s big and complicated.)
But the reality is: People want to do business with people who are busy. We often equate someone’s unavailability to his or her level of success. If you call a highly sought-after physician for elective surgery, you expect to wait weeks, if not months, to get in to see this person. Why? It’s simple supply and demand; this is a single person who is greatly in demand.
So there are several points I’d like to make today. First of all, if you want to be successful, be busy and schedule your time in advance. When someone calls you, unless it’s an emergency, it’s perfectly fine to schedule them one, two or even three weeks out and not totally disrupt what you’re doing right now. (This frequent last-minute disruption is what leads to a vicious cycle of not managing the “swarm.”)
Then there’s the perception that comes with being busy. My top producers are scheduling three to four weeks out. One particularly successful rainmaker I know routinely schedules four weeks out. It’s just a fact that if you want to see him, you’d better call a month in advance. It’s not that he’s arrogant or inflexible; he’s just in high demand. The higher the demand, the more people want his attention.
And finally, make sure, as I said in the previous blog, that you are busy with the right things. If you are in sales, be busy with moneymaking activities. If you are a manager, concentrate on your people—you win or lose with those people; never forget that. A company president should be busy focusing on corporate culture, values and achieving the company’s goals.
So are you the right kind of busy? The kind of busy that allows you to get your job done while keeping you in high demand? Or when someone calls, do you say, “I can be there in the morning, unless this afternoon is better for you.” Unless you are a plumber and the person calling has a water emergency, instant availability might not be the best response.
The decision is yours.