Revenue drives the business engine. Without it, like no gas in the car, everything stops running. So what gets in the way of putting ruthless focus on only those activities that will drive revenue?
If you sell for someone else, you are at the mercy of management meetings, endless emails, questions from finance about your deal, new products and services to learn, customer issues related to implementing the solution you just sold and on it goes.
If you sell for your own company, you face challenges like paying the bills, handling the marketing, juggling the delivery time of the service you just sold with more sales to be made, managing employees and contractors, fending off salespeople who have the latest whiz bang solution to offer and the list goes on.
The point is that we know revenue needs to be our number one priority each day but “circumstances” often hinder our ability (or we think so anyway) to focus the majority of our time on revenue producing opportunities.
To focus ourselves in the right direction, I think it comes down to making choices moment to moment and sometimes those choices are tough to make. I sort of equate focus with two things. The first is knowing WHAT you need to focus your attention on to begin with and the second is knowing WHEN to say no. No to requests that pull you in the opposite direction of that revenue line.
Perhaps, you cannot control having to attend the weekly sales meeting, but you can control if after you leave that meeting you either pick up the phone and make 25 phone calls to prospects and referral partners, OR you choose to waste time wading around in email hell.
As a business owner, you have to ask yourself if you’ll even have bills to pay if you don’t get busy following up with the prospects that you met at that networking event last week. Either hire someone to take this responsibility off your back – ideal! – or be sure to handle the bills at points that don’t interfere with your number one priority…generating revenue.
With every situation that comes your way, you need to ask…
Does this activity I’m about to spend time on move me closer to the revenue line?
Example: Should I be answering email or responding to the proposal that I said I’d have done today?
The answer is easy…shut down email and go sell something-:)
BTW – there are plenty of people who advocate that you respond to every email that comes your way and promptly to boot. I’m not one of those people! Not all email is equal nor does it all require a response in the next 5 seconds.
If your job is to bring revenue in the door, then I can’t think of anything more important than wisely choosing the activities that help you do just that!
P.S. Hear from Joanne Black of No More Cold Calling on the importance of building a referral network that leads to revenue.