BARNACLE BUILD UP… bear with me…here's a bit of useless knowledge for you about barnacles…"A barnacle is a type ofarthropod. Barnacles are exclusively marine, and tend to live in shallow and tidal waters, typically in erosive settings. Often times they attach themselves to man-made structures." Many years ago, sea-traveling wooden hulled ships had to be taken out of the water and placed in dry dock so that the accumulation of barnicles could be scraped off and removed. Why? Because this buildup of barnacles significantly slowed down the ship's progress when making transatlantic voyages. Bottom line… this buildup of barnicles "inhibited progress". The same thing can hold true in the Business of Sales. Think of your Sales Leads. Most Salespeople do a good job of marking down potential Sales Leads. They could be on scraps of paper, cocktail napkins, lead forms, recipe cards, etc. Over time there develops an incredible collection of "stuff"… some of it valuable, some of it not. Every once in a while you need to go through this pile and "scrape off the barnacles". Your lead pile needs to be cleaned out.
Here is your ACTION STEP… an important truth: The bigger your lead pile becomes, the less productive you become… they "inhibit your progress". No doubt there are some valuable opportunities in there. The problem is they are of no value gathering dust. Here's what to do…
1. Recognize that "the older they get, the colder they get"
2. Get over that fear of thinking "I can't call them now, they'll be mad that I haven't stayed in touch"
3. Make some fast decisions. Touch each piece of paper only once and put them into two piles… "once's I'm going to call" & "one's I'm not going to call"
4. Throw the second pile out and breathe a sigh of relief! "Back up the dumpster"
5. Next take the first pile and call them all. Take a simple "How can I help you?" approach
6. You now have three separate groups:
a) a few hot leads
b) a few to add to your database for future business
c) another larger group that you can also throw out! Put them in the dumpster with the other rejects
Get in the habit of following this procedure every 90 days. Stay lean and keep scraping off those barnacles. The only difference between the barnacles on a ship and the barnacles on your desk is that a ship's barnacles are useless. There are a few "nuggets of gold" on your desk…but only a few. Don't let them build up. Do your job the right way and move through the water smoothly. NO Excuses.