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Controlling Your Work Flow

Salespeople need to be organized and methodical. They need patterns and order. I always recommend a system that they develop that works for them. There is no one size fits all method to organization as each person has different strengths and weaknesses. Some salespeople are morning people. Some like lists. Some like sticky notes. Just figure out what works for you and follow it every day so you have a pattern to your day.

I never was a salesperson that developed a to-do list and crossed things out as I completed them. I always watched people do this and felt like all they were doing was re-writing a to-do list. I organized my work into three piles. The three piles consisted of the following:

#1 - Work I need to complete today

#2 - Work I need to complete this week

#3 - Future Projects

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I never left my desk until the “today” pile was done. I also looked at the “this week” pile before I left to see what had to become the next day’s “today” pile. I never let Thursday pass without getting most of my work done since Fridays and Saturdays tended to be events and production days. Future project work was done during slow time on my couch during the evenings or on weekends.

Remember: Sales is a 24/7 job if you want to make the money.

I recommend you develop your system and stick to it. It is amazing when you feel like you have control over your own work flow.

I just went for my daily hourly walk. I leave through the same gate, walk down the same sloped, cobblestone street and cross the one intersection that may have cars passing through it at 7:45 am. It is a weekday in Puerto Vallarta’s Olas Altas neighborhood. I walk past the popular “gringo” coffee shop and see the same four regular guys sitting at their table chatting about last nights happenings. I take a right at the Pier and walk toward the Malecon to loop to the McDonald’s (yes, I know but that’s my perfect 30 minute turning point) and head back.

Every day, I see the same people, in their same spots, in the same order. I am sure they see me. A young man who appears to have had some horrible accident, standing with a walker and asking for pesos. I drop coins in his cup and say “buenos días.” He never says anything back. Three old fisherman leaning on a rock wall and laughing, always laughing. An old man who looks like Ernest Hemingway has a dog missing its front right leg is enjoying the sun. A male nurse sitting on a bench, taking a break from pushing his patient in a wheelchair. A couple dressed in their “Sunday-best” trying to get new followers to their church. The sights are wonderful.

One day the young man with the walker was not in his normal spot. I noticed it. What happened to him? Why wasn’t he there? Was he okay? Just then, I saw him slowly walking up the ramp from the restroom one level below. Phew! I am glad he was going back to his regular spot. Now I need to see the old fishermen laughing so I can get on with the rest of my day.

Jennifer Perna

Jennifer Perna

Owner, Fulton Market Consulting, Chicago, IL
Jennifer Perna started Fulton Market Consulting in May 2017 after developing an event experience and sales management experience portfolio for over 25 years in the downtown Chicago catering and special events industry. Jennifer presently works with owners, managers and all team players at hospitality-related companies on increasing sales and creating business development strategies, streamlining processes for operations and event production and developing best practices for human resources and administrative management. This is especially imperative as we continue to manage a diverse and young talented pool of employees today. Jennifer brings a dynamic, approachable and relatable communication style to all levels and members...