Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Feng Shui for Sales Managers

Feng Shui your client list.

Feng Shui is the Chinese art of moving and placing objects within a room or space, so that positive energies can flow and benefit the inhabitant of that space. It can be used to create a highly relaxing environment or to attract health or even good luck to a room or building. To me, while I am sure that there are powerful and ancient principles at play, it often seems like it’s an exercise in de-cluttering and minimising.

De-cluttering is a good thing to do. It frees up space (either physically or mentally) and allows the opportunity for new things to come and occupy that space. Therefore we should consider de-cluttering our client databases.

Over the years we have collected clients that are neither productive nor profitable. These clients act as a drain on our time and resources. The demand, they complain and they want everything for nothing. In tough time s there is a tendency to hold onto these clients - that some revenue from them is better than no revenue at all. Wrong kind of focus.

Instead of holding onto these clients we should actively remove them from our databases or de-prioritise the communication or the degree of sales contact that we give them.

They can create opportunities for sales executives to ‘hide behind’ and justify their poor performance. They serve as ‘black holes’ for productivity and profit. They cause unnecessary, time-absorbing, problems at a time when we must keep a storng heart and a clear head.

Get rid of them – aggressively. Give them a business opportunity elsewhere. You want them out so that good clients can inhabit the space and benefit from the resources the ‘bad clients’ are currently draining.

Then Feng Shui your sales team.

Ditto for the team. We have people on the team that our good performers are carrying. We have people who have been able to ‘coast’ because the market was up and people were ordering. They weren’t ‘hunters’ and they are average ‘farmers’.

To continue to carry people who have neither the skills, the aptitude and (most importantly) the attitude to perform, is demoralising for the rest of the team and stressful for the leader. This is a weight that will only get heavier as the months progress to the close of the year.

Act now. Be clinical. Quick, surgical cuts heal cleanly. It’s possible that they may prove more successful in another role or another firm. If you procrastinate it will only make things worse. Assess your people and make the choices. Do it now.

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