Unfortunately, too many of us are sleepwalking through our days. Our attention lives on social media. Our ability to concentrate on the task at hand has never been more challenging than it is now.
The constant notifications turn our attention into scattered pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. We spend our days distracted and unable to see what's important.
We feared one of our sales reps was sleepwalking through her day.
The entries in her CRM came with a tone which suggested she was going through the motions. Her sales proved something wasn't right.
So, I scheduled a week of joint visits to see what was going on.
The first visit confirmed my fears.
We knocked on the back door, and one of the staff let us in. The discussion was about everything other than business. When we did talk about business, the shop assistant didn't have the authority to buy anything.
We didn't meet with the decision-maker. We didn't see the shop, so we couldn't see what ranges they were selling. The rep had no idea about who our competitors were.
We had no assessment of the potential sales we could get.
Selling is about helping someone make a decision to buy from you. Obviously, speaking with the buyer helps. Observation then gives you some information, which in turn creates questions.
Questions, aimed at the right person can help complete a puzzle. When your sell to a shop, you're promoting a product which can solve a customer problem. What you see and hear in a shop can give you the missing pieces.
But, you have to pay attention.
Our diagnosis was spot on with the rep.
She was going through the motions. Each day, her only focus was making sure she completed the seven visits she had scheduled. What happened in each call wasn't her primary focus.
The processing of information isn't any different if you're the decision-maker.
It is the one time you need to be asking questions, but can't.
The solution lies with our intention.
When you observe information intentionally, you're already asking questions.
These are the stepping stones to deeper, more critical questions. Each question brings increases the quality of the information you're using. It is a certain path to a better decision.
So be intentional. Be observant and let the questions flow.