This time of year, as the leaves begin to fall and the nights grow colder, many of us are already beginning to prep for the winter holidays. But beware: if you’re too busy looking ahead to the days of wintery wonder, you might miss out on more than your share of your kids’ candy. Lessons in sales productivity from ghost and ghouls? Believe it or not, your little monsters just might be mini sales wonders in disguise.
Always be prepared. A little knowledge goes a long way, especially if it’s garnered ahead of time. Knowing and developing leads is crucial, both in business and in the procurement of Halloween candy. Savvy trick-or-treaters have a roadmap to all the best houses—and which ones to avoid, creating their game plan well before the cobwebs and jack-o’-lanterns are out. And in the scary land of the workplace, you might be able to wing it a time or two, but haven’t you noticed that presentations go so much more smoothly with a little prep work ahead of time?
Take in your surroundings. All trick-or-treaters, stampeding down the street in droves, are on the hunt. Houses with the lights out get passed up in favor of those that strike their visitors’ hearts with a mix of glee and hunger. Knowing your business environment, as well as who else out there is scaring the pants off the competition, gives you an automatic edge. Next time you’re in a meeting, take a moment to look around before adding your opinion. Who’s paying attention? Who is focused on their email (or Facebook on their phone)? Taking in your surroundings might help you reap a few rewards … even if they’re not made of sugar.
Stay connected. Smart trick-or-treaters are constantly in contact with both their home base and their team in the field. This way, if a neighbor starts handing out king-size treats or gold bullion, they’ll be in the know and on site before the good stuff is all gone. Who are the people that you talk to on a regular basis? And how often do you reach out just to say hi?
Keep an eye out for great deals. Every now and again, a deal falls out of the sky like a gift from above. Being aware of that deal, and taking advantage of it, can make you look like a rock star. Quick thinking, the right lines of communication, and a bit of guts are all that it takes. For trick-or-treaters, that might mean knowing when the Joneses leave their bucket of candy unattended on the porch. For you, it could mean offering just the right deal to land you a new, loyal customer.
Get mobile. Wherever you are, you’ll want your entire business there with you. The more functionality you have on the go, the better prepared you are for every opportunity. Whether that means transporting your data to the cloud, accessing your storefront from your tablet, or roping a parent into driving your trick-or-treating team across town, you’re covering more ground, faster.
Extend your reach. Even a passing acquaintance can become a game changer. Walking down the street, with the prime trick-or-treating hours passing fast, kids will often flag down others and share tips on which houses are out of candy and which are still going strong. Extending your reach across social networking sites saves you the headache of these would-be missed opportunities.
Get the right tools into the right hands. No two kids like the same candy but, by trading chocolate for gummies, trick-or-treaters can end the day with everything they need and want. Getting your team the tools to stay connected and share their progress does the same thing. Tight deadlines and shifts in direction are easy as pumpkin pie when everyone is in the know and on the job.
Managing your business efficiently and intelligently is all about mastering the tricks of the trade. This Halloween, don’t let trick-or-treating ghoulies and goblins fleece you of your candy without also letting them take you back to business school. After all, there’s no better teacher than someone who is (quite literally) hungry for success.