Productive Leaders

Ph.D., CSP, CDR, US Navy Ret.,
CPAE Speaker Hall of Fame

Mary’s Weekly Articles and Valuable Tools

Subscribe below and get Dr. Mary Kelly’s
weekly newsletter in your inbox.


Boosting Customer Service and Follow-up for Busy Sales Reps

Boosting Customer Service and Follow-up for Busy Sales Reps

Tristan is a dedicated sales representative working for a national company. He is responsible for managing a substantial client portfolio, which has grown over time. However, he finds himself struggling to provide the level of customer service he desires due to feeling overwhelmed, short on time, and experiencing a waning sense of patience. Tristan recognizes the need to improve his follow-up practices and enhance customer service to better serve his clients.

Tristan’s challenges:

1.Lack of Time: Tristan’s increasing client base and daily responsibilities are causing him to feel time-crunched, preventing him from dedicating adequate attention to each client. The more behind he gets, the more discouraged he gets.

2.Lack of Patience: The growing demands and stress are causing Tristan to experience a diminishing sense of patience, which is affecting his interactions with clients.

3.Follow-up Issues: Due to his busy schedule, Tristan struggles with consistent and effective follow-up, causing clients to feel neglected and possibly impacting their satisfaction.

Solutions for Tristan:

1. Time and Energy Management: Tristan needs to implement effective time and energy management strategies.

People have told him this could involve prioritizing tasks, setting specific time blocks for client interactions, and leveraging tools such as calendars or productivity apps to stay organized.

There is a difference between time management and energy management. Right now, where productivity is highly valued, managing our limited resources effectively is crucial. Time and energy are two such invaluable resources, each with its own distinct characteristics and impact on our lives. Understanding the differences between time management and energy management can significantly enhance our ability to achieve our goals and maintain a balanced lifestyle.

Time Management is Making Every Second Count
Time management revolves around the concept of optimizing the hours, minutes, and seconds we have each day. It focuses on allocating specific time slots for tasks, prioritizing activities, and ensuring deadlines are met. The goal of time management is to increase efficiency, reduce procrastination, and accomplish more in less time.

Aspects of Time Management:

Time management involves creating schedules, calendars, and to-do lists to plan tasks and activities. It helps individuals stay organized and ensures that important tasks are not overlooked.

Assigning priorities to tasks enables individuals to focus on high-impact activities and prevent less important tasks from consuming excessive time.

Time management emphasizes meeting deadlines and completing tasks within specified time frames, which enhances accountability and overall productivity.

*Task Completion
The primary focus of time management is on completing tasks efficiently and effectively, regardless of one’s energy levels or mental state.

Energy Management is Harnessing Productivity:

Energy management centers around understanding and optimizing personal energy levels throughout the day. Unlike time, energy is a renewable resource that can vary based on factors such as sleep, nutrition, exercise, and emotional well-being. The goal of energy management is to maintain sustainable productivity and avoid burnout by aligning tasks with periods of high energy and focus.

Aspects of Energy Management:

*Peak Performance
Energy management seeks to identify individual energy patterns and allocate high-energy periods to tasks that require intense focus and creativity.

*Rest and Recovery
Recognizing the importance of breaks, energy management advocates for regular intervals of rest and recovery to recharge and maintain optimal productivity.

*Task Matching
Energy management suggests matching tasks to energy levels. For instance, tackling complex tasks during periods of high energy and leaving routine or less demanding tasks for lower-energy times.

Prioritizing physical and mental well-being is a cornerstone of energy management. Proper sleep, exercise, and stress management contribute to sustaining consistent energy levels.

I advised Tristan to look at both time and energy. Combining both strategies can lead to a harmonious and productive lifestyle. Efficiently managing time allows for better allocation of energy, while energy management ensures sustained effectiveness over longer periods.

2. Patience and Stress Management
Recognizing the importance of maintaining a patient and calm demeanor, Tristan should invest in stress management techniques such as mindfulness, regular breaks, and exercise. These practices can help him remain composed during client interactions.

3. Streamline Follow-up Process
To improve his follow-up practices, Tristan can adopt the following strategies:

Categorize his client list based on their needs, preferences, and potential value. This allows for more tailored follow-up approaches.

Utilize customer relationship management (CRM) software to automate follow-up emails, reminders, and task assignments. Automation ensures that no client falls through the cracks.

Craft personalized follow-up messages that address specific client needs and concerns. This demonstrates genuine care and engagement.

Establish a consistent follow-up schedule. This could include initial follow-up after a meeting, regular check-ins, and post-purchase follow-up.

4. Delegate and Collaborate
Tristan should collaborate with his team and consider delegating certain tasks that do not require his direct involvement. This can free up his time for high-priority client interactions and relationship-building. I advised Tristan to hire a virtual assistant who can help take tasks off his plate.

By implementing these strategies, Tristan can overcome his feelings of overwhelm, improve his follow-up practices, and provide better customer service to his clients. This will lead to enhanced client satisfaction, stronger relationships, and potentially increased sales opportunities as clients feel valued and well-cared for.

Tristan’s dedication to addressing his challenges and implementing effective strategies will not only benefit him personally but also contribute to the overall success of the company. With improved time management, patience, and a streamlined follow-up process, Tristan can confidently navigate his role as a sales representative and deliver exceptional customer service.

To help Tristan, we sent him a copy of The Five-Minute Leadership Guide, which helps him map out the day in less than two minutes and helps him destress at the end of the day.  He says it is helping him set priorities and evaluate his resources.



    Submit a Comment

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *