Five FULL weeks left to achieve your 2009 goals!  Ready to make it happen?  You can still make great strides in your sales for this year AND set yourself up to start 2010 with a BANG!  This week’s challenge is to maximize the use of your “tools” to gain time and efficiency.

We started 3 weeks ago with the 8 week plan to end the year strong.  The challenge of the past three weeks was to:

  1. Take a hard look at where you are and answer questions that helped you identify and diagnose potential roadblocks.
  2. Set specific targets and plans for reaching them.
  3. Focus on  accountability, activity, and action!

office tools

We still need to focus on accountability, activity and action – and to be smart with our activity and action by using the tools available to us.  What is a tool?  A tool is something regarded as necessary to the carrying out of one’s occupation or profession (this definition brought to you by  So what are the ‘things’ necessary to carrying out your occupation?   This is a starter list.

The Basics:

  • A telephone
  • Email
  • Some type of program to keep your notes, customer details (could be a database or a full CRM system)
  • Written information that can be shared – this might be a hard-copy brochure or electronic documents

Advanced tools:

  • The right people around you – a coach, a support system and internal team that supports your efforts
  • Lead generation or prospecting tools

Doesn’t seem like a lot does it?  It doesn’t have to be!  The key to a good tool is your use of it!  A tool is only as good as its’ user – the input, the use and care of, the access to the tools is what makes them work.

Over the years in my work with companies, I have observed HUGE investments in the “tool” that is going to solve their problems.  In 2002 a Fortune 100 company invested millions in a new tool – and eliminated all other investments for 18 months to fund it.  Guess what?  This new “tool” didn’t do what they hoped, productivity did not increase and the productivity they lost during the 18 months was a huge LOSS!

Your tool check up this week is to look at what tools you have and how you are using them – in crunch time its not usually wise to figure out something new – its looking at how you are using what you have.  What are you now doing that could be more efficient if you spent 20-30 minutes this week in getting it up to speed?

For example:  I have been very lax on inputting some details on prospecting activity into my database.  Tomorrow i have a 60 minute block of time just to get this done.  The efficiency this is going to bring is going to help me stay focused and productive the next five weeks.

So a tool check up is the challenge for this week.  What tool do you have that you are not using well?  How are you going to change that?

Speaking of tools – some free sales tools (and reviews on many more) can be found at