I have shared this personal productivity tip with several of my sales coaching clients with good results regarding time management and productivity increases.
Here is the issue: Most sales people do not like to follow up with emails or prefer to be talking to people rather than writing an email about a routine topic.
Use the Signature File in your email browser for more than just a signature. Now I realize that some sales people have not figured out how to use the signature file as a signature file with all their contact information placed in the email for them – that is another story for a later date.
You will have to use a little time up front to review and set up the files, however, the time saving on the back end is huge. Here is the seven step process to use…
How to Increase Productivity
- Identify Routine Emails – These include your typical follow-up emails to phone calls or customer visits. The key is to identify the routine written response that you use every time.
- Identify Routine Questions or Inquires – Review your customer or prospect emails looking for common themes about your products, services, shipping, availability of items, timing for orders, accounting questions, etc.
- Make a list – This list is your action list or titles for actions you take when writing these response emails to customers or prospects. Make a complete list of all routine emails you use.
- Prioritize the List – Use a combination of frequency of use and importance of the impact for each email or category.
- Open Your Email browser – Whether you use Outlook, Entourage, Mail, Google or any other browser, find signature in the menu bar and click on it. Once in the file note where you can create new signatures.
- Create New Signature Files – Here is the fun part. Create as many or as few new signature files as you want or can manage. The key is create it once and use it often – this is the true purpose of technology – to make your life simple.
- Use the Files for Routine Emails – Now the productivity improvement comes into play. When using the signature files for the major part of an email, have a spot for a personalized message or a specific detail regarding the action. This action keeps the email personal in impact and not a computer response.
My clients tell me this process has shaved hours off their work load each week. Usually, this sales people would take valuable selling time to write an email starting for zero – even if it was a routine response – or worst, they took time away from their family to get these emails out.
The Benefit to using the signature file is your can respond immediately with just a couple of mouse clicks and only type a sentence or two (or none) for personalization and the email is done. That is a real time saver, especially when multiplied by the hundreds of emails you get each day or week.