What to Do When Nobody’s Looking?

April 13, 2011

Making the most of down time

I am writing this article at the end of a week that saw record blizzards paralyze large sections of the country. I asked one of my coaching clients what he was doing during the slack period of the storm. He said he was doing nothing. Taking it easy. He sent his staff home to ride out the storm.

My mother used to say that the true measure of a person was what they did when no one was looking. So what do you do when a storm shuts everything down but the Internet? Here are some suggestions for great ways to spend a snow day or a slow day that will create sales for a long time to come.

Write an Article

Write an article of about 400 words. It should not be an article that sells. I suggest you write an article that gives good advice to someone who is not happy with his or her water or someone who has a service problem with a water softener. Be sure you use the keywords you think someone would use if he or she were searching for an article on this topic. Go to sites like www.articledirectory.com and register for a free account. Publish your article (it’s free) and mention your company and website in the resource box. You will be surprised how many people will find your site and call.

Update Your Website

Water dealers are notorious for setting up a website and letting it sit for years. Why not take a down day or a down hour and update your website? Post the article or a video you made. Search engines like fresh Web content and news. The longer your website sits without changes, the less the search engines will show it, no matter how much you paid to create it.

Do Keyword Research

This is the most valuable thing you can do on a slow day. To make money online, you need to find out what people in your area key in when they are looking to buy or repair residential water equipment. Use these keywords in your Web pages, your articles, your videos and everything else you do online. This will help the public find you more easily. Be sure to talk to people outside the industry and avoid using industry terms like “POU.” Not many homeowners search for the term POU online when they need help. Be sure to include your town in your keywords. It makes it a lot easier to get visibility.

Clear Off Your Desk

A slow day is a great day to clear off your desk. A cluttered desk makes you waste 20% of your time. I used to work with a successful business person who threw away everything on his desk every Friday. He said it would come back if it was important. While I do not practice this method, some version of it may work for you. So use a slow day to clear off your desk and start fresh. You will be amazed how much better next week will go. If you want a program that helps keep your desk clear, check out www.thepapertiger.com.

Create a Presentation You Can Use at Sales Events

One great way to get leads and appointments is to do presentations for service clubs, homeowner associations, real estate sales meetings and any other group that holds meetings. Do not make your presentation too much of a sales pitch. It should be about the environment or a local topic that ties into water. There are several free software packages that can help with putting together a presentation, including a free one from Google at http://docs.google.com. Create a document using its presentation software.

When you have a good presentation, call groups and ask if you can speak at their meetings. After your presentation, offer a free water test to everyone who attended and make the appointment right then and there. It is a great free way to generate leads.

Thank Someone for Something

Finally, take a few minutes of down time and thank someone for something. Thank your spouse for putting up with the nights and Saturdays you are out selling. Thank an office worker who you may have taken for granted. Thank a technician who went beyond the call of duty. You will feel better and so will they. That’s a great benefit of a little down time.

How you spend your snow or slow days says a lot about how much you care about your business and the people around you.

Carl Davidson is president of Sales And Management Solutions Inc., a New York-based company that specializes in live and video training, coaching, recruiting and lead generation for the water equipment industry. To see a list of products and free sales training videos, visit www.carldavidson.com or call 716.580.3384.

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