How Multi-Tasking Negatively Affects Sales Results

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Posted: November 7, 2014

Remember when you were a kid and your teacher or parent would say, “Pay attention.”  Little did we know that statement was great sales advice.   

In a world where people are addicted to being connected, they are becoming increasingly disconnected.  Look no further than the weekly sales meeting.  The sales team enters the room and places their smart phones on the table.  Then, for the next hour, they stare at them for fear of missing an email or phone call. The sales manager is at the front of the room sharing selling tips that help the sales team close more business.  Unfortunately little or none of the tools are used because the salesperson missed the advice---he was checking his smart phone. 

A study by Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield and Byers found the average user checks their phone nearer to 150 times per day.  Now do some simple math.  If each check takes 60 seconds, that is two and a half hours per day of  “checking” in.   Multiply that number by five working days and you have a salesperson that has invested over 10 hours checking messages.  Multiply that number by four weeks and you are at 40 hours.  Hmm…wonder what selling activities could be accomplished if checking in was decreased? 

There is another problem created by multi-tasking:  lack of focus.  Salespeople that are constantly connected are training themselves in the non-revenue producing habit of distraction.  Again, do some simple math.  

A consultative sales meeting takes 45 minutes to one hour.  The effective salesperson needs to be present, focused and paying attention. Now, if you have never paid attention for one hour, prior to a sales meeting, how are you going to pay attention for that amount of time?  You can’t demonstrate a habit or skill which you have not developed. Focus is the new competitive weapon for sales organizations.

Do you want better sales results?   It might be as simple as turning off your technology. 

Good selling!