One of my business mentors – a highly-respected Irishman, academic and entrepreneurial guru – once gave me a valuable piece of advice that I’ve never forgotten. He said “Suzanne, you can’t ride two horses with one arse” (Please excuse the terminology guys but I’m keeping it real).
It was a comment he made after listening to me explain how I was struggling to manage two major projects at the same time. The fact that I was splitting my time and efforts was affecting the success of the projects. I was not making any headway. He was right, I was no Zorro. I took his advice, chose the one project I knew would be a winner and dropped the other. It was the best move I’ve ever made.
The same advice applies to sales. We need to focus on the ONE thing we were employed to do: Bring in the business.
Don’t lose your sales focus because someone else is seeking your assistance with their problems. The moment you start regularly spending loads of your time helping to re-configure the CRM system, assisting the export department with their paperwork or getting sidetracked with sorting out production issues, it shows up in your sales results.
At the very least if you can’t get off “the other horse”, you have to ensure that management knows exactly how your precious selling time is affected by being expected to do additional tasks.
Stand firm on this. Otherwise you’ll pay the price in your performance review.