3 Steps … to more perfect outreach!

Time ManagementYou must have an orderly plan to reach out to your audience, customers and prospects. There is a reason good reason for making the preceding statement. You don’t always get to decide when you do some of the work that you need to do each week. Some clients or constituents need you to be available when it fits their schedule. Some of the contacts you need to make are only available at certain times, and sometimes these contacts have conflicts in their schedule as well. It’s not a perfect world, but ideally here is the way that we would create it.

Step One
You should first decide who you need to contact and why. Then, prioritize your written list. If not, you may fall into the trap of talking to those you like to talk to first and before you know it you are behind schedule. I understand that we have clients or colleagues that need our time and attention and there will be urgent issues that develop to steal your time. The danger that we must avoid is falling into the reactive mode.
You must avoid at all costs of the tasks that feel like work, but does not produce the results you need to achieve your goals.

Step Two
In the prior step, I mentioned a prioritized list. Here is a twist. You must work the case or issue that is closest to fruition or closure. This ensures that you will move the deal or agreement across the goal line. That goal could be sales, revenue, profit, negotiation, policy or competition of an administrative task if that is your job. Now, those who depend on your results to meet their goals can move along the continuum and you can move on the next closest goal on your list.

Let’s say that you have a priority list of five items. You have cleared the number 1 item and moved closer to closure or closed the number 2 item. Of the three remaining items, continue to follow the same process of working the item closest to closure. Even if the time line, may be weeks or months away. Work to move the item closest to closure or fruition. During this stage, you will have to nurture, help, persuade, and make changes in the deal or project. But, this is the work that moves the outreach closer to the point that it will rise to the top of the priority listing.

Step Three
This is the perfect time to take care of existing clients, colleagues, associates and projects. These existing relationships are the source of future opportunities. After you have completed the required work in steps one and two, begin to address the challenges that your clients or associates have so they can be moved at a faster rate to step one or two. Develop some new ideas and share them and get some feedback. This process will ensure that you have and will continue to create a superior level of value to your clients, customers and your organization.

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James E. McClain is the author of Successful Career Development: A Game Plan, the book upon which some of our training programs are based. He has over 30 years' experience as a corporate HR executive, small business owner with ongoing experience in career development and as a college instructor. His educational background includes a B.S. and Masters degrees Education and Certification in Financial Planning. Our promise is that "you can pay more for training but you can not buy better training." The mission is to deliver the most effective and cost effective training and development programs.

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