Summer usually means people heading out to the next tropical getaway. But increasingly, people are still finding themselves at work even on vacation. Throw in addictive internet technology, endless streams of notifications, emails, and calls. Is this what you’d call unplugged? Unplugging from your lead generation campaign doesn’t automatically mean the end of it if you’re prepared to put in safety measures and resist all forms of temptation to keep checking on in the office.
Sure you have the occasional emergency. But how can you call it occasional when you’re expecting it more than half the time?
Give advance notice, including to outsourced companies – If you’re working in any sales position, let your marketers know in advance that you won’t be making any appointments for an extended period of time. If you’ve outsourced your lead generation and marketing processes, it might even be better to let them know weeks before you take off. On a side note, get them to set some appointments for you in advance as well so that you’ll have some work when you get back.
Get your current workload done – By the time you get back, you obviously wouldn’t want any unfinished work piling up on any new tasks or engagements. Therefore, finish as much as you can. You can stop your lead generators from setting appointments after a certain date but why cancel the ones they’ve already qualified?
Have only one emergency contact – You’ll need someone to stand guard over your emergency to number. Why? Well obviously to make sure it’s only used for emergencies. If you expect such emergencies to happen more often than not, then something is seriously wrong with your contingency plan.
Leave a decent message behind– Create a sort of response template that your marketers and appointment setters can use to explain your absence. Your prospects already do the same with their gatekeepers so why should you be any different? On the other hand, make it more polite and have it express your eagerness to do business once you get back.
Disable all other channels – If you really want to a bit extreme, eliminate all other means of contacting you from work. Make it so that the emergency contact is your only means of communication.
You’d want to make the most of your vacation so it’s only natural that you’d go and try to remove all sorts of work-related temptations. But perhaps the real thing you need to resist is the tendency to worry about the worst while you’re away. Create your contingency plans without it so that you won’t have it taking the place of your vacation ones.
The printing press of old first made it possible to distribute information to large amounts of people in a shorter period of time. Today that technology holds nothing to the floods of e-mails, reports and other digital messages. Unfortunately, the biology of the human brain still hasn’t evolved to catch up with it. Given that B2B lead generation campaigns use varying forms of information technology, managing it can be a cure for both yourself and prospects.
Information overload is a problem that’s probably most unique to 21st century life. Those who handle it well tend to thrive in an era where the internet is a dominant force in business. Those who don’t suffer problems like paralyzed decision making that snowballs on already poor decisions.
But while many thought leaders have presented their own different cures, they do share common strategies for reducing the load:
Focus on information that provides actual value to business (whether it’s yours or a prospect’s). Set aside information that’s simply nice to know (or worse, not nice at all).
Let quality determine quantity. If you can drive the most essential points with just a few words in an email then don’t strain yourself to put in more.
Ask better questions. Don’t elaborate your problems when it’s much easier to ask what lies at the heart of them first.
Single focus. Multi-tasking isn’t a skill for everyone (especially those prone to losing focus). For the most part, practice focusing on one subject at a time.
Organize and control the information flowing. Separate work-related channels from casual conversations. Simply trying to stay on topic can be enough to save a good deal of time.
Some people rather skim a lot rather than read. It’s only more proof that the average human brain can handle so much information (especially information that’s already been processed ad nauseum).
Then again, there’s really no turning back. Everyone from the top of the C-suite to the cubicle accountant has grown dependent on the volume and the speed to solve their problems. That’s why today’s lead generation services grow more and more with each new innovation in IT. However, the best cure for information overload still comes in the form of skills, not just more tools.