Business Productivity Sales Tips

Finish Strong: Trim The Fat

Trim The Fat

I am a proponent of taking a “Business doesn’t slow for the holidays” mindset as deep into December as I can.  It’s inevitable though, that at some point you will hit a cliff.  My last post was about auditing and pruning your social media, but there are plenty of ways to trim the fat this time of year.

Depending on your industry, that cliff can come as soon as Thanksgiving or as late as Christmas Eve, but at some point, “Call me after the holidays” becomes more than a smokescreen.

When that time comes, your job is not done.  You have work to do.  You need to prepare for the January sprint toward goal.  Grab an egg nog and pull up a chair.  It’s time to trim the fat.

I like to start with my inbox.  Inbox Zero has never been a goal of mine.  I neurotically note everything that comes in and have no unread emails in my box,  but I am an email hoarder to the 10th degree.  I never want to be caught with my guard down, so I save everything.

When I trim the fat, I don’t just mass delete.  First, I sort by sender.  This allows me to see what unsolicited ads are coming to me and unsubscribe from as much as possible.  As the junk mail comes in, I often just let it float by without paying attention.  Now is the time I can sift through them and weed out the spam.

Next, I set rules for important messages that are not urgent.  These will now go to designated mailboxes and I will be able to check them less frequently.

Then, I move any messages for closed business into their own designated folders.

With rules set (and run), spam unsubscribed, and closed business out of gen pop, my inbox looks a lot neater.  Again, my goal is not to nuke and pave here.  I just want to trim the fat.

I always start with the inbox for a very specific reason.  I am often reminded by aged emails of business that didn’t close, chose a competitor, or needed to wait.  I drop each and every one of these leads a Happy Holidays message.  This little gesture can reopen the conversation and quite often results in a sale or a referral.

Once my inbox is done, I turn to my pipeline.  This one is tough.  It’s easy to let the fool’s gold pile up in your pipeline during the fall and winter months.  This can be catastrophic.

Fat Free!

Again, this isn’t a nuke and pave situation.  You don’t need to kill out every lead who said “I need to think about it”, but you need to take a good, hard, honest look at your business.  If there’s less than a 40% chance of closing, work that lead TODAY and  get it to 50% plus or let it go.

If it’s already at fifty percent or greater, let it stick around, but don’t just let it sit.  You must work your prospects if you offer a product or a service that they want/need to buy, you are not “bugging them” by calling them in December.  You are giving them a chance to get the business done while everyone else is off under the mistletoe.

The goal here is simple.  Trim the fat in your pipeline so that you start the new year with all closeable business and no deadweight to waste your time, energy and winning mindset on.

Now that your inbox and book of business are lean and mean, it’s time to look at your desktop.  Both virtual and physical.

Is your desk full of clutter?  Get rid of anything that is not mission critical.  And clean it.  There’s nothing like a fresh workspace.

Now on to your computer.  Look at your desktop, your documents folder, your downloads folder and anyplace else you collect clutter. Get rid of stuff you don’t need.  Create folders for items you must save.  Start the new year fresh.

If you’ve gone through these exercises, you are on your way to starting the new year on the right foot.  I know there are plenty of other ways you can trim the fat this time of year, but hopefully this gives you a jumping off point.

Speaking of trimming that holiday fat, when was the last time you went to the gym?

Like what you’ve read? For more great info check out Scott Fishman’s  books here on Amazon & Audible.


Scott Fishman
With over two decades of experience as a sales professional, Scott has seen it all. Not only has he been consistently at the top of his field, but he has helped to train, coach and mentor an entire new generation of sales professionals as well. It's time that Scott has shared his expertise with the world. It started with The Seven Minute Sales Minute podcast and continues with The 30 Minute Sales Coach Books. Scott is excited to share his knowledge with you.
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