(By Rick Fink) The first day of fall was Wednesday, September 22nd, and if you’re a homeowner, we all know what that means. It’s time for “Fall Cleanup!”
Did you know that the most important reason for a good and thorough fall cleanup is not just for a better appearance? It plays an important role in keeping pests out of your home this winter and helps reduce pests in your yard next spring. Spores found on leaves can infect your soil and re-infect trees and shrubs year after year.
A clean lawn is essential to attain the maximum benefits from other important fall services such as lawn fertilization, liming, tick control, and core-aeration as well. Until now, I never knew the real reason for fall cleanup!
But I do know about advertising sales, and one thing that is extremely important but often overlooked is a good cleanup or purging of account lists.
The time of year isn’t important. The fact that it’s done on a regular basis, once or twice a year, is. Sure, if you purge your list properly, it will look better and become more manageable, but, like a fall cleanup on your lawn and landscaping, there are other advantages as well.
Some of the accounts currently on your list can be like the spores and bugs on fallen foliage. They can infect your thinking and the process of calling on or prospecting other businesses with more potential. Ultimately, if not dealt with, it can affect your overall sales for months and years ahead.
In all my years of managing sellers, I have only seen two lists that were manageable based on the number of accounts. In other words, nearly every list had far too many accounts on it, making it impossible to call on all the accounts effectively.
There are several reasons for not calling on clients on your list. But, if we are honest, the number one reason is that sellers are afraid to give up an account because the new rep just might get them on the air, and then they think it will reflect poorly on themselves. The number two reason is that they simply have too many accounts to call on all of them. Number three is either they have a personality conflict with the owner, or they have a better relationship with another business on the air in the same category!
It doesn’t matter what the reason is. It’s simple… if the account isn’t being called on, move it to someone willing to call on them.
Effectively managing and purging account lists at least once or twice a year can produce a huge amount of potential new income. Not managing it has more ramifications than one might think. The spores that grow on an account while not being called on can have long-term effects, not only on the list but the seller as well.
Managers, it’s your job to manage the lists. It’s your job to get the maximum productivity out of the master account list. If sellers had it their way, they would be like squirrels in the fall collecting as many nuts as possible in hopes that the business will one day call in. As the mother squirrel, it’s your job to make sure the nuts or accounts are processed.
The time of year isn’t important, but fall or spring is a good time to make the comparison.
Growing up on a farm or acreage meant we always had a lot of trees, shrubs, and a big lawn. Fall cleanup is no easy task and it comes with blisters on your hands and sore backs and muscles. But it always looked good and knowing what I know now, it had other positive effects as well.
A good fall cleanup of account lists will prove to be worth it too, and I’m betting you won’t get blisters or sore muscles from the exercise.
Here’s to a prosperous Fall Cleanup!
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