Friday, 13 April 2012

Lopping for better Sales Growth - Sales Spring Cleaning

Spring is in the air

The sounds of the invasion from abroad of  cuculus canorus ( cuckoos ) are with us.

 Across the UK  from mid March  people alert us that have have heard the first cuckoos of Spring. 

In London ,Spring is announced in the streets and avenues by a matching mechanical call -the chain saws of the tree surgeons .

High up in the trees of London can be spotted ,often  in the Protective Clothing of the genus 'Andreas Stihlius'  with their signature plumage of orange ,cream and black,those intrepid tree surgeons lopping away.

As leaders in the Forestry equipment and Landscape maintenance industry Stihl's high performing trade  Stihl products and domestic brands Viking are used not just in the countryside but also in the city.
A Tree Surgeon Tree lopping in Ladbroke Grove London April 12th 2012 scroll down for movie clip

Tree lopping is the process of trimming various sections of a tree. The lopping may involve clearing away branches or limbs, or even shortening trunks. It is done to regenerate growth. The superfluous  or dead wood is removed . It is sort of  arboreal hair cut.

So what has this lopping business to do with Selling?

  • Is there any dead wood amongst the trees in your Sales Avenue that needs lopping ?

  • Where is the active growth to be found in your accounts ?

  •  How tidy is your data base ?

Perhaps It's time to get up  high into your selling trees and do some lopping don't forget the safety ropes etc. This sales lopping like its real life counterpart is risky.

You can start with  some of these calculations.
My total number of existing accounts is _______accounts.

I need to visit face to face ____ existing accounts on a weekly basis.

I need to visit face to face ____ existing accounts on a fortnightly basis

I need to visit face to face ____existing accounts on a monthly basis

I need to visit face to face ___ existing accounts on a quarterly basis

I need to visit face to face ____ existing accounts on a half yearly basis

My total face to face call to existing accounts per year
needs to be ____ calls.

The number of calls for new business/prospecting is my total annual calls – my calls to existing customers.
Therefore my prospecting calls per year are ____ calls

High up amongst the trees in London's Ladboke Grove Area a tree surgeon at work.
By undertaking such calculations you can see what is feasible to lop in your sales tree avenue. You might realise that to make target you may need to increase your daily face to face call rate.

You may need to reduce the number of calls to existing customers in order to make time for prospecting to meet your new business target.

Whatever such calculations show you, they will lead you into a pragmatic mindset of how you can and will meet your target rather than live a selling life of 'reactive body blows' and 'windfalls' and being weighed down by dead wood.
If you feel that you would like to increase the number of calls in a day, analyse how you spend your time in a day out in the field.

Two tree surgeons  (One with Yellow Jacket , other Blue helmet higher up to right hand side ) at work in Ladbroke Grove, London  2012
*Where does the time goes when out in the field?

Travelling 38%
Administration 12%
Waiting 7%
Breaks 6%
Non business related chat 11%
Selling time 28%

* Time Well Spent Survey 2006
What parts of your selling trees need lopping?

Here are some simple and practical ideas to make best use of your time out amongst your selling trees. Ways that could reduce travelling timeprune your administration lessen the 'chat gap'make better use of 'lost time' in waiting etc.
Sales Tree Lopping -Time Saving/ Self Management tips
  • Is a face to face meeting necessary ? Would email, phone call , audio conference call do it better ?

  • Is your car the best means of transport ? Cheap air flight , rail, tube , bus or cab ?

  • Route Planning- Grouping Calls is better time management

  • For cities and towns work in towards the centre in the afternoon and out of the centre in the morning i.e. against the ‘rush hour’ flow

  • Fill up the petrol tank in the evening. Save you time driving 180 degrees in the wrong direction to the 24 hours garage ( gas station)

  • Listen to the radio traffic reports and make a note of reports relevant to your day
Local Radio :BBC LBC79.3 FM 

  • Consider investing in satellite navigation ( sat nav.E.gTomTom, Garmin etc)

  • Have some coins for parking meters

  • Ask customer’s advice about local parking

  • Politely refuse the offer of coffee at the end of a meeting - hot tea /coffee takes ten minutes to drink- it steals  your time.

Tree lopping video clip in Ladbroke Grove , London 2012

  • Use waiting time for quick time fillers, seeking out information on company e.g. their in house magazine.

  • Have a meeting agenda planned - perhaps even written out.

  • Pack your brief case/samples etc. the night before. No wasted time first thing in the morning hunting round for stuff. Also you will get a better night's sleep

  • Consider overnight stays for those customers furthest from your home base.

  •  Clean up your CRM, Data Bases and Records.  Eradicate duplications
 -The following 'lopping' questions should be like the insistence 'chime ' of the cuckoo clock.
Right now ask yourself these CUCKOO questions

  • Is what you are doing helping to protect your business?  Cuckoo !
  • Is it helping to expand your business ? Cuckoo !
  • Is it helping you to  develop new business ? Cuckoo !

 If none of these STOP doing it. Lop It !

Cuckoo Clock chimes ten o'clock
Related links

Stihl :

New Catalogue  for 2012 from Stihl and Viking -Time for a spot of Spring Grooming
Stihl's branding story

Matters Cuckoo

The recent decline of the cuckoo has made them a Red List species.more information on Cuckoos RSPB site is good.

Some cuckoos have their own travel blog !  I joke not.

 You can follow Clement , Martin, Lyster, Kapser and Chris in their migration across Africa and Spain.



  1. This is some thing I need to do more research into, many thanks for the publish.

  2. This is a great inspiring article. I am pretty much pleased with your good work. You put really very helpful information. Keep it up. Keep blogging.

  3. I really liked your blog, appreciate the great information about Tree lopping...
    many thanks...
    Tree lopping toowoomba

  4. Our yard is a mess! We are thinking about getting our trees taken care of before the fall time. Hopefully we can find some tree lopping that will work for us!