The Tasks/To Do function in your email program, or Smartphone is often totally ignored.
This is a shame because with a bit of clever thinking this function can take you from being good at sales; good at customer service; good at business development / relationship management to being utterly spectacular.
Surely you have a 'To Do' list. You might maintain it mentally, or have 17 half crossed out lists scattered. You might use your calendar to prompt you. Wrong place. The calendar is built for appointments and meetings only. Reminders make you look unnaturally busy.
Using your memory or a written list is marvellous for short term to-do's. there is nothing like the satisfaction of physically crossing out something you've done. You wouldn't want to task everything on your computer - who wants to come in in the morning with 50 emails and 35 undone tasks? They'll never get done.
Let's look at the Task function another way. For long term persistency. Tenacity.
Most people in business are only interested in nurturing prospects that will do business with them instantly. What do you do now if someone is not ready to do business with you when you first meet, or even worse your proposal is turned down? Do you forget about them, moving on to the next prospect?
This is where Tasks can make you a sales superstar. Helping you to remember to stay in touch. To follow up - every few months, every year, for years. Until they are ready to do business with you.
Once you create a Task, on the appointed day at the appointed time - a small box will open on your screen telling you the Task is due. You can also set Tasks to recur or assign them to people.
How can you use Tasks to raise the bar of your business performance?
To follow up:
• When a client will need your services again.
• On current quotes, proposals, emails you sent that have remained unanswered; on the longer term following up on business that didn't eventuate.
• On customer service problems (especially if they are not expecting a future call/contact)
• Staff when reports, items are due
• Yourself to renew - such as domain names, licensing, contracts
• Use recurring Tasks to remember to call important clients every 12 weeks or so.
• Project management - including assigning Tasks to staff
• Following on from meetings- Task action items to the people who are responsible for them
Instead of trying to remember 1001 things for the future, parking items in Tasks / To Do frees up clutter, removes guilt and ensures your prompted at the right time to action it.