While at a conference a couple of years ago, I heard of a study which was carried out on sales professionals in a corporation in the US.  What it looked at was how long each day the sales people in the study actually spent doing the three things which get sales results – that is to say prospecting their target market , having face to face meetings with prospects and following up on prospect proposals.

And what they found was remarkable.  In a standard 7.5 hour day, the average sales person was investing a staggering 90 minutes in doing the core things that get them results.  That is to say that 6 hours of each day was spend doing things which didn’t get them the sales results they need for their business and for their income.

So you have to ask the question .. if they are achieving their current results with just 90 minutes of that core activity per day, what could they achieve with 3 hours invested in doing the right things ?  Is it fanciful to suggest that they might increase, even double their sales ?

Of course, more activity, when properly focused and consistently delivered, will bring more success.  If in an average week, I meet 5 businesses in my target market and convert 2 of them to clients, then what would be the result of meeting 10 ?  Hmmm, double the sales !

So perhaps the time is right for you to have a long, hard look at the sales activity in your business.  And then look at what you choose to achieve by way of results this year.  Can you see the opportunity ?  What needs to change within your business to allow more time to be invested in the sales effort ?

And once you’ve worked that out ?  Just do it, of course !



I was introduced to Level Up through a local business networking group about 18 months ago.  Transitioning from an HR career to Executive Search in 1997, I set up my own partnership over five years ago.  Although loving what I do, I couldn’t help feeling that we needed a bit of a refresh and have more focus on why our offering was different in a very crowded marketplace.

As an HR professional by background, I have met many business coaches; some better than others.  Although admittedly a little sceptical, I met Graeme Crosbie for coffee and soon felt that he ‘got me’ and understood why I was at a crossroads. We talked about how we might work together and what his kick start programme could offer. 

Having spent my whole career In the corporate world, I found I missed having a variety of people to brainstorm with.  Graeme has proved to be a strong business mentor.  The fact he also had a corporate background and had not worked with any other search firms proved to be a real asset.  He challenged my thinking and assumptions; we went back to basics and talked extensively about business and personal goals and how these could be achieved within realistic timelines.  

The kickstart programme was extremely useful.  For the first time in years, I found I actually dedicated quality time to thinking about what it was I wanted Theron to be.  We focused on what actually made us different; I stopped apologising for being a “small boutique” but learnt to embrace the good things about offering a bespoke, personal service to a few quality clients.  Of course I already knew the theory, but having to articulate USP’s and strategy to someone else makes it more ‘real’ and something you do as opposed to just having good intentions and never getting round to it because work takes over.  

Apart from growing revenue, we have had many successes including the redesign and relaunch of the website with genuine USP’s; extending our client base; recruiting a new Partner and maintaining focus and momentum.  

We are now on an Ontrack programme; meetings are less frequent, but they prove a useful medium for staying focused and doing the things I committed to do.  Some things continue to stay at the bottom of the pile, but I’m not sure that will ever change.  

Some of my network did not understand why I needed to see a business coach, especially with my background.  I have found it incredibly refreshing, not least because Graeme has helped me to look at things differently and has help me to add real value to my business.  I would absolutely have no hesitation in recommend him to other business professionals but only on the basis you want to take a cold hard look at yourself and realise that growth and change will only happen if you want it to.  Graeme can help, challenge and give an alternative perspective, but it’s down to you to do it.  

Fiona Makowski Managing Partner, Theron LLP March 18, 2018