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Why You Need More I.P.A. (and I don’t mean the beer)

But for most of us, after our summer holidays, we share that foreboding as we crack up our laptops wondering what ‘the figure’ of emails will be. Then there are the bragging rights. I reckon most people share their inbox total with their immediate colleagues within 30 minutes of discovering it (go on — be honest!). And there’s that tinge of disappointment if a colleague has a higher total than you!

Not that I’ve got involved with any of that nonsense myself 🙂


This is a dilemma for many — how to balance the basic admin with that crucial project. The urgent v the important. And so on.

My challenge to you is…in amongst the emails, the meetings and your other tasks and projects, how are you going to make sure you do enough selling?. Selling and marketing has to continue. I’d wager that for many companies — and individuals, that are struggling with their sales, they probably didn’t do enough selling and prospecting three, four, five months ago when they should have.
Getting the selling done amongst the other duties remains a massive issue for many small businesses, especially with many people having dual roles within an organisation.

Even those who work full time in sales often don’t do much actual selling! The last research I saw suggested that only 20% of a sales rep’s time is actually spent selling or prospecting, the rest is problem solving, administration, travelling and so on.

Are you selling enough?

Somehow, whether selling is part or all of your role, you need to ring fence some time for selling and prospecting. There aren’t many organisations that have survived without selling skills!

Let me introduce you to a concept that I’ve found really helps me — and is very popular when we share it at our trainings. It’s a simple concept that will really help you make time for selling.


Income…Producing…Activity. I’ll define IPA in a moment but firstly I suggest you should be doing IPA for an average of at least 1- 3 hours per day. If you’re serious about generating tomorrow’s sales, and the next day and beyond, ring fence that time in your diary.

OK, a definition of IPA – activities that have a direct impact on creating sales opportunities. By this I mean sales and promotional activity prior to a sale being made. This could be prospect meetings, creating email campaigns, general prospecting, generating referrals… anything that starts or develops new relationships with prospective customers.

What isn’t I.P.A.?

What you do with your client after the deal has been done is around customer service and quality… and is not IPA. Now I know that it’s important to keep clients happy and the happier you make them it’s more likely they will buy from you again — but that time is not IPA unless you are talking with them about another service or product that they might buy.

Leave customer service to your customer service team/person and if customer service is part of your role, remember you still need to do 1-3 hours of IPA on top.

Just do it

Book time in your diary. Put notices on the wall, post it’s and pop ups wherever you’d like. Just do it.


The emails can wait…

Until next time


For previous ‘Tricks of the Trade’ go here

About the author

Hi I’m Leigh Ashton of The Sales Consultancy

Whether you’re a small business or a leading brand, an area manager or a Chief Executive, whether you’re new to sales or an experienced sales professional. Even if you’re not in sales at all but want to understand it, you’ve come to the right place.

The World of Sales is changing.

Today’s conventional sales training doesn’t address the psychological barriers that get in their way.

My approach takes your sales team through a process that:

* Helps them identify their psychological barriers and gives them the tools to overcome them
* Teaches them how the mind works so they can keep motivated and stay focused
* Gives them the ability to identify the psychological patterns of their clients and prospects so they connect with them at a deeper level and close more sales

And at a higher level…

* It creates more success in other areas of their lives so they are happier generally…and happier sales people generate more sales

Wherever you are on your personal sales journey what’s the best course of action for YOU.

– Sales Training – that actually gets results
– Leadership and Management
– Personal Coaching and Mentoring
– Sales Mentoring Programme
– NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) and how it can help you accelerate your success
– Keynote Speaking