As I wrote last week, fear and discomfort are the top reasons we don’t make phone calls to our customers: we don’t want to bother them or make them upset.

The second biggest reason we avoid proactive communications is that we rarely take the time to make a plan for it.

What I mean here is reactive thinking — responding to incoming customer concerns and problems, which is what most salespeople do most of the day — is totally different than proactive thinking.

And proactive behavior requires just a bit of proactive planning.

To that end, consider a 5×5 plan, which my clients often make at the start of a week.

It’s not very complicated:

Write down the names of five good customers, and for each one, five products or services that they are not currently buying from you that they would benefit from.

Then, call each customer this week (one a day) and in conversation, bring up each of the products or services you wrote down (planned) for them. Each product or service is a did you know question.

The plan should take you 5 minutes to make, as should each phone call.

Quickly plan, and quickly do.

That is the recipe to effective proactive sales growth.

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