Are you going to the beach? On a sail? On a tour? To another country? To a lodge? To a resort? Regardless of your destination or purpose, make sure you bring some good books, disconnect from your email and social networks, and actually use the time to recharge. That's good old common sense. But if you really want to kick some ass when you return from vacation, you'll want to make sure you do these important things too:
- Turn on your auto-responders and leave a useful message - do not let it go out with the default note.
- Change your voicemail message.
- Schedule the first two days following your vacation with Office Time. You'll need it to respond to 300 emails, return 20 phone calls, and go through mail, documents, and issues that may have arisen while you were gone.
- Schedule half days of prospecting time for the 3rd-5th days back.
- Before you leave, make sure you have meetings scheduled for the other half of days 3-5 after your return.
- Before you leave, schedule meetings for your entire second week back. You must complete that before you can leave for your vacation!
- If you're like most salespeople, you have more prospects in your dead/lost/stuck folders than in your active pipeline. Contact all of them before you leave and see if anything has changed since the last time you spoke. Let them know that you're heading out for vacation and would love to talk with them in either late July or early August if they think there is a reason or if they would like some help.
- Make sure your CRM/Pipeline Management application is completely up-to-date and each opportunity accurately reflects where you are today, what the next steps are, the realistic projected closing date as well as the realistic spend, where you are versus your competition, and the realistic likelihood of closing. Also make sure that the notes for each opportunity are up-to-date.
- Check your task lists, calendar, Evernote, CRM and email and be certain that you do not have any outstanding proposals, return calls, follow-ups or promises that slipped through the cracks. It's easier to take care of those things with an apology before you leave, than it is to kiss those opportunities, customers and clients goodbye when you return.
- Identify any prospects or customers that could possibly have an issue while you're gone and ask someone you trust to help in case you aniticipated correctly. Prep them and go away without worries.
Have a great vacation and when you get back, please go out and kick some ass.