Figen Genco

E-mail Figen


Dear Figen,
I really like the style of your column and all the great tips. Here's my big problem. I am a salesman- account executive as it states on my business card. I call on people at their homes and sometimes offices to do presentations and close sales. I use a briefcase to take along papers that are necessary for my visits. Sometimes it takes me about five to ten minutes to pull up a certain paper. In sales it is vitally important to be fast, especially on the verge of turning a prospect into a client. I don’t think I leave a good impression while I am searching through my briefcase in a frenzy to come up with a particular form or catalogue. I believe I’ve lost some sales because of that. My other problem is my car, which is partially my office. However hard I try to keep my car neat and clean, lots of papers such as forms, business cards and brochures end up lying all over my car. Do you have any suggestions and tips? Thank you.

Tom G.- Richboro

Dear Tom,

Your briefcase might not be sufficient for your needs. Most briefcases are made to look good not practical. I can’t tell from letter how  well-designed and purposeful yours is.  A briefcase should be chosen depending on the types and quantity of papers that need to be carried around as well as the equipment to be taken along. If your papers have many different categories, I would suggest that you purchase an expandable folder type of briefcase which comes with a handle and lots of divided sections. Categorize your papers and sort them according to the types for main categories such as types of forms, letters, proposals and catalogues. Label or insert tabs for each heading and subcategories in the folder. Main categories will be in alphabetical order. After the first main category place the subcategories labeled in a different color. Sub categories will be in alphabetical order within themselves. Using a different color for main categories is for easy recognition. A laptop organizer with a few compartments for paper would be more suitable for a person who carries a laptop and only needs a few categories of papers.

Get file boxes to organize the papers in your car. Categorize and file those papers that you need access to when needed but that you don’t have to take to the clients’ site. You can also merge the brochures and business cards in your filing system in the filing box to be followed through at the end of the day. Another option  is to create a section in your briefcase for the business cards you collect. Make two main categories; action and reference for the business cards. Reference ones should be recorded in your contact management system.  Action business cards have three categories. Definate’s, Maybe’s and No’s. Toss no’s in a trash bin you keep in your car immediately so that you don’t waste time trying to figure them out later on. Place definate’s in a section that you created in your daily binder where you keep your appointments and action items such as your to-do-list. Maybe’s can go with your weekly or monthly call list depending on what type of sales you are in. Once you take the first step with a card, you will need to place it in its next home depending on the result of your first step; reference, toss or action again. For instance, the sales process might start out with a cold call. Then, the next phase might be that the prospect was interested and then it is still Action. If he is not interested, the card is Toss. However, if you think that he can be a good contact for another reason, then it is Reference.

Figen Genco, BA.
Organizing/Feng Shui/EFT
215 354 0275

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