We must prioritize because we can only focus on a few business opportunities at a time. Prioritization should help us maintain both incremental progress as well as momentum for our long-term objectives. Prioritization is a force that relies on sound judgment, self-discipline, and some helpful pressure from others.
If you have lots of leads, you probably have the tendency to get involved with or start lots of business opportunities. Leads can require tremendous amounts of mental energy, from capturing and organizing the elements to actually applying your creative talents to solve problems and complete your sales plan. Energy is your most precious commodity. Regardless of who you are, you have only a finite amount of it.
As you decide where to focus your precious energy, visualize all of your business opportunities along a spectrum that starts at “Extreme” and goes all the way down to “Idle.” How many resources, time, and energy should your current opportunities receive?
If you were to place your business opportunities along the spectrum, the main leads would be placed on the “Extreme” end of the spectrum, and the others would be placed accordingly farther down toward “Idle.”
Keep in mind that you are not placing your leads along the spectrum based on how much time you are spending on them. Rather, you are placing your leads according to how much energy they should receive based on their importance and according to their economic and strategic value.
Energy is a finite resource that is seldom managed well. Avoid spending a lot of time on leads that are interesting but perhaps not important enough to warrant such an investment of energy. You have to make the tough decisions about what leads need to live on “low energy” for a while.
It is hard to keep track of energy and where it’s being used. You need to organize a simple follow-up mechanism to help prioritize, measure, and adjust your energy allocation.
References: [Belsky, 2010] Making Ideas Happen