How effectively do you manage your time? Do you spend your time as you would any other precious, nonrenewable asset, or are you the type of salesperson who is stressed-out, constantly jumping through hoops and consistently running late for meetings and client appointments?
The person who coined the phrase “time is money,” must have been a sales rep paid on commission. In the selling profession, the old cliché rings true, if you are not talking to a prospect or customer, you’re unemployed!
Treat Time Like Your Most Valuable Resource
We measure time far better than we manage it. In today’s high- tech world, physicists have become extremely proficient at measuring time. The atomic clock, based on strontium atoms trapped in a laser grid, is so precise that it has an inaccuracy of less than one second in 200 million years.
While we can all agree on how to measure time, we each tend to approach time management from our own personal perspective. Look at all of the ways we view the use of time… we waste it, we save it, we spend it, we invest it, we borrow it, we steal it, we juggle it, we squander it, and we seem to always be looking for more of it.
We have time wasters and time bandits and sometimes, in those rare moments when we find we have too much time on our hands, we even kill it. Time flies when we’re having fun, but tends to drag for those who are doing time. For some people time stands still, while others see time slipping away, like sand through an hourglass.
Effective Time Management Can Make Or Break Your Sales Career
The improper use of time is the number one contributor to high turnover in the selling profession. Even the most smart, talented and motivated salespeople fail because they simply can’t or won’t effectively manage their time properly.
12 Time Management Hacks For Taking Back Your Sales Day
Plan Your Sales Day The Evening Before
When you’re not in control of your schedule, you invite stress to fill the void. Set and prioritize meaningful tasks to be accomplished. Whether it’s an appointment calendar or a software program, the critical first step to properly managing your time is to organize and schedule your day.
Be careful not to confuse activity with productivity. For example, don’t just block off a couple of hours to make calls, set measurable activity goals to be accomplished, much as 25 phone calls per day.
Eliminate Time Bandits
Identify and eliminate or minimize activities that don’t directly contribute to your sales objectives. This may include excessive social media browsing, unnecessary meetings, or long breaks.
Once you’ve scheduled your day, the next step in managing your time is to recognize and modify old behavioral patterns regarding the improper use of time. Avoid procrastination in all of its attractive forms.
Plan and Schedule
Create a daily or weekly schedule that includes prospecting, follow-ups, meetings, and administrative tasks.
Having a planned schedule helps you say no to time wasters such as web surfing, personal phone calls, long lunches and chatty coworkers. An open door invites continuous distractions. Effective salespeople focus on task achievement rather than tension relieving diversions.
Use Time Blocking
Dedicate specific time blocks for particular tasks or types of activities. For example, allocate a focused block for prospecting calls and another for answering emails. This technique increases productivity and minimizes distractions.
Identify the most critical tasks that contribute directly to your sales targets. Focus on high-priority activities first to ensure you’re making progress on essential sales objectives.
Batch Similar Tasks
Group similar tasks together and tackle them in batches. For instance, dedicate a specific time each day to handle email responses, another for prospecting calls, and another for building proposals. Batching tasks helps you stay focused and avoids constant context switching, which can be time-consuming.
Remember, effective time management is a skill that improves with practice and self-awareness. Be adaptable and open to tweaking your approach to find what works best for your unique sales process and personality.
Set Clear Goals
Define specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) goals. Having clear objectives helps you stay focused and motivated throughout the day.
Use a CRM Tool
Implement a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system to organize leads, track interactions, and manage your sales pipeline efficiently. A CRM tool streamlines your sales processes and saves time on administrative tasks.
Practice the Two-Minute Rule
If a task can be completed in two minutes or less, do it immediately. This rule helps prevent small tasks from piling up and becoming overwhelming.
Learn to Say “No”
While it’s essential to be helpful and collaborative, learn to say “no” to requests or activities that will significantly derail your priorities. Politely decline or delegate tasks that don’t align with your sales objectives.
Delegate, Delegate, Delegate
Ineffective salespeople “play office” and hide behind paperwork. Make a smart business decision and either automate all non-sales related tasks or delegate them to an administrative assistant in order to free yourself up for client appointments and prospecting phone calls.
Regularly Review and Adjust
Set aside time at the end of each week or month to review your time management strategies and assess their effectiveness. Identify areas where you can improve and adjust your approach accordingly. Being proactive in optimizing your time management skills will lead to continuous improvement and better sales results in the long run.
By integrating these simple, yet highly effective time management tips into your daily business routine, you will reduce your stress levels, increase your effectiveness, and make time for new opportunities.
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About the author
John Boe is an entertaining speaker with a powerful message and a passion to…