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Return On Time Invested

Your clients expect you to help them understand the return they will receive on the money invested in your product, service, or solutions. If you can’t help them understand their return on investment, they aren’t likely to invest their money. They just won’t take action.

There is a lesson worth learning here.

What if you held yourself to that same standard when it comes to where you invest your time? What if you measured each activity that you take for its return on time invested, refusing to spend your time where there was no return to be had?

Let’s look at your ROTI.

A Low Return on Time Invested

Some of the activities that you engage in produce a very low return for a high investment of your time. Many of these activities look and feel like work. They give you a false sense of accomplishment. But they produce nothing.

Much of the time you spend in your email inbox produces no return on time invested. You can spend countless hours each day in email, especially if you check your email first thing in the morning, check your cell phone every 20 minutes, and live with your email open throughout the day. The return on the time invested in email is low because most of it is worthless and much of it is simply other people’s requests and demands.

You can add to this list of low return on time invested activities many of your meetings, a lot of time you spend on the Internet, much of the time you spend with your peers around the water cooler, and some of the time you fritter away with some of your friendly clients.

Ask yourself: What is my investment of time here going to produce? If the answer is “nothing,” then take the decision to invest your time somewhere else.

High Return on Time Invested

All of the above activities are sometimes necessary. Just not at the level most people engage in them. The most productive people spend their time where it produces a greater return on investment. They invest their time where it produces the outcomes that they really want.

In sales, the most productive investment of your time is time invested with your clients and your dream clients (my word for your best prospects). Face-to-face sales calls are what opens opportunities, advances opportunities, and wins deals. These activities produce a high return on investment.

There are dozens of high return on invested time activities, like time spent with existing clients, time spent with the team that delivers for your clients, time spent nurturing relationships, and time spent prospecting.

You can’t spend every minute on high return on time invested activities. But you can improve the amount of time there, and you can crowd out the low return on time-invested activities.

Questions

Think about the last couple hours of your day today. Were the activities you were engaged in high return on time invested?

What are the activities that produce the highest return for your invested time?

What activities produce little to no return on the time you spend?

How can you crowd out the low return on invested time activities?


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Comments

comments

  • Ace Concierge

    Excellent post and a key point I use in discussing outsourcing with my clients.

  • http://www.readycontacts.com/ Vaibhav Domkundwar

    That is a great post, Anthony. And its especially important for small business founders to keep that of this metric and evolve in directions where this metric continues to improve.

  • http://www.salesverge.com/ Elise

    This is a great article, but in some ways I hated reading it because it draws attention to how much time I waste daily! As you mentioned, many of our daily activities can help us to be more productive, but only to a certain extent. In some ways, this is why I love the trend towards using mobile devices in business.

    Without having to be tied to a hefty desktop, I feel I have more personal interactions with co-workers…in some ways perhaps even getting back to the good old days of face-to-face. When I use my iPad I can take it anywhere, and use it to enhance explanations. This way I feel as though I am completing those high return on investment activities more frequently.