Time is a deep fundamental. You have to use it well—very well—to produce the best results possible. Much of what you need to do to produce sales results isn’t urgent. More still, much of what needs done doesn’t show up on the reports that your sales manager requires.
Prospecting and nurturing are two vital activities salespeople fail to spend time on. To produce better results, you have to find the time to religiously focus on these tasks and activities. Here is where you’ll find the time.
Arrive Earlier, Stay Later
Your company may require you to work from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM. That may be what they require, but it may not have anything at all to do with what succeeding wildly requires of you.
Getting to work even a half hour earlier to respond to emails, to do your follow up work, or to update your sales force automation means that you gain a half hour later in the day. If you stay an extra half hour to prepare your call lists for the next day, you will have gained a full hour.
That extra hour on an 8-hour day is 11% increase in the time you work. By shifting the time you do administrative tasks, you will find an additional hour to invest in productive prospecting or nurturing activities.
You may have to wake up an hour earlier.
Skip Lunch, Or Make It Meaningful
The most effective people I know do one of three things at lunchtime; they skip lunch, they eat at their desk, or they have lunch with a client, prospect, or someone in their network.
Skipping lunch (or working through your lunch) will buy you another hour of productivity. Skipping lunch or eating at your desk is good for two days each week.
Then, schedule a client lunch and invest your time in those relationships, schedule a dream client for lunch and nurture that relationship, and schedule someone in your network for a working lunch.
What if you don’t have anyone to take on one of those days? Then schedule someone from another department within your own company and nurture the internal relationships and grease the skids to make sure that you deliver for your dream clients and clients.
Doing both of the above will find you a net 22% increase in your productive work time. But there is still more.
Avoiding the Weapons of Mass Distraction
This one only gives you back the time you normally waste. This means eliminating much of time you spend with the weapons of mass distraction, the Internet, most emails, more than half your phone calls, and much of time you spend at the water cooler.
If you are completely and totally honest with yourself, there is almost always an hour to be found in time wasted on distractions and novelties. You have to firewall your time from distractions, and you have to plan your day so that you do what is necessary and not urgent.
By doing so, you can easily find another full hour to spend prospecting, nurturing your dream clients, or taking care of your existing clients. This is without suggesting that you do what the most successful salespeople do, which is to do a couple hours of work from home (especially all their administrative tasks and duties).
Protect your time. Invest it wisely in opening and nurturing the relationships that you need to gain and win opportunities.
Where can you find the time you need for prospecting and opening relationships?
Where can you find the time to nurture those relationships?
What are the important, but not urgent, tasks that must be done in order to succeed—even though your sales manager may not be tracking them?
What could an extra hour each day invested in real sales activities do for your results? (That’s 260 hours over the course of the year, or an extra 6.5 weeks)
What are the distractions that prevent you from investing your time as wisely as you might and how can you firewall your time to prevent it from being wasted?
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Filed under: Sales