If you ask most salespeople what holds them back from getting the results they desire one of the most common answers you’ll here is I need to manage my time better or I just don’t have enough time.
How often have you heard someone say I know I should be making those extra calls, I know I should be following up on my prospects, I know I should be networking more and meeting more people so I can expand my circle of influence… but I just don’t have the time?
“I have kids I need to take careI have a family I have to spend time with!”
If the worst thing you ever end up doing in your life is putting your family first you’ll have lived the best life you could ever live.
In fact, that’s why we’re working. We’re working so we could take care of our family so we can have as many moments, memories, and experiences with them as possible. In order for us to have those moments, memories, and experiences with them we need the resources to do it.
The interesting thing about time is we’re all time-rich. We all have the same amount of time per day as the richest man or woman in the world. We all get 24 hours every single day, like clockwork. If you think about it, the only people that don’t have time aren’t with us anymore.
It’s not that we don’t have the time, we don’t have priorities. Myself included at times.
We’ve all heard it before, “time is… money, right?” Well if time is money… why don’t we buy time? How do we do that? We do it by buying other people’s time for less than we sell it for. How do we do that? We do it by hiring people, outsourcing what we can, and investing in systems.
What if we don’t have the money or the resources to do that? If that’s the case we’re going to have to get really militant with the time we do have and become a time nazi until we can get to that position. The only way that’s going to happen if we’re a salesperson is if we produce.
5 Time Management Tips
Here are 5 tips that will help you produce more as a salesperson.
Tip 1: Physically prepare your day the night before.
Research your clients, how long it will take you to drive to your appointments if that’s case, and plan your schedule for the next day the night before as opposed to the morning of.
When you plan your day the night before you let your agenda stew in your subconscious mind as you sleep so when you wake up you’re fresh, you don’t have to consciously think about it, you know exactly what to do, and you can hit the ground running.
Tip 2: Get in front of your clients.
As a salesperson, you want to be sure you’re doing the most productive things at the most productive times and the most productive thing you can be doing as a salesperson is to be in front of a client or a prospect.
If you’re not in front of a client or prospect you want to make sure you’re doing whatever you can to put yourself in front of one. With that being said, make sure you load up your calendar with proactive activities that will get you closer to your outcome.
Prioritize your calendar in this order…
First and foremost, appointments with clients have priority over anything and everything, period. You can’t close business unless you’re in front of a client or you’ve got them on the phone.
Second, follow up on prospects that haven’t bought yet by phone, email, texts, personal visits, and lunch invites. The research shows only 2% of business is closed on the first contact and 80% of business is closed between the 5th and the 12th contact. And get this, and only 44% of salespeople make only one follow up call after meeting with a client. That’s ugly. The money’s in the follow-up. It’s not sexy, but it’s what works.
Third, participate in as many networking groups, business association, or chambers of commerce as you can make sense of. When you go to these groups don’t be like most people and be a taker, a parasite, or a leech and see what you can suck out of the group. Instead, join these groups to be a credible source of information for the group and to establish long-term relationships.
For example, maybe you offer to do free talks or presentations to the group answering the most commonly asked questions people have about your industry, your product, or what you do. In this way, you’ll establish authority and credibility with the members there and you’ll be the go-to person for the members of the group and they’re own respective networks over time.
Its very important that you give 100 times more to the group then you think you have to and it will only be a matter of time until you have more business coming to you from the group than you could’ve imagined.
Tip 3: Wake up before dawn to get a head start on the competition and set your appointments with clients at the earliest times possible.
There’s nothing like starting off the day with a sale and creating positive momentum for the rest of the day.
If you don’t have an appointment, start making follow up and sales calls at 9am on the dot in whatever time zone you’re doing business. Spend any extra time you might have before appointments or phone calls role playing your presentation or overcoming objections with a co-worker or with yourself in your own mind.
As top salespeople, we want to practice, train, drill, rehearse. Don’t overlook this, even if you’re a seasoned vet. The top performers across all fields do this… seasoned vets or not.
For example, what does every championship sports team do the days they don’t have games? They practice, they train, they drill, and they rehearse. And those are world-class, cream of the crop, multi-millionaire performers.
Tip 4: Block yourself from websites like ESPN, Amazon, Netflix, eBay, and TMZ
Unless you use these sites for business there’s no benefit from being on them.
It’s really easy to get distracted on these sites. How often have you gone to a site to quickly check the score from last night’s game or take a minute to check the price of something online only to find out you had spent a full hour there when you could have been working? It happens more than we want it to.
There are tools you can find online like RescueTime and Block Site to lock you out of websites during work hours so you can stay focused and productive.
Tip 5: Be very strict, militant, and even stingy with your time.
There are countless people that have made millions of dollars, lost it all, and then got it all back. But there’s nobody in life that will ever get their time back.
You’ll have well-meaning people or co-workers unknowingly try to take you off track by asking you about last night’s game, your thoughts on the elections, or your plans for the upcoming holidays, but you have to be polite and firm and let them know you have work to do and you’ll get back to them after work hours.
At first, people might be taken back by it, but in the long run they’ll respect you for it because you’re doing what they know they should be doing.
Follow these 5 tips and you’ll be sure to squeeze more time and productivity out of each day.
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