Recently I overheard a sales rep say, “I would love to sell more but I just don’t have the time to prospect.” In the same week, a friend said “I would love to be healthier but I don’t have the time to work out.”
Please! When we say we don’t have the time to do something, what we are really saying is that we chose not to do it. We all have the same number of hours in a day. The only difference is how we spend them.
Let’s face it. If top producing sales people can find the time to prospect, so can you. The key is how you plan your work.
You want to arrive at the office Monday morning with your week already booked. To do this, work this week to book next week’s activities. You should use a calendar which shows a whole week on one page. If your PDA or Smart Phone can’t show this, you can download one for free from the B2B Sales Connections Download Centre. Personally, I use Google Calendar. It’s also free, and it allows me to colour code my business, personal and charity work appointments, as well as share them online with those that need to know my schedule.
What you use to schedule your time is very important because the only way to plan a week properly is to be able to see the entire week at a glance. The key to your calendar is to concentrate on the upcoming week, not the week past. You want to focus on what is to be done, not what has already happened and cannot be changed.
The first thing to enter into your calendar are your booked appointments; including meetings with customers, sales meetings and personal appointments. When doing so, also write in the geographic location of each appointment using the zip or postal code. That way, when you prospecting for new appointments, you can schedule them near each other, reducing travel time. Time spent in the car is not productive, so why not minimize it. This also has the added benefit of saving on gas too!
Next, schedule time for your office duties. This should be in non-peak selling hours like first thing in the morning of after 4 pm in the afternoon. Preparing quotes, answering emails, and completing sales paperwork should be completed in this scheduled time, but only in this scheduled time and not in prime selling hours.
Most importantly, time should be booked in for your prospecting activities. You should schedule at least an hour each day, and preferably at the same time each day so you can develop a routine. Treat prospecting like a scheduled appointment, just as you would a meeting with a prospect. You wouldn’t consider canceling a customer call; therefore you shouldn’t cancel on yourself and your future sales success by failing to complete your prospecting activities.
Proper planning this way will allow you fit more into your sales day. It will also free up some personal time as well. Remember that work out you never seemed to have time for? Schedule it!
Remember, plan your work and then work your plan. As the Sales Wizard Brian Jeffrey once said, “We can’t manage time, but we can manage ourselves. So time management is self management.” More motivational quotes here.
If you would like to know more ways to make your life easier and free up more time for selling, check out my book Action Plan For Sales Success. It includes specific techniques and tools that you can use to impact your sales results immediately. As one reader stated, “I am working through your “Action Plan For Sales Success” … and I’d like to say THANKS for a great hands on approach, with working documents that make it easy to turn learning into ACTION.”
Are you a sales manager looking for how to use these time saving tools to help manage your team better? Action Plan For Sales Management Success is based on over 50 years of successful B2B sales and sales management expertise and includes the techniques used by today’s top producing sales managers.
Susan A. Enns, The B2B Sales Coach
“I love the B2B Sales Connections website. It’s an amazing resource for anyone involved in B2B selling.”