Here is a quick check on how you manage your time. It was prepared from ideas collected from many salespeople who realize the importance of good time management. It’s made up of “yes” or “no” statements. Review each “no” answer for possible improvements.
This is also great to cover in your next sales meeting as a team and discuss the ways everybody can improve their time management. In my experience, there are always one or two areas we can improve on when it comes to time management.
1. I have a specific objective for each call.
2. I know where I’m going before leaving the office each morning.
3. I schedule my time monthly, weekly, and daily.
4. I determine the best time to meet with certain accounts and schedule other calls around them.
5. I screen all prospects and call on those first who are most qualified.
6. I am skeptical of theories that sales can’t be made on certain days or at certain times.
7. I fill in my schedule with cold calls and prospecting in the same areas as customer calls.
8. I keep office routine to a minimum, avoiding it whenever possible during prime selling time.
9. I base the frequency of calls on a customer’s potential sales rather than my convenience.
10. I keep in touch with my office by phone to get word of developments that might affect my schedule.
11. I have back-up sales calls ready to cover any cancellations.
1. I route my calls so as to avoid backtracking.
2. I plan calls in a given area (zone) to take a minimum amount of travel time.
3. When waiting is inevitable, I catch up on planning and account management record-keeping
Before The Call:
1. I make appointments by telephone to reduce waiting time and wasted effort.
2. I eliminate wasted calls by critical analysis of the need for every call.
3. I use the telephone/e-mail for customer contacts that do not require a personal call, though not using e-mail as a reason not to make a personal call.
4. I make sure all presentation material is complete and in order to prevent wasted motion and callbacks.
5. I review customer data before the call to reduce needless time in front of the prospect/customer so as not to appear disorganized.
During The Call:
1. I prepare my presentation carefully to minimize the time necessary to close the sale.
2. After breaking the ice and building rapport in Step 1 of the “7 Steps on an Opening Call” and/or Step 1 (Re-introducing yourself and covering what has transpired since you did your CMP call) of the “7 Steps on a Closing Call,” I get right to the purpose of the call.
3. I listen and take notes to reduce the need for callbacks.
1. I maintain records/notes at times other than prime selling time.
2. I fill in customer records as quickly as possible to avoid problems that take time later.
3. I keep sales records that tell me where my sales volume is coming from so I can spend my time where it counts most.
4. I know what my closing ratio is from initial contact to closing the prospect and making them a customer.
1) I minimize office chit-chat.
2) I avoid late morning starts, early afternoon quits.
3) I avoid the impulse to goof off after a good sale or a string of rejections.
4) I resist the “bad weather blues” and continue to make calls in spite of the weather.
5) I avoid becoming a delivery person for customers except in dire emergencies.
6) I avoid nonessential work that can be turned over to others within the company where applicable.
Sean Luce is the Head National Instructor for the Luce Performance Group International and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or www.luceperformancegroup.com. Sean’s new book The Liquid Fire can be found on Amazon.com.