We've all heard the adage: Time is money.
Indeed, if you treat your time as the valuable commodity it is, you are more likely to spend it conservatively and only on the things that hold the most value for you.
Therefore, adopting and implementing an effective time-management procedure should top any serious businessperson's agenda.
The reward for managing your time and consistently working toward your goals is the enrichment of not only your professional life, but your personal life.
Focus on your highest priorities and consistently place them first in your life.
The added benefit of a well-organized work schedule is the creation of time for family, friends and the leisure activities that rejuvenate and refresh you. This is the personal side of selling - finding time to relax and recharge.
Salespeople often find it difficult to justify taking time off, knowing how much work must be done and how limited the time is to accomplish it.
They can feel guilty being away from the job and as a result, personal interests, family and friends often take a back seat to business priorities.
The creation of more leisure time hinges on your ability to complete your assignments efficiently on or ahead of deadlines. If personal activities are sacrificed to business pursuits for too long, the result will be burnout, fatigue and the loss of quality in personal relationships.
Start With Planning
How is it that some people seem to get more accomplished than others in the same 24-hour time period?
How do they zip through a multitude of assorted tasks, while others only accomplish a fraction of that and complain about not having enough time to finish the rest? What is their magic formula?
Businesspeople who accomplish more have no more energy than the rest of us.
The common denominator among them is that they have all prepared a written plan of all the tasks they will accomplish during a day.
They methodically work on each one until every item on their list is complete.
Planning is the most vital aspect of every professional salesperson's career. It is there that efficiency is born. For example, sales professionals should plan the order of their calls so as not to retrace steps.
To increase your sales call efficiency, prepare written plans for:
- Who you are calling on;
- What goals you have set for the meeting;
- Things you need to know to determine need;
- What objectives you are hoping to achieve;
- What products or services you are going to sell;
- How the customer will use your product or service;
- What sales aids you plan to use;
- What features and benefits you are going to present.
Allow yourself adequate time for the presentation, answer period and other essential activities that your particular profession may require.
At the conclusion of the call, make sure to record the result of the meeting and any follow-up calls that should be made. For maximum efficiency, you might even want to schedule a follow-up meeting at the conclusion of the call.
The development of good habits is the core of greater efficiency.
At the beginning of each day, create a list of the six most important things you need to do to make your business grow.
Prioritize them and work each through to completion.
Don't look at or worry about the others; just focus on the task at hand. Move on. Don't panic if you aren't able to complete all six.
The cliché of "plan your work and work your plan" may be old, but as sales professionals it is fundamental to recognize the importance of organizing your activities.
When you manage your time effectively, making time to truly enjoy the activities that make you happy, you will emerge a refreshed and more effective individual with more to give intellectually, spiritually and emotionally to all aspects of your life.
Roy Chitwood is an author, trainer and consultant in sales and sales management and is president of Max Sacks International, Seattle.