Time Management Tips for Sales Pros
I’m a huge believer in using your selling time for selling and prioritizing other tasks for your non-selling hours. I’m also a proponent of scheduling—putting together a weekly schedule on Sunday and reviewing the next day’s schedule before you finish your day.
Like many of you, I’ve read countless books on time management and have gained little pieces here and there that I use daily, weekly and monthly. Here are fivetips that I can share and attest to their worthiness—at least for me.
-Sell During Your Selling Hours: As stated above, this is rule No. 1 with me. Review what you do during a given day and make sure everything (and I do mean EVERYTHING) is geared toward selling. Be careful not to bog yourself down with things you “think” are helping you sell but turn out to be just busy work. Ask yourself, “Is this task going to help me sell something?” If the answer is “no”, place it on your non-selling hours To Do List.
-Make A LOT of notes: I keep a small spiral bound notebook in my pocket all the time. If I think of something that needs to be done later, I don’t commit it to memory, I write it down. I have sticky notes all over my desk for things I need to do later—things I need to schedule in my non-selling hours. Write them down when they come to mind and schedule them at the appropriate time.
-Daily, Weekly, Monthly Schedules: I schedule tasks through iPad and iPhone and let them sync up for things that occur daily, weekly and monthly. Have a set monthly Sales Meeting? Schedule it NOW and get it on your recurring calendar. Do you need to preview your week on Sunday evening for an hour? Put in on your calendar and block out time for it. If it’s not on the calendar, the chances of you doing it drop dramatically.
-Daily Review/Preview: I like to finish my day by reviewing the day’s events and previewing anything I have on the calendar for the next day. I would hate to tell you how many times in my “preview”, I’ve noticed a morning meeting the next day that I had either forgotten about or wasn’t totally prepared for. This is a critical step when you begin to spend those selling hours only on selling-related tasks. Take a few minutes at the end of the day, take a deep breath and just go through your calendar.
-Be Realistic: Don’t allot an hour for something that four people couldn’t complete in three hours. Give yourself time to PROPERLY finish a presentation, do research or finish a project. At the same time, if you schedule two hours for prospecting: do it for two hours. The more you get to where you stick to your schedule and your calendar, the easier it is going to be. You are going to manage it instead of letting it manage you.
Those are five tips that I use constantly and have made my life and my business easier to manage. I hope they are of benefit to you.
One of the best tips I ever got (I think it came from Stephen Covey) was to avoid the temptation to schedule everything on Monday when filling out your weekly To Do List. You end up getting frustrated that you have to move things to the next day and the next day. Again, be realistic. Know going in that you cannot do everything on Monday. There is no shame in scheduling tasks for the rest of the week instead of all on Monday.
Question: Do you have some time management tips that you’d like to share? I’d love to hear them.