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Time Management for Salespeople



Time Management for Salespeople
by Dr. Criswell Freeman

Five Essential Habits for Managing One’s Time and One's Life
Every salesperson whose compensation is based upon productivity is, in effect, a personal service corporation. Because most salespeople work according to their own schedules, the intelligent management of time is an essential ingredient for success. Effective time management is essentially the daily application of a series of 5 simple habits that, when utilized, inevitable lead to greater sales productivity, greater income, a greater sense of accomplishment, and an enhanced self-image. These habits are: Habit 1: Prioritization All tasks are not created equal; effective salespeople work on highpriority tasks first. Life holds enough high-priority items in life so as to leave precious little time for anything else. Wasting time is essentially nothing more than investing one’s life in low-priority activities. And since time is a non-renewable resource, to waste it is profoundly unfortunate and unnecessary. Prioritization requires clarity. To have a clear vision of ones goal is imperative. Fuzzy goals and vague hopes seldom lead to success. Prioritization also requires focus. To rush after several major goals at once is counterproductive. Instead, one should have a primary, overriding objective and pursue it with vigor. Thoughts on the Habit of Prioritization "No business can do everything. Even if is has the money, it will never have enough good people. It has to set priorities." Peter Drucker "Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least." Goethe "Take more time to think. And do things in the order of their importance." Frank Bettger "No matter how much time you have wasted in the past, you can still have an entire tomorrow. Success depends upon using it wisely by planning and setting priorities." Denis Waitley "Putting first things first is an issue at the very heart of life." Stephen Covey "First things first; second things never." Shirley Conran Habit 2: Get Started Most great accomplishments are left undone because well-meaning people never "get around" to them. Getting started is the only way to break the chains of procrastination. Unless the chains of procrastination are broken, life loses much of its pleasure, and success remains elusive. Getting started is a daily activity. Success requires that we "start again" every morning, working with perseverance and confidence. Great accomplishments are seldom the result of a single day’s work. Instead, they result from an accumulation of well-spent days.

Thoughts on Getting Started and "Keeping Started" ""Now" is the operative word. Everything you put in your way is just a method of putting off the hour when you could actually be doing your dream. You don't need endless time and perfect conditions. Do it now." Barbara Sher "Do noble things, do not dream them all day long." Charles Kingsley "The wise man does immediately what the fool does eventually." Baltasar Gracián "Every difficulty slurred over will be a ghost to disturb your repose later on." Frederic Chopin "Nothing is so exhausting as indecision, and nothing is so futile." Bertrand Russell "Know what you want to do, hold the thought firmly, and do every day what should be done, and every sunset will see you that much nearer your goal." Elbert Hubbard "What one has to do usually can be done." Eleanor Roosevelt Habit 3: Learn to Say No Members of the highly-attended People-pleasers Club find their time, their lives, and their to-do lists filled with low-priority activities assigned by other people. The word "no" is perhaps the single greatest time-saver in the toolkit of those who wish to manage their lives wisely. With the ability to use the word "no" (politely, but firmly) comes the freedom to plan one’s own affairs and accomplish one’s own goals. is the wisdom and the courage Thoughts on the Habit of Saying "No" to Low-priority Activities "Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent. Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you." Carl Sandburg "It’s important not to let other people fritter away your time, but when you say "No," you have to make it stick without seeming ruthless." Alan Lakein "You must learn to say no when something is not right for you." Leontyne Price "Besides the noble art of getting things done, there is the noble art of leaving things undone. The wisdom of life consists in the elimination of nonessentials." Lin Yu-t'ang "To know what you prefer, instead of humbly saying "Amen" to what the world tells you that you ought to prefer, is to keep your soul alive." Robert Louis Stevenson "As you organize your life, you must localize and define it. You cannot do everything." Phillips Brooks

Habit 4: Ignore the Fear of Rejection In selling and in time management, the great stumbling block that stands in the way of success is often nothing more than the simple fear of rejection. The profound irony of this fear, of course, is that it is only when we summon the courage to try, and to fail, that we have the possibility of succeeding. The fear of rejection is, in almost every case, an irrational fear. It is based upon our need to please others at all times. A better and more mature strategy is to do our work with less psychological energy wasted on the fear of rejection and more energy invested in the completion of high-priority tasks. Thoughts on Rejection Hardiness "You can’t have any successes unless you can accept failure." George Cukor "Confronting the fear of rejection is hard work." Azriela Jaffe "The salesman frequently encounters the word "no." He must be resilient." Robert Woodruff "85% of our customers say "no" at least once before buying." Ross Perot "Beware of allowing a tactless word, a rebuttal, or a rejection to obliterate the whole sky." Anaïs Nin "You are not afraid of rejection. You are afraid of what you believe will happen if you are rejected. Identify the roots of that fear." Azriela Jaffe "All that is necessary to break the spell of inertia and frustration is this: Act as if it were impossible to fail. That is the talisman, the formula, the command of right-about-face which turns us from failure towards success." Dorothea Brande Habit 5: Work Smart, Not Hard Work alone is not the key to success nor is it the solution to our problems. Intelligent work, on the other hand, is the key that unlocks the door to success, accomplishment, achievement, and wealth. The question that faces everyone who seeks to live and work effectively is simple this: "Am I working intelligently, or am I am I simply working hard." The answer to this question will determine, in large part, whether one achieves his or her primary goal . . . or not. An important element of "working smart" is the habit of organization. Disorganized salespeople put themselves at a tremendous disadvantage, and they do so needlessly. A better strategy, of course, is to invest a few precious minutes every day organizing ones life, one’s desk, one’s computer, and one’s to-do list. Thoughts on the Habit of Working Smarter, Not Harder "One good head is better than a hundred strong hands." Thomas Fuller "The great difference between those who succeed and those who fail does not consist in the amount of work done by each but in the amount of intelligent work. Many of those who fail most ignominiously do enough to achieve grand success, but they labor haphazardly at whatever they are assigned, building up with one hand to tear down with the other. They do

not grasp circumstances and change them into opportunities. They have no faculty for turning honest defeats into telling victories. With ability enough and ample time, the major ingredients of success, they are forever throwing back and forth an empty shuttle and the real web of their life is never woven." Og Mandino "Selling is the easiest job in the world if you work it smart, but it’s the hardest job in the world if you don’t." Frank Bettger "In everything one must consider the end." Jean de la Fontaine "Method is like packing things in a box; a good packer will get in half again as much as a bad one." William Cecil "Order and simplification are the first steps toward the mastery of a subject." Thomas Mann

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