TIME MANAGEMENT FOR SALES PEOPLE – 37 DON’T-MISS TIPS In business, time is money. Yet most professional sales people focus on how they spend their money and forget about how they spend their time. Every successful business needs a budget for time and money allocation -- a sensible “spending plan.” Your “budget” will guarantee that you get the best return on the time that you invest in any activity. If you’re not budgeting your time, you’re wasting it! The following tips can help you make the most of every minute. Tip #1 – Before you schedule your time, prioritize it. Most guides on managing your time effectively will tell you that the first step is the creation of a schedule. While a schedule is important, before you can get to it, you need to create a time strategy. Your time strategy lists all the activities that you engage in, ranked according to their impact on increasing profits. Then, when your schedule your weeks and days, you can make sure that your plans have an appropriate amount of time devoted to “master list” concerns – what we call strategic time priorities -- and that your days aren’t swallowed up by less meaningful activities. *** TIPS ON SCHEDULING Tip #2 - Start your day the smart way – with a good breakfast and a “to do” list! Each week you should create a detailed time plan, but each morning you should make modifications that reflect progress you’ve made or unexpected new short- term priorities. Tip within a tip: A “master li st” i s everything you must take action on, while a “to do list” i s task s you will take action on today. " Tip #3 - Don’t optimistically over-schedule. If you pack too many deadlines into one day, you’ll find it impossible to stay on track and your schedule becomes meaningless. Tip #4 - Except in times of crisis, try to make sure day-to-day issues don't push your strategic time priorities off your schedule. Perhaps you’ve decided to make growing your West Coast client base a top priority and want to spend 8 hours each week making cold calls, 2 hours at the end of each day. On the day-to-day front, you want to serve existing clients. So, if a client wants to speak with you at 4PM – unless it’s am emergency that demands immediate attention – see if you can fold your client’s needs into YOUR schedule, not the other way around. Tip within a tip: Every sales professional must identify a personal balance between enough customers to profit from and too many customers to service effectively. . Tip #5 - Strategic time priorities require more than just time for doing…they require time for planning, thinking, and developing ideas. Be sure your schedule gives these key activities big blocks of uninterrupted time. Tip #6 – Your schedule must include time behind closed doors. Nothing kills a time management schedule quicker than interruptions and distractions. Make it clear that they are times when you are definitely “Do Not Disturb.” Soften the blow my scheduling regular meetings with staff or clients so that they have their time just as much as you have yours.
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