Four Time Traps that Kill Sales

time trapManaging time really means, we manage ourselves. That includes avoiding the time traps that plague salespeople. Sadly, many of us are keeping ourselves from achieving the success of our dreams because these four time traps kill sales.

  1. Disorganization – How much valuable selling time has been lost or compromised because we’re looking for information, our keys, or an address? Have you ever been flustered at the beginning of a meeting with a prospective client because you lost track of time? How about forgetting their suite number and having to backtrack to the directory to find their office in a large complex? These are all things that we can and should control if we want to be successful. By being organized and giving attention to the details of every aspect of our business life will allow us to have more and better quality interactions with potential clients.
  2. Procrastination – This includes underestimating the amount of time something will take. Stop putting things off until they “have to” be done. Try increasing your time allotment in preparing for client contacts by 20% and feel the difference in how you feel. It’s likely you’ll feel more calm, more competent and prepared. And that competence will show on the outside–increasing the confidence potential clients have in you. True professionals in sales do what needs to be done when it needs to be done. They battle procrastination at every turn, instead economizing on their preparation time to allow for more client time.
  3. Unnecessary or unnecessarily long phone calls or meetings – Treat every client contact like a meeting. Set a goal for it. Prepare a brief agenda (so you don’t forget to cover any key points). And, estimate how long the contact should take. Remember to add 20% of time to allow for important sidebar comments your client might make. And, write out how you anticipate ending the contact. A brief summary of what was covered is a good strategy. When you don’t have a plan for your client contacts, you’re giving the clients free rein on your time. If you do business with people who tend to be chatty, set the stage at the beginning of your contact with them with something like this: “Paul, I’m happy we’ve connected today. I’ve prepared heavily in order not to waste your valuable time. I believe we can cover all of our most important topics of discussion by 11:30 so we can both move on to our next commitments in a timely manner.” This sets an end time for the contact that will, hopefully, be honored by both of you.
  4. Unconfirmed meetings. Stop being afraid that people will cancel on you if you check in with them the day before or morning of a scheduled contact. We’re all busy people. Not everyone watches the clock. It’s easy to underestimate the time needed for things (see point #2 above). Send a quick email or make a brief call prior to your scheduled meetings and say something like this: “Hi Sue. I’ve worked hard in preparation of our time together. I’ll be ready promptly at 2 for our meeting. I promise not to waste your time, and to provide you with the information you need in order to make a wise decision about (name one of your benefits).” When the recipient knows you’ve done work in preparation for the meeting, they’ll feel at least a twinge of guilt if they were thinking of cancelling. If you confirm by phone and something has come up to require a change of plans, at least you’ll have them on the phone and be able to re-schedule right then and there.

[Read more…]

Poor Time Management Is a Career Killer

clockI’m sure you realize that poor time management is a career killer. Click the following link to watch a special video message and learn how you can manage your time more effectively: Poor Time Management in Sales

You see, we all have 86,400 seconds in a day. No one has any more, no one has any less. The key to great income, great financial independence in the future is making those seconds productive and not waiting for business but going out and making it happen.

Too many people in selling careers fail simply because they haven’t mastered the ability to control their time. They have a strong desire to retain the freedom offered in a selling career, but they don’t have the strength to master their time effectively.

Managing your time in selling is an awesome responsibility. If you are willing to accept that responsibility, you must also create a burning desire within yourself to master time-management techniques. You must develop a tremendous pride in your ability to manage time in order to do it well. And, time management is really self-management. We all have the same amount of time each day. It’s how we use it that matters. When you invest as little as 10 minutes at the end of each day to plan what you want and need to accomplish the next day, you’ll be more productive and reap the rewards of greatness.

To determine whether or not you’re handling your time well, ask yourself this question, “Based on my overall production, which is a reflection of my ability to properly manage my time, would I buy stock in me?” If your answer is no, you’ll need to learn to control your time and temper your freedom or you’ll find yourself becoming a “job jumper,” possibly jumping right out of sales entirely.

Copyright Tom Hopkins International Inc.

Time Planning is Worth Your Time

Most people don’t set out to waste their time. They want something for it. In fact, all but a few of us want every nickel we can get for our time when we’re selling it. This is as it should be. But most of us are less determined to wring all the other values from our time that are there for the taking. In other words, most of us don’t work as effectively as we could at the business of becoming more productive.

The way to change this is through time planning. Let me give you some reasons why this is so important. [Read more…]