How many times have you said to yourself, “I need more time”, “There’s just not enough time in the day”, “I don’t have time to hunt for new business.” How many times has your manager or director come down on you because you were late on delivering a project, report or anything else she asked for? Admit it, you said to yourself (or worse… to her), I didn’t have enough time to get it done on time.” Wrong answer. You know that is the biggest bunch of B.S. known to man, right?
Right about now your manager is thinking to herself, “I should have hired somebody that is better at managing their time.” Hurts, doesn’t it? For some salespeople, this is the bane of their existence. The two dirty words: Time Management.
If you want real sales success (a lot more than you are having right now) you have to figure out the pieces to a puzzle that has eluded many salespeople. If fact, it’s a puzzle that has cost quite a few salespeople their careers —Time Management.
The sales studs & studdettes in your industry have figured it out. You know some of them. You compete with many of them. What’s the difference between them & you? They know time management. Period.
Successful salespeople know their capacity to get work done. They know what’s important & they spend time on it. They have just as much time on their watches as you do. They have just as much work to do as everyone else — but they get it done. They have to do administrative work, quotes, attend internal meetings & take care of current accounts like everyone else. They do it all. And best of all for them, it does not come at the expense of hunting for new business.
If you thought by now your time management skills would have improved with age, think again. They have probably gotten worse with age! Time management takes work. It takes a consistent discipline — no shortcuts. If only there were a pill we could take to become better managers of our time.
Well, until Pfizer gets that one approved by the FDA you can at least commit to a list of ten things to do to become better at Time Management:
- Stop socializing during business hours — do it at lunch
- Check your email on a schedule— 3 times a day – morning, noon, end of day
- Eat the Frog First —Brian Tracy suggests doing the hardest thing first (stop worrying about it all day)
- Be selfish with your time — it’s OK to get your work done & not everyone else’s (it’s OK to say No)
- Put everything on a calendar or task schedule — know who you are calling/seeing every day
- Schedule “appointments with yourself” — specific time for prospecting (on the calendar)
- Don’t leave items in your Inbox — delete them or put them in folders
- Break projects up into “chunks” — most people don’t have time completing projects, they have trouble starting them. Breaking them up into chunks makes it easier to start (remember your Book Reports in school?) I. Introduction II. Body III. Summary
- Get off your phone — frivolous texts, games, Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, & so on. . .
- Admit it… multitasking is so 1990s (focus on one project at a time)
Always behind the 8 ball? Can’t get it all done? No time to prospect? None of these will ever improve until you master the 2 dirty words.