Effective time management - part 1 of 1

Published 01/12/1999

Access yourself

1. How much of my time is spent with customers or prospects?
2. Do I confirm appointments and plan my calls so they are closely clustered in a geographic area?
3. Is my paperwork done completely and correctly before I take it on my call?
4. Do I plan and practice my presentations and closes?
5. Am I willing to meet with customers at their convenience instead of mine?
6. Do I frequently take non-productive coffee breaks and non-working lunches?


One of the biggest problems sales-people have is managing their time efficiently You are working only when you are face to face with a real, live prospect or customer. You are not working when you're filling out forms or proposals.

The major time-wasters are, first of all, procrastination and delay ‑ putting off getting out there and talking to people. You waste time also when you're not prepared to close or you don't close or you don't ask for the sale often enough, so you have to go back again and again. Inaccuracies and deficiencies are major time-wasters, so be sure that all your paperwork is done correctly, and check it in advance.

Lack of product knowledge is a major time-waster, as are unconfirmed appointments and poor planning of calls in a geographic area. Other time-wasters include perfectionism, or insisting on everything being perfectly in order before selling, distraction or mind wandering, and fatigue or over-work. Nothing can help a person who lacks ambition, desire and energy.

You can increase your sales effectiveness by using your time to maximum efficiency. Advance planning is essential ‑ plan every day in advance. Go to bed early ‑ you owe it to yourself and to your success to be fresh. Read sales‑motivation or inspirational material for 20 to 30 minutes every morning. Schedule your first appointment early; the people who have the least time to spare to see you are almost always your most valuable prospects.

People who aren't making a lot of money in selling aren't talking to enough people. Spend 75 percent of your time prospecting until you become too busy servicing customers.

Spend your entire day working ‑ make every minute count. Don't think of your day in terms of hours; don't think of it in terms of mornings and afternoons; think of it in terms of minutes. If you use your lunchtimes and coffee breaks well and get started a little bit earlier, you can gain as much as two and one‑half to three months worth of additional income every year.Listen to audio-cassettes in your car. Avoid the radio, and make all driving time learning time. Upgrade your sales skills continually. If you can increase your ratio of closes to presentations, you're making the very best use of yourtime.

Remember, you're selling only when you're face to face with somebody who is qualified and capable of buying.

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1st Published 01/12/1999
last update 07/04/2022 09:17:53

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