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Time Management … A Sales Professional’s Best Friend

June 6, 2013

No matter how affluent, talented, or successful we become, time is the one thing we can never get enough of. The top radio sales performers are very aware of the value of their time. In fact, all successful sales people practice disciplined time management. As a result, they spend the most time doing those activities that make them the most money and little time completing those tasks that earn them little or nothing. When it comes to radio sales, there are three main components where your time should be focused: Prospecting, Presenting, and Closing. Notice that all three of these activities involve customers. That’s because you sell more when you spend more time in front of your customers, whether prospecting for new business, presenting solutions to problems, or closing business.

The key is to get organized and to manage your time effectively. The following techniques are essential in gaining control of the way you manage your time as a sales professional.

  1. Set a monthly sales target, and calculate how many prospects you need to talk to each month in order to generate enough business to hit that target. Once you have those numbers set, your priority becomes making the calls. Your next step becomes working those leads that are already in the sales funnel, and moving them closer to a sale. Tie every piece of activity you do during the day to your goals.
  2. Calculate the value of your time. What is every productive hour worth? If you want a more accurate calculation of the worth of your time, try this. Divide your desired earnings by only those productive hours in each day. Productive time is that amount of time spent engaging with customers, prospecting, presenting and closing.
  3. Block time off in your calendar every day to make calls and prospect. Don’t just make a mental note – actually block the time off physically so you and everyone else can see it clearly.
  4. In a place you can easily see every day, post your revenue goal in big, bright numbers. Staring at this number each day will remind you of what you need to do first thing every day. Staring at your goal constantly will help you stay focused.
  5. Remember that, in sales, there are only two times of the day: pay time and non-pay time. Simply put, there are only so many hours in a day that you can talk to customers, so use that time wisely. Any activity that is not directly related to meeting people, building relationships and closing business should be done before 8am or after 5pm – unless, of course, you’re selling to different time zones!
  6. Stay away from the Time Wasters in your office. They are not customers, and they will not buy from you. Your customers are on the outside (or the other end of the phone). In the end, your profits will be reduced by Time Wasters, and you will only have yourself to blame.
  7. Close your doors, hide, and work from a different office: If you cannot be found, then you can’t be interrupted. Put your phone on “do not disturb” while making prospecting calls. Set a time aside each day to answer messages, leaving a very specific outbound message alerting callers.
  8. Be on time. If you are on time for meetings, calls or appointments, then people will treat your time with respect. Simply put, show respect for other people’s time and they will eventually show respect for yours.
  9. Make and use a hot list or task sheet every day. It is a good idea to keep all of your clients’ information in one place.  This will allow you to focus on calling clients, not on wondering where you put their information.
  10. Minimize office meetings, especially during prime selling time. To maximize profits, you must maximize client meetings when your clients are at work. Remember – you cannot sell to your fellow sales professionals.

Losing control of your time is the worst mistake a sales professional can make. You must guard your time in order to stay productive. If you are productive, you are in control. If you are concerned about your productivity – or are not hitting your goals – take an honest look at who is controlling your time most often. Is it you or someone else? If you can honestly say it’s someone else, then implement a change immediately. Taking action will always yield a better, more profitable result.

-Nicole Somerville, Sales Research Consultant