Effective Time Management

Posted on: October 27, 2009

You come into work, you have 10+ emails, you need to make time for prospecting calls and then you see you have 5 messages from your most important clients, not to mention, you have a report due to your manager and it’s the last day to get your monthly expenses submitted – what do you do first?

Managing your time, whether you are an inside or outside salesperson can be a challenge.  The key to managing your time effectively is to prioritize your day.  First think of who you have made any type of commitment to whether it is getting someone information or making a phone call at the time you told them you’d call.  Then ask the question, where are my sales going to come from today.

It is imperative that you have a daily plan to follow.  Sure it can easily be pushed off track but that is part of managing your time effectively.  In sales, you need to be able to juggle multiple things at one time because your day can get to be overwhelming if you don’t have a plan to follow. 

Primary selling hours are usually 8:30am-4pm.  This is the time to be selling.  The reports are an administrative function and if you are too bogged down with doing administrative tasks, you cannot be effective in the primary selling times, which is what you should be doing as a salesperson.

If you need to be making “x” amount of prospecting calls, then you need to block off time in your schedule and stick to that time to make those calls with little interruption. 

Sales is all about customer service; if a customer has an issue or complaint, do not sweep it under the rug or move it to the end of the day, address it and move on – get it off of your plate because it will only get worse if you don’t put out the fire when it happens.  The worst thing you can do is ignore an issue.  Even if it can’t be resolved immediately; the client will respect you more if you tell them you are aware of it and let them know what steps you are taking or have taken to resolve the issue.

At the end of each day, you need to create a plan for the next day.  You may need to carry over any items you didn’t get to today since they still need to be done.  Save those administrative tasks for early morning or the end of the day.  Coming into work a half an hour early is a good idea in order to attend to those tasks so you can keep your selling time for just that – selling and making money.

Make sure you know what’s important to your clients and that should be how you manage your day.  Make the most of your selling time because at the end of the day, it’s all about how much you have produced and how many more clients have moved further in the pipeline and closer to a sales success story.

Planning your daily activities can make your daily activities much easier to handle if you think like a true salesperson.  Just ask yourself, will the task you’re doing or about to do going to result in a sale or will it keep a client?  If not, you may want to review your daily activities.


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