There are 250 working days in 2017. If we calculate 8 hour working days, that’s only 2,000 working hours before we make another lap around the sun. The clock is ticking… will you make the most of it, or leave money on the table that you and your company depend on?
Here are 11 simple reminders to maximize your selling time this year!
Set Personal and Professional Goals – How can you use your time wisely with no vision for the future, road map or destination? Get your vision in writing and share it. Professional goals are typically a means to your personal goals and should be well connected and communicated with your mentors, co-workers and family. If you lead sales people – this is the first step in really understanding how to create an environment to motivate your sales people.
Territory and Account Planning – Territory S.W.O.T Analysis – Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. There are two strategies to grow sales. Win new market share, or sell more products and services to existing clients. Both require a different set of core attitudes, skills and behaviors. Segment your territory and accounts to set a plan of action that aligns with your sales goals.
Know the Behaviors – Have a Cook Book, a recipe for sales success. A yearly quota is great, but what are the daily, weekly, monthly and quarterly sales behaviors that will get you there? How many networking events, dials, emails, trade shows, referrals, conversations, meetings…will you need to hit your target? Manage the behaviors, not the numbers.
A.B.P (Always Be Prospecting) – You don’t have to like Prospecting, you just have to do it. Calendar Block 30 minute periods throughout your day for proactive prospecting activities. Too many sales reps don’t make it because they fail at lead generation and it boils down to a conceptual or technical issue. Meaning its either in their head, or they don’t know how to technically do it. Ask yourself everyday: “Was I Proactive, or Reactive Today?”
Pre-Call Preparation – When it’s tough to get time with prospective buyers you better make the most of it by doing your homework ahead of time. Your prospects are researching you and your company, and they expect you to know your stuff and bring value. Do your research on the buyer, the company and industry. How will you build rapport quickly? Put yourself in their shoes. What questions will they have? What are their goals for the call? What are your questions? What are the outcomes?
Talk Less, Listen More – Make the most out of your selling time by gathering more information instead of dispensing information early on in your sales process. It’s OK to spill a little candy, don’t get me wrong, but the 70/30 rule should be at play. The prospect should be doing %70 of the talking, and the seller should be doing %30.
Disqualify – Not everyone qualifies for your time and valuable solutions. Stop wasting time and brain power chasing unqualified prospects. Instead, Go for the No! Give your prospects permission to tell you no when your gut tells you it’s not going right.
Define your Sales Process – When’s the last time you reviewed your sales process? What about the buyer’s process? Map your typical sales process from Hello to Yes or No. Start with the Big Picture steps like: Make Contact, First Meeting, Demo Ect…Then go Micro under each with what needs to happen to move to the next step in the process.
Follow a Selling System – Systematic selling allows you to use your selling time effectively and efficiently. A selling system is simply your strategy and tactics used to execute your sales process. The techniques you use to qualify, close, or disqualify sales opportunities. If you don’t have a defined system and process how do you know when and where things went wrong? How do you learn from mistakes and replicate success?
Stay Mentally and Emotionally Tough – You will only perform in your role consistent with how you see yourself conceptually. In sales, your time is filled with a lot of rejection. More ‘no’s’ than ‘yes’s’. It’s easy to take the flak you get throughout your day personally, and allow it to negatively impact your performance. To keep what happens in your role as a salesperson from impacting your attitude – you must learn to separate your role identify from your self identity.
Pay time vs. No Pay time – Pay time activities are those that have a direct impact on generating revenue such as prospecting and appointments. When are prospects and clients available to do business. No Pay Time activities are those that do not directly lead to revenue production like planning and admin work. Doing No Pay time activity during Pay Time equals trouble! Keep in mind that the profession of sales in not a 9 to 5 job. Banking hours do not apply to top performing sales pros.
My answer to time management is simple: You can’t manage time, only the behaviors. You have to know the behaviors for success and then manage them. If you follow these simple behavior reminders you will get the more out of your selling time in 2017!