It's already the second month of the New Year. Whatever New Year's resolutions you may have made, you now have only 11 months left to make them happen. Today is a great day to make the changes necessary to create higher revenue for you. We write our own paychecks based primarily on how we spend our "billable hours". Time is money for us, literally.
Sales is a process and, when done correctly and consistently, will allow us a good quality of life. The sales process includes putting new people into our pipeline daily (prospecting). We need to have client needs analysis meetings scheduled daily. Here we learn about their world and whether we can help them. And, we need to present campaigns designed to meet the clients' needs. As we grow our list of clients, we need to add service into the system to cut down on attrition. These steps should be done DAILY.
The above four steps should form the basis of our daily work plans. If every day of your selling career you had two client needs analysis meetings scheduled and one presentation to ask for annual dollars, how successful would you be? What if you had three client needs analysis meetings scheduled and two presentations for annual dollars?
Our service work includes time to write presentations, write orders, follow up on results, answer emails and phone calls. These are important parts of our jobs but, often times, we allow them to take precedence over the earlier steps that lead to sales. These service activities should take place before 9:00 AM and after 4:00 PM, or 16:00 for those of you on military time. With today's technology, the ability to return phone calls and answer emails is as close as your phone and you aren't tethered to your desk or office.
The most successful salespeople I have worked with also do one other important thing: they set aside a few hours each week to plan. These planning sessions are done outside of normal work hours. Choose a time that works for you, a time you can be uninterrupted for a couple of hours to think strategically.
- What short term, intermediate and long-term items do you need to work on? What time will you set aside to do so?
- Which projects will give you the highest return on time invested? When will you schedule them?
- Which projects are the most important to your boss? Do them now!
- Were there items on last week's action list that you did not get done and need to move to this week? Place them on your daily planner.
- What else might I consider to give me good results? Think about the next quarter, upcoming seasons, new categories of business.
The best time-management experts in the world can only give you techniques to make better use of your billable hours. It's up to you to adopt these techniques and turn them into habits. As we say here in Oklahoma, "
You can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink." The pond is here. I hope you'll take a big, long guzzle. I promise you that better use of your time will mean higher revenues for you.