I do a lot of individual sales coaching. Every client is different and has different goals and needs, but the number one challenge I run into almost every time is time management.
A salesperson starts out the week with a plan, but it quickly deteriorates into a mish mash of new business development, old business follow ups, administration, and . . . let’s be honest . . . screwing around with all sorts of distractions that come up.
When I hold them accountable for the time they actually spend on what I like to call “Pure Production,” it is shockingly low. Then, they wonder why their performance has flat lined.
There is only one path out of this quicksand and into the clear, and that is to set up our top priorities for the week and then commit to nailing them no matter what else comes up.
I like to imagine a life and death scenario – either I fulfill this commitment or I will die.
I know that sounds dramatic but it is not that far from the truth. As salespeople we have to sell to live, to feed our families, to send our kids through college. All the rest of the stuff we are doing with our business day is an excuse for not actually producing for ourselves and our families.
I like to take an hour or so on Sunday night and map out my week. I name:
- My top priorities
- The calls I am going to make
- The people I am going to contact
- The outcomes I am looking for
That is my gold standard for the week. I then march through those priorities like Patton’s Fifth Army through Germany. Total focus! No excuses!
When I do this, I ALWAYS have a very productive week. When I don’t . . . when I get distracted and start to slop around . . . I inevitably wind up right where I started, and that is the definition of insanity.
There is a highly respected consultant who demands that his clients start out the week by making fifty calls to prospects and clients on Monday mornings before doing anything else. 50! Now that is a lot, but his point is, watch what happens to your business when you make fifty calls every week before you do ANYTHING else. Of course, it depends upon your business but you get the idea.
Get at those top priorities first. Trust me . . . you will find time for all that other stuff later.