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Time Management for Sales Superstars
by Joe Heller

One area my consulting client's fall into are sales organizations who are fighting to regain lost momentum inside their market. These struggling sales organizations resemble a sailing ship battling to gain ground against a strong wind at its bow. They never seem to advance no matter how well they prepare because they are navigating the sea without a chart. They have no course set to help guide them through the troubled waters they are encountering.

The challenge is that these "troubled" organizations are activity driven, not priority driven. It's like they are trying to navigate with a broken compass. A question I often ask sales executives [CEOs too] behind closed doors is "What are the three highest priorities that you must get done every day in order to succeed?" What I get back is a lot of blank stares or maybe a few ramblings tossed out in hopes of winning my approval. The trouble with these ambiguous responses is that if sales leadership can't answer this simple question what hope does the rest of the sales organization have.

The truth is that many people don't have a clue how to assign priorities in order to succeed. Do you? They cannot identify priorities that should guide their day, like the stars in the heavens guided navigators who sailed in ancient times. Once discovered, these priorities that I've asked you to identify will produce the highest pay-off for you in any endeavor you undertake. And, if possible they should be interwoven with the company goals that you work for in order to enhance your opportunity for success.

In case you didn’t know it, TIME is your most precious resource you have. It is possibly the most valuable resource you possess. This gift is given freely and its value is acknowledged by even the wealthiest tycoon. The gift is the twenty-four hours of the day that you are given to spend or invest in any manner you see fit. You can spend it or invest it; however you cannot save it in the bank for a rainy day. Once time is passed you can never recapture it except in your memories. Everything you do involves time, so it is absolutely essential that you invest time appropriately.

In order to determine how you should invest your time you must determine what is really important to you. It makes sense that you organize your life around things that you are passionate about. Your passions should give life to the goals that you design your life around. What you want to accomplish? You must decide what your goals are in order to maximize your time towards their accomplishment.

In sales, daily priorities may include conducting sales presentations, prospecting and investing time for daily sales instruction. For every priority item on your list you must ask yourself what are the tangible benefits you will receive from each item in order to evaluate its return for your [time] investment.

A few questions you must ask yourself in order to reach your potential are:
  • What priorities should I focus on everyday?
  • How do these activities bring me closer to my goals?
  • What do I need to learn in order to continue my growth?
  • How can I cut waste [non-productive activities] from my day?
Note: By removing 30 minutes of non-productive activities from your daily schedule will give you an extra twenty-two 8 hour days annually. Image what you could do with an extra month to sell.

So, how much is time worth to you? What are the different activities worth to you that you do everyday in achieving success? Also, consider the consequences of undertaking activities that under perform or that don't return the value you invest into them. Why do them? When you know what time is worth. You know what items to focus on and what to delegate to others. If you make $100,000 a year, every hour is worth $51.23. You must learn how to value your time in order to win in the sales game.

After all, it makes no sense for you to cut the grass only to save $20.00 if your time can be more productively used to produce $80.00. Of course, if you enjoy yard work there may be a value to you beyond its monetary aspects. Additionally, time has an intangible value too that provides for a future incentive. When you invest time in building a personal relationship in business or socially you are making an investment that can never be measured in dollars and cents.

In sales, many such relationships help cultivate valuable prospects that come through a referral from a friend or associate. These relationships create centers of influence that assist the sales professional in meeting new people who can benefit from their product of service. Invest your time wisely with others so that you can profit from your investment. The truth is that giving yourself wisely to others is invaluable; but never give yourself away cheaply.

In conclusion, Time Management is one of the major keys to unlocking your success. Determine what your time is worth and the value associated with your daily activities to ensure that you are living up to your full potential. Identify what activities are most worthwhile and produce the highest return for your investment of this precious resource. You will begin to discover what drives success and the activities that yield the lowest returns that are probably causing you the most frustration.

When you identify your high-payoff activities that produce the most benefit to you, you can immediately craft a plan that focuses on these activities while eliminating the non-productive activities from your schedule. When you gain control of your time you are no longer a ship sailing against the wind. You now have the essential information to chart a course that takes full advantage of the wind at your back. High-payoff activities allow you to condense your success cycle to reach your goals in the time you've allotted.

Challenge:
  1. Take a moment right now to write down what activities produce the highest returns for you.
  2. Once identified, write them on a piece of paper and keep them with you for 21 days to help you focus on your high-payoff priorities and to eliminate waste from your day.
One final note; in order overcome the challenges of time management – you must become an avid student of lead generation and marketing strategy – the high-payoff items for necessary to succeed in business.

© Copyright Joe Heller. All Rights Reserved.

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