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Improve Your Time Management for Sales
Time, and the lack of it, is the biggest barrier between you and your success.
As a sales professional, it is imperative that you get the most out of your day to achieve your targets and your personal goals. Imagine your life as a giant hourglass, the top-half running empty and, inside the bottom-half, we are being drowned by so much work, restraints, appointments, responsibilities and commitments.
In our daily struggle towards our goals, time and the lack of it becomes our enemy. Here we detail some simple and effective methods to enable you to get more done within the most precious of resources, TIME!
Time Management is an important skill and in practical terms, we must recognise the importance of every moment and to be aware not to waste it. Here are the necessary pre-requisites to help you manage your time effectively:
Think of goals and aims as necessary achievements - you simply have to achieve them. Work towards personal and business goals and use these to be your driving force to develop good time management habits.
Think of the time frame in achieving goals and aims. Also, the impact of disturbances between now and your goal.
Be realistic and expect changes. Be flexible and have an open mind to change. Nothing in life is certain and being totally rigid will probably mean you'll be playing 'catch up' at some point along your path. Build in contingencies because, as John Lennon once said, 'Life is what happens to you whilst you're busy making other plans'
Know your work style and preferences
Know your environment (home and work) and the impact it can have upon working to time deadlines.
Make Plans and task lists.
Avoid 'Time Robbers'
What's the Most Important? Create a habit today: Task Lists
Let's face it, 24 hours in a day is not enough time for many people to do everything they need to do!
It is, therefore, imperative that people perform their activities in the order of priority by making a task list. Ideally, the list would be done the evening or night before.
If not, first thing in the morning. Then simply number the tasks with one of the five major task groups:
Important and Urgent - Must complete today.
Not Important but Urgent - Should do today
Not Urgent but Important - Could do today if I complete the 'A's and 'B's
Delegate to someone else
Not Important and Not Urgent - Eliminate
Do this task in Excel or another spread sheeting software, insert the task in column 'B' and assign the number of priority in column 'A' you can then easily 'sort' them into a list of priority. This simple task will enable you to focus on the important things. Prioritise by asking yourself of the consequences if you don't do the task.
Almost everyone (if not everyone) is guilty of giving in or becoming victim to these time thieves one way or another. In fact, most of these time robbers have become normal parts of people's daily lives.
TV - If you really want to save time, turn off the Telly! Be strict in limiting your watching time. Be disciplined to watch only the programs you really want to watch. Don't channel flick. Better still, don't watch at all!
Phone - The phone can actually be a time-saver if you know how to use it properly. Instead of emailing someone, engaging in a phone call can allow you to get the answers right away. "Saying it" is definitely faster than "writing it."
Queuing and Commuting - Nothing could test your patience more than waiting for your turn in long queues. Pick a schedule where you least expect many people to show up. For example, go to the supermarket on weekdays or do an internet shop. Ask yourself is my time worth more than, less than or equal to the £5 delivery charge. If it's worth more, get the supermarket to do your shopping and get it delivered at the time that fits in best with your schedule! Avoid trying to find a bargain by shopping around by browsing shops. Research online beforehand and then enter the shopping centre like a targeted hunter homing in on his prey - straight to the shop you need, pick up the reserved item and pay - even better - buy it online! In case you really have no choice but to wait in line in the queue, then don't waste your time complaining. Do something productive like listening to a book on your MP3 player, listening to educational MP3s, or writing your future plans in your little notebook. Similarly, when commuting, use your time wisely - it's an ideal time to plan your day, check against your goals or listen to educational MP3s.
Taking on too much - Don't present too many choices. People will be confused if you sell them products with too many combinations, varieties, or options. Lots of time will be consumed in deciding which one is really the best. Pause a while every time you are going to do an activity. Always ask yourself, "What can I do along with this task to save more time in the future?" For instance, you are going to buy a birthday card for your friend. By asking the question, you might come up with the decision to buy more birthday cards instead of just one, to give to those who will be having their birthdays later in the year; so you don't have to go to the shop every time there is a birthday.
Emails - Many people check their emails many times during the day, therefore hampering their productivity. In recent research, if you are 'in the zone' for selling and you pause to read an email that you've just received it will take between three and four minutes for you to regain your focus. As email is the biggest waste of time in the modern workplace here are some hints to help: Check your Emails a Maximum of Twice a Day - first thing in the morning and mid afternoon (to catch up with last-minute concerns). Set up Templates - set up templates of standard answers so you can just copy and paste them (or set them up as 'Signatures' on Outlook). Reply Briefly. Answer your emails clearly and to the point. Don't over complicate the explanation. Never reply to spam messages or junk mails - emailing them to ask them not to contact you again seems to get you on more and more unwanted mail lists! Use the Phone - Several minutes spent in replying to emails can be shortened tremendously by just calling the person.
Date published: 28th November 2022
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