If I had time to prospect I would, and if I had time to prospect, I know I’d be really good at it.
Liar, liar, pants on fire.
You are making a big fat excuse, and it comes down to poor time management. When you start viewing time as your most valuable resource, your priorities shift.
I’m going to share five easy tips for using your time wisely as a salesperson.
**This blog is part of the 15 Reasons Holding Salespeople Back series**
1. Block your time.
Last I looked, you took time to eat, to use the restroom, to get dressed, to shower. You did. What’s interesting is you take time for those things because you have to. You know what else you have to do? Prospect.
You won’t prospect until you block your time. Divide your calendar into one or two-hour segments and assign one of those to prospecting.
I consider prospecting and blocking time a lot like working out. If I don’t block my time to work out, I don’t, because I just get busy. You must be intentional.
2. Your first hour.
When I say your first hour, I don’t mean the first hour of work. I mean the first hour you’re awake. Here’s something I’ve found: a lot of people race to start work in the morning and by the time they start work, they’re disheveled already.
My first hour of the day is extremely organized. I have a set, specific routine. I’m strict with my time. I get up at the same time every morning. What happens is you develop a pattern, a routine pattern.
The most successful salespeople are repetitive salespeople. They do the same thing every day at the same time, and it’s amazing when you use your first hour efficiently, right? It impacts how you use the rest of your day.
In fact, if you use your first hour right, you’re going to be much more inclined to actually adhere to the time blocks in your schedule.
3. Set targets you can accomplish.
I was working with a group of salespeople helping them set up a prospecting plan, and I advised them, “Don’t set a target of reaching a hundred prospects. Set smaller achievable goals you know you can accomplish.”
You may know that over the course of the quarter you need to reach out to X number a month, but you don’t get skilled at that on the first day. So that first day it might be just two, three, or four—whatever it is, set a number that you can accomplish.
When you set a number that you can accomplish—and you do—you actually feel good and it motivates you to do it again the next day. You’re trying to create repetition.
Time management is not something that you do once. Time management is something that you do daily. In due time, you continue increasing your numbers slowly as your skills allow you to achieve more.
Plus, it changes your mindset, because if you set this goal of: I’ve got to make 50 calls today, and you become overwhelmed, as a result you don’t make any. But if you had said, I’m going to make five calls and I do, then I pat myself on the back. Five is certainly better than none.
4. Minimize distractions.
Squirrel, squirrel, shiny object! We get totally distracted. Just before I began doing this blog, I was very tempted to do something else on my computer. No! It’s on my schedule to record these videos, and write the blog. I can look at those websites later.
Stay focused. If you’re in prospecting mode, that’s what you’re doing: prospecting. You can read those emails, or deal with that customer issue later.
People say, “Well, when a customer calls, I need to take that call.” Hold it. Do you answer the phone when you’re in the restroom? Do you answer the phone when you’re driving in heavy traffic? I hope you don’t. You don’t answer your phone 24/7, so that customer can wait, and if they have to wait for 30 minutes, that’s okay.
5. Work your calendar.
However you set your calendar up, honor it.
My calendar is filled with appointments with myself, and I love it that way because it keeps me on track.
Know yourself and what time of day you’re most productive. Choose that time block for your most difficult daily task. Or, try my 10 AM rule: accomplish something significant before 10 AM every day. (If you’re an early riser like me, make it an 8 AM rule.)
Using Social to Influence Buyer Decision
w/ Darryl Praill
Darryl and Mark discuss using social media to eliminate risk in the eyes of the buyer and how to cancel the excuses of ‘not enough time’ and ‘unsure of what to say/post.’
Don’t miss Thursday’s episode, live on 9/14!
Copyright 2023, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter” Sales Motivation Blog. Mark Hunter is the author of A Mind for Sales and High-Profit Prospecting: Powerful Strategies to Find the Best Leads and Drive Breakthrough Sales Results.