It happens to everyone in sales and it happened to me again recently. What I thought was going to be a well-planned day suddenly began to change as several activities didn’t take as much time as I originally thought they would.

Combine this with me being on the road and I suddenly found myself on three occasions, all before noon, when I had 10-15 minutes of open time. Sure, I could fill it by checking email or checking various news websites, but I had to ask myself if these activities would really be the best use of my time.

Truth be told, the best use of my time would not be to check a news site (let’s not kid ourselves — the world is still going to be here 2 hours from now). Yes, I could check email, but the vast majority of messages can wait a few hours or longer.

With those items out of the way, it means the top priority I have during the working day is to make phone calls — even if I have only a couple of minutes. Fortunately, I’ve trained myself to always have a list of phone calls I can make at a moment’s notice.

The list is comprised of current clients, new clients, people with whom I want to network and others. By having a big enough list ready to go at any time, I can use my time much more effectively. What I like about this is a couple of things.

First, I talk to more people, and this certainly can’t do anything but help my business. Second, it pumps me up because I’m actively doing something productive. For me — and I’m guessing the same is true for you — productivity creates more productivity. The busier I am, the busier I become, and the results begin to compound themselves.

The key to this entire process is having names ready to go. Another side note worth mentioning: Don’t fill the list entirely with people with whom you love talking and networking. Sure, these names are important, but don’t let them crowd off the list the names of clients and prospects.

Copyright 2011, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter.” Sales Motivation Blog.

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