Schedule your sales calls for only twenty minutes. Time is a valuable commodity these days, so by limiting the length of your meetings, not only will you communicate that you respect your client or prospect’s time, but you’ll also have more for yourself!

For some reason, people believe that if you’re going to schedule a sales call, it needs to last 30 minutes or an hour. I want to dispel that myth by pointing out a couple of things.

First, look at it from the perspective of somebody in the “c-suite.” To them, time is incredibly valuable and information is critical. If someone expects to take 30 minutes of their time, they had better have something very good to say. On the other hand, 20 minutes doesn’t seem nearly as constraining and to the time-starved executive, the sound of 20 minutes can be more easily accepted. Here’s the real kicker: they will agree to a 20 minute meeting but they’ll automatically set aside 30 minutes on their calendar. This means that if the meeting is going well, you’ll have the opportunity to get it extended to 30 minutes without any interruptions.

The second reason why I like 20 minute meetings is because it can avoid the stupid things that usually end up occurring at the end of a sales call. Your objective is to get in and get out…with the order. I’ve seen many salespeople successfully close the sale with “time left on the clock” only to have them start talking about something else that suddenly causes alarm with the customer. By working towards 20 minutes, you’ll stay more focused. Also, similar to dealing with “C-suite” people, if you need more than 20 minutes and the meeting is productive, the customer will usually give it to you.

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