How to Use Time Management to Become a More Successful Sales Professional!

Time is Life

Each day comes with a package of 24 hours, distributed to all equally. It is up to us to make the most of the 24 hours in each day that are given to all of us. There is so much to do and so little time is the common complaint these days. Within these 24 hours we have to work, sleep, take care of our body and mind, look after our families, pursue our hobbies, and keep our mothers-in-law in good humor. We have to utilize these hours to grow, produce, and progress by managing time properly. Managing the fixed quota 24 hours effectively leads to fulfilling all our responsibilities and enhances our quality of life personally and professionally. When managed properly time yields the highest returns on energy invested.

For sales professionals time is money. They do not get paid in terms of the numbers of hours worked – to “punch a clock”. They are paid to produce results – sales results via sales numbers. So it’s imperative that sales professionals should manage their time properly and make the most of it. Time management is a critical skill for professional happiness. On it hinges your income, your home, all your dreams, and aspirations. Remember, you can’t manage time; all you can do is manage yourself with respect to time.

Managing Time

The art of managing time is based on a few simple and proven techniques. Only with practice can it become an ingrained habit that can produce amazing sales results.

o Get Organized: Getting organized is the first step towards managing time effectively. Highly successful sales people have their calendars chalked out for a year in advance. Create an organizer and schedule your tasks according to your top sales priorities. List the things to do. Minutes make an hour, so enter your plans to do things to the tiniest minute. Three minutes to scan the headlines should mean three minutes and not a minute more. Also prepare a log book of time spent on daily activities. Maintain the log book religiously and enter activities of each day before bed time. Do a weekly review of this to find out where you are spending/wasting your time and apportion that extra time to something worthwhile. Weed out unproductive activities.

o Visualize your action plan for the full day. Do it after the morning work out or the previous evening.

o Delegate tasks to others to save time. Things that can be done by your assistant, subordinates, family, or others should be handed over to them. Compensate and praise them well and they will feel good about being entrusted with the responsibilities of completing a task as well as earning something extra.

o Do not procrastinate. It is the biggest time stealer. Finish off things as and when scheduled. If possible “beat deadlines, do not just try to meet them”.

o Some sales executives take up the easy jobs first and keep the most difficult ones towards the end. Tackle the difficult tasks first. You may require accomplishing one or two easy tasks to warm up. That’s perfect. But then you should target the difficult jobs. You will be amazed how fast they get done when taken head on. Then you will have plenty of time for easier tasks.

o Staying clear of negative thoughts and negative people is a huge time saver. Both can sap energy, reduce productivity, and consume a lot of time. Once you slip into the whirlpool of negative thoughts it will take considerable time to snap out of it. It’s absolutely necessary to entertain only positive and good thoughts. Also it’s advisable to shun the company of negative people and mingle with positive and optimistic people. Steer clear of negative thoughts and stay positive.

Use your down or wait times creatively. As a sales professional, you probably spend a lot of time in your car in traffic getting to your next appointment. Why not take this time to make phone calls to your prospects We all wait at traffic lights, wait to meet managers, wait to get food served, wait for our secretary to finish preparing the report, wait in lines to pay bills etc. Utilize these times creatively to aid in enhancing your sales productivity

o The above time saving tips are based more on common sense. There are other time saving and productivity enhancing tips that are backed by solid research as well.

o Analysis of revenue growth curves of successful sales professionals reveal that it’s not important how much total time they spend on sales activities rather than how they allot their time. Super sales people from financially high performing companies working for high incentives and stock options allot 40% more time to their best potential customers and spend an additional 3-4 hours on high-value sales activities than their counterparts do in financially low performing companies. A survey conducted by Watson Wyatt of 841 sales people from 500 companies with large sales forces has established this. Sales reps at successful companies dwell more on identifying customer needs and spend more time with the leads that they know.

o The survey also establishes that high sales performers spend less time on administrative work – 30% less than the low performers. Administrative work should be delegated to administrative staff, the secretary, or should be kept to a minimum. The best sales people do all non-related sales activities between 6-8am and 6-8pm. 8am-5pm is defined as prime selling time to get “belly-to-belly” with a decision-maker.

Timing is Everything

In sales timing is everything – at what time to make a sales call, at what time to make a presentation, when to talk, when to listen, and when to close a sale. It may not require the precision of a Scientist, but nevertheless it requires a proper sense of timing. A super sales person knows that there is an appropriate time to meet the CEO of a company when he or she would be in a relaxed and receptive mood. Also there is an appropriate time to close a sale without allowing it to linger.

There is a time for everything. There is a time to work and a time to rest as there is a time to talk and a time to remain silent. This is the essence of time management. Wise sales people know this and know this well.

Turn Simple Conversations Into Clients Almost Every Time

Enrollments Conversations are the key to a coach’s success in business. If you can’t enroll clients into your programs, you don’t have a business. But most coaches didn’t get “sales” training in coach training. You learned how to be a coach but not necessarily how to be a salesperson. So you are in a position of needing more training, but you may not be sure of what kind of training.

Usually it’s some kind of sales training. There are so many different kinds of sales training out there. When I participated in a fancy year-long group coaching program with a 7-figure coach, we were taught 23 steps to take during a strategy/discovery or enrollment conversation session. That’s a lot of steps to remember. And what I found was that it was hard to stick to the formula. Prospects can pull you in all different directions—especially if you let them do most of the talking.

If the prospect is a good fit, no matter how good your intentions are to help/coach that prospect choose your program, when they don’t, or when they come up with all the objections that you can’t fully address, it’s disappointing. And disappointment is hard to hide with a smile.

Inside you’re wondering why running a coaching business is such an uphill battle. You’re just trying to help people and make enough money in the process to keep going with it. Why do you need to be a salesperson too? Maybe you’re even avoiding these conversations because you don’t know what to say, how to establish your value, or how to address the prospects inevitable objections.

Recently I heard a teleclass by a business coach who said that even 6-7 figure coaches only get 25-30% conversions in their conversations and that’s what you should shoot for. That means if you want 5 new clients a month, you need to have 20 conversations a month. Think about that for a minute—that is 20 hours a month, plus the time it takes to find those 20 people.

So you need to have a marketing plan in place where you are doing something every work day to get about one conversation per day, if you work five days a week. If you want to figure out how much time you are actually spending to get each client, track the time you take to do the marketing to get those conversations. Then you will know what your true ROI (return on investment) is. The consequence is that if you want more clients, you have to spend more time marketing and having complimentary conversations until you reach your goal. It can get overwhelming.

But actually, there’s an easier way. You could focus on improving your conversion rate instead. What if that 25-30% was increased to 50-75%? Then you would only need 7-10 conversations per month to get those 5 clients.

Here are some tips about how you can improve that conversion rate.

1. Check inside yourself to see what beliefs are preventing you from getting sales – sometimes some personal development is necessary to increase sales

2. Get crystal clear on who your ideal target market is – so you are targeting the right people who are the best fit for your programs

3. Set up a system for prequalifying your prospects – so you can tell whether they are ready for a solution to your problem

4. Have a system for following up with people you meet or connect with to help you determine their interest

5. Learn how to articulate the value of your program/service

6. Learn how to establish the gap between where they are at and where they want to go

7. Have a plan and be able to stick to it

8. Find your authentic voice, and be able to relay what you do compellingly

9. Speak from the heart, offer your solution, and support them in deciding the right path for them

10. Learn how to confidently ask for the sale, without feeling salesy

11. Bonus Tip: learn how to do all of this from someone who’s an expert at it

Learning how to turn simple conversations into clients almost every time is a skill you can acquire with a little help. Try these suggestions and see if your conversion rate improves.