Top Strategies for the Time-Pressed Salesperson

The pressure is on, the boss is breathing down your neck and the deadline to hit your monthly target is fast approaching.  If only there were more hours in the day to get things done!  Actually, this isn’t the answer.  Increasing sales is not necessarily about spending more time selling it’s about maximising the time you do have.  In other words, it is about working smarter not harder.

Unless you are burning the candle at both ends, which isn’t recommended, the hours in your working week are always the same.  If you’re more reactive than proactive, putting out fires instead of closing deals you need a few strategies to help you master the clock.

The following tips can help:

– Forget multitasking

Multitasking business man busy executive on grey background

Multitasking successfully is a myth.  Doing two things or more at once just means that your concentration is divided among your various undertakings.  This can result in them being completed less successfully.  People who tend to multitask switch between their activities which reduces focus and productivity.  According to a study published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology, multitasking reduces productivity by up to 40%.

Instead of flitting from one thing to another, plan your day with military precision.  As a salesperson, you have lots going on, such as active selling, prospecting, admin, dealing with email correspondence and closing sales.  Group these activities together and devote a set amount of time to each one.  For example, perhaps do your prospecting between 9am and 12pm and admin between 4pm and 5pm.

– Tame the email beast

Emails and text messages are a huge distraction so unless you are expecting something urgent to come in, turn off the alerts.  Pick up your messages at the time you have allotted for them.  See above.

– Wise up on your selling hours

Most likely, you will know the peak selling hours in the industries you are involved with.  They could be a couple of hours in the morning, in the late afternoon or most of the business day.  Given this, don’t fill up these hours with non-selling activities.  This is when you need to be concentrating on securing business.

– Know the value of your time

Be mindful not to confuse activity with results.  It is so very easy to lose time to distractions such as meetings that go nowhere, sorting out the email inbox and entertaining interruptions.  Be brutal about where you spend your time, devoting more of it on more of the activities that are going to make you money.

One way to get you motivated to do this is to calculate the value of your time per hour.  For the sake of this article, let’s assume its £80.  If you are spending two hours a day on admin and organising your emails, congratulations, you are probably the highest paid secretary in the country.  But commiserations, because you are missing out on lots of fantastic sales opportunities.  Either organise your time better to reduce the amount of hours you spend on non-selling activities or outsource them to someone else. Read about best ways to spend your time in sales

– Remember The 80/20 rule

20% of your customers will give you 80% of your business, so spend more time with them.

Time really is Money

Fundamentally, it comes down to self-discipline.  When you are selling, time is one of your most important assets and you have to protect it.  In doing so, you will boost your company’s revenues as well as driving up your own income.

If you want more guidance on managing your time to best effect, visit our August page Give Me Time! where there are lots of free resources to help the time-pressed salesperson!

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