Time. Do we ever have enough? Do we have too much? That last one is impossible, I just wanted to grab your attention. One of the biggest enemies, I think, to ALL sales teams and professionals, is the mismanagement of time. Sales, generally speaking, is free for all. Yeah, you have set hours you are supposed to work, but usually, those hours are pretty loose as far as what you want to do and how you want to sell. Yes, some sales teams and companies require you to sell a certain way, be it calls, emails, whatever, but for the most part, how you spend your day is primarily up to you. This has been especially true during the Covid pandemic. Even saying that is still mind-boggling to me, as it is hard to believe that we experienced a real global pandemic during our lifetime.
Salespeople and teams have found themselves transitioning to a virtual environment, and that makes Rockstar's time management even MORE important. The distractions were always there, but now they are REALLY there. Kids, spouses, TV, no matter what space you are in, there are ALWAYS distractions that will tempt you to stay off task. I will spare you the cliché “You leave money on the table if you don’t manage your time well” and I’ll go more into detail about a daily roadmap that will help get you going. While it is cliché, it is true that if you stick to a regimented schedule for your sales day and your sales process, you will see much more consistent close rates. It’s science or something like that.
I won’t give you my schedule, as my day is ridiculous when it comes to my work. From recording and self-development to prospecting and selling, my day begins at 530 and I usually don’t stop working until around 11 at night, but as time rolls on, the breaks I take are longer because most of the stuff I do is pretty much self-sustaining. I love what I do, but this is truly a realization that the adage is correct, if you love what you do, you will never work a day in your life. I don’t feel like I am working, because I am having a blast. Ok, enough ego-inflating.
The first thing you need to do, the first thing I teach my sales manager clients, is that you need to figure out exactly what you need to do, in a general sense, for the day. Think of the things that must be done. No matter what, unequivocally, no exceptions, these things MUST be done. The first thing will be prospecting. You can’t sell to anyone if you don’t prospect, right? Correct. I understand that this will be a little different in a retail environment or a dealership type of environment, so this is more for the B2B, B2C, SaaS type of sales environment. Prospecting MUST BE ON YOUR SCHEDULE EVERY DAY. Every. Single. Day.
This is a pretty obvious thing, right? Yes, but it is also the absolute easiest part to let slip to the wayside as things start taking off. The busier you get, the easier it will be for you to say “I will prospect tomorrow” or “I will prospect later” and then you know what happens. If you say you are going to do something, if something is on your daily schedule, then you NEED to commit. Under no circumstance, do you let ANYTHING on your list go unchecked. This will mean that you may have to work late during the first few weeks of getting used to your schedule, but that is the second most important thing……
Flexibility. We all know that scheduled in the sales world can be really difficult because there are so many variables that we can be thrown throughout the day. I can’t even begin to tell you how easy it was for me to get thrown off track as soon as I would have a prospect say “Yeah, sure, come on out in an hour so we can talk.” 9 out of 10 times, I’m in the car and hauling ass to that prospect, and my prospecting block at that time is nixed. We have all been there, some things take our time, your team’s time, that you just can’t control. We know my feelings on meetings. I detest meetings. I get that some meetings are really necessary, like morning and end of day check-ins, and maybe, just maybe, a mid-day check-in if you or one of your team members are not hitting the numbers they should be hitting, notice I didn’t say quota, but other than that, I can’t stand meetings. You hired your team to sell, so let them sell. Stop babying them and let them sell, they will probably surprise you, and if they don’t, that is on them. Don’t micromanage unless you see an employee whom you can see has world-class potential just faltering, and even then, you take them under your wing, you foster them.
As you get hit with variables and meetings, adapt your schedule. I don’t mean to adapt it daily but in a general sense. Your schedule is like your sales. What works best for you will be different from the next person, so you have to use a bit of trial and error to figure out the right groove for you. So here is what I recommend. Below, is a loose roadmap for a regular day in sales:
-08:30 Arrive at Office
-09-11:00 Prospect (Read Prospecting/Targeting blog for deeper dive)
-11-11:30 Lunch (For me, this is more of a fifteen-minute period and I still work during it)
-11:30-12:00 Email/Administrative tasks
-12:00-3:00 In-person meetings
-3:00-3:30 Transit back to the office (EXCELLENT time for self-development)
-3:30-5:00 Follow up/ Prospecting
Doesn’t look that daunting, does it? That’s because it isn’t and because it is a VERY general roadmap to give you something to start with. I go into MUCH further detail when dealing directly with training clients and my schedule. I go into the most painstaking detail and try to have EVERY minute of the day scheduled and stick to that schedule as best as I can.
I really cannot stress enough how important having a schedule that works for you, and adhering to it, is. It can do absolute wonders. On a personal level, to tell you how much I practice what I preach, I use a schedule every day of the week, including weekends. I look at that schedule at 530 every morning when I roll out of bed, and I look at it directly before I fall asleep. EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. I considered myself doing well when I had a very general schedule with my company, and then I bought a high-performance planner, took my focus from a general level to a laser-focused schedule with goals in mind, and I stuck with it. The payoff was insanely massive. So massive, that I find myself struggling to keep up and have to tweak it a bit each day, as I get flooded with meeting requests and client meetings. Take the time and effort to invest in and utilize a high-performance planner, and you will be amazed at what you can accomplish! If you want to reach out to discuss what The Slaymaker Method Sales Schedule looks like, reach out!
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