I Didn’t Sell This Week
Do you ever get to the end of a week and wonder why you didn’t have time to do the prospecting or business development work you needed to do? Ever get to the end of the month and panic because you didn’t make enough sales or don’t have enough sales opportunities in your pipeline/sales funnel to hit your goals?
You will always have too many things to do. Prioritizing becomes critical. If your business depends on you to sell or manage salespeople, you must make time to do it, or risk failure.
Making sales a priority is a challenge for almost every business owner I know where sales is only one of their responsibilities, but it can be challenging for sales leaders as well. Company meetings, reporting, putting out fires all seem to get in the way of spending time coaching salespeople to close deals.
Planning is the key. It’s tough to allocate time to selling, but is crucial to your success. Sounds easy, first, schedule the time, then stick to it. We all know how our time can get usurped.
Every good salesperson knows that attention must be paid to working their sales funnel, daily. When selling is neglected, it gets harder to do the amount of work needed to make up for the days you didn’t sell. Sales leaders must clear the path for salespeople to spend the majority of their time selling.
Can you imagine waiting to dig a well until you are thirsty?
So, what do I mean by selling time exactly?
“Selling is everything from prospecting to closing the deal and retaining the business. It includes anytime you spend generating leads, meeting with prospects to qualify them, meeting to ask questions and move the sale forward, closing the deal, retaining the business and asking for referrals.”
I recommend making a list of the selling work you need to do. Then add of all the ways you prospect or generate leads.
Here are some examples:
- Sending information to prospects.
- Scheduling sales calls.
- Preparing for sales calls.
- Conducting sales calls.
- Making sales presentations.
- Attending Networking events.
- Attending trade shows.
- Connecting on LinkedIn
In order to get your priorities completed you have to plan ahead. Your calendar is your best friend. If used properly, it will help assure you have time set aside for selling among all of your other activities.
Daily, Weekly, Monthly, Annually
Here’s what I recommend. Plan your daily, weekly, monthly and annual selling activities and put them on your calendar along with your other tasks.
You should also plan time for planning.
Crazy, you say? But this is time well spent! Remember this activity has a direct impact on your revenue!
Daily – Choose a time, first thing in the morning or last thing in the day, to plan your upcoming day. This should take you about 15 minutes if you have done your weekly planning. Before checking email and voicemail and before everyone else’s priorities get in your way, take a look at your schedule and priorities for the day and make any necessary adjustments. Make sure you have time scheduled for your sales follow up. Add your daily planning time to your calendar.
Weekly – Put a 30 minute appointment on your calendar each week to do your planning. During this time you look at your upcoming week. Put scheduled meetings on your calendar, travel time, and time to do follow up from sales calls and networking. If you keep a to-do list block time on your calendar to work on it. One to two days before each sales call add a 30 minute block to do your sales call planning.
Monthly – You’ll need 1 hour a month to plan for your upcoming month. As a suggestion, 10 to 12 days before the end of the month is a good time to do this. Take a look at the big picture so that your weeks can run smoothly. Put anything on your calendar for the month that is already planned. If you have a trade show coming up or a sales presentation be sure to block off plenty of preparation time to prevent having to “pull and all-nighter”. Last minute rush jobs are never our best work. If you plan to have enough preparation time, you can save yourself a lot of agony.
Annually – Planning for the upcoming year should happen in October or November. Set several hours aside to set goals and make your plan. Based on your goals you can set the events, programs, conferences, trade shows, promotions and other activities you will need to meet your goals as well as the planning time needed. I like to block time 12 weeks in advance of a show or event to do the planning. Adequate planning time helps things run smoothly.
I have become expert at doing this and when I teach my clients to do the same, they tell me it makes a huge difference. If you’d like to make more time to increase sales, start today! Give me a call 775-852-5020 or email email@example.com