Own a Diary.
Keep a business diary that not only displays your full schedule of appointments and activities, but allows you to notate the events with important thoughts and facts. Also, note the time spent on each of those entries as this, over a period of weeks and months, will paint a pretty accurate picture of where your time allotment is being spent productively…and not.
Strategic Use of Time.
As Step #1 above begins to reveal the efforts and energies you expend most effectively, start carving out more and more of your time to be scheduled in those pursuits.
First thing on Monday morning, sketch out a five-day plan for the week, incorporating a To-Do List into your business diary. Then take a few minutes every morning to adjust the day’s events accordingly. Lists do a remarkable job of keeping you on track when your schedule becomes crazed.
Take a few minutes before every call or client visit you make and write down the key points of what you’re hoping to achieve. Treat it as a mini-component of your overall strategy, and each small initiative will be more successful, ultimately forming a steady, seamless arc to your desired transaction.
Quality Leads = Quality Time.
Spend more time with high-potential customers and quality referrals, and less time on shaky prospects.
Research, Research, Research
The single-most valuable time you may spend may very well be invested in the study of your prospective customers’ businesses and research into their specific needs. Part Two of that process would then be devoting time and effort in creating solutions for those needs. This should be at the very core of your no-sell, advisory approach, and if executed well, will yield the greatest return on your time spent.
Ignore Your Multimedia.
This may sound counterintuitive, but it’s really not. Phone calls, emails, tweets and Facebook can be more of a distraction than they are a vital engagement at any given moment. Schedule a block of time during the week to engage your social media initiatives. Return calls and emails at the end of a productive day. You’ll have spared yourself countless interruptions that would have occurred in the midst of your getting something critical accomplished. But don’t hesitate to give certain colleagues or clients a code word, such as “Urgent,” if it’s vital that they reach you quickly.
Delegate & Eliminate.
Whenever possible, hand-off the tasks that drain the time of a business sales professional and are better handled by a talented administrator anyway. Hey, your success probably translates into their bonus. And cut out all the extra stuff that really doesn’t matter.
“Do Not Disturb”
Boss and co-workers be damned, put up a sign if you have to when you absolutely have to get work done.
Remember, the week runs out at the same time every Friday evening no matter what you do. But if you’re allowing some breathing room for that 25% of effort that likely results in 100% of your success, you’re doing all right.