It’s all around us. Visible and invisible. Watches and clocks, on your phone, on your laptop, even when you watch the news.
What about the invisible side?
When we’re unchallenged, or even bored, the day is long.
When we’re busy, we say “Time flies!”
Have you considered how few working days you have in a year to realise the results you set out to achieve?
When I worked for a global telecommunications company years ago, one course always sticks to my mind.
Two external trainers were sent to sharpen our sales skills however it wasn’t in the conventional way.
Amongst many other topics, they covered time and how precious little of it we had during a year to engage with clients, uncover and nurture opportunities to achieve and hopefully even exceed our sales targets.
It went along these lines…
Grab a calendar and cross out all the weekends; public holidays; your vacation allowance, (planned and even some unplanned leave); team meeting days; internal conferences; training days; average sick days (if any) and see what you have left.
Then account for your prospects’ and clients’ holiday allowance and their general availability. What about members of your team or even virtual team?
You may well be surprised how little time is left for quality face-to-face, or even telephone, customer engagement.
I would go one step further.
In my prior article, Break Away From The Pack, I shared why and how momentum can help drive sales growth. I also mentioned that momentum can be time-related.
Your momentum won’t be the same as your prospects’ and clients’ momentum. Their priorities will most likely be different to yours.
For example, the solution you wish to sell them to help solve their problems may be important but how important is it and for whom?
This may be your key sales opportunity you wish to close within 6 weeks to achieve your quarterly target however the client will have other priorities and may not require your solution as soon as you had envisaged.
What about the ‘unforeseen circumstances’ element I mentioned in my prior article?
What if the client was about to buy your solution within your 6 week target timescale after all however their Procurement Manager, who has to sign off due diligence, went off sick suddenly?
Relating back to your calendar, think about past occasions where similar things have happened which impacted your sales cycle and results. How much impact did those situations have? Factor those timescales into your calculation of quality days for converting business.
With whatever number of days you have left, you’ll have to ‘map in’ your activity and of course diarise appointments with your prospects and clients. Of course lead generation time needs to be factored in also.
Suddenly going for coffees, (even if you can claim those as expenses), has become even more expensive. Ensure ‘catching up for coffee’ is quality prospect or client engagement time.
If you hear, “Let’s catch up over coffee”, qualify it. What else could you be doing to achieve business growth instead? (Solopreneurs take note as it’s usually you who carries the cost of wasted time and rarely spread even through a virtual team).
Of course it’s important to enjoy what you do and have those more leisurely ‘catch ups’ however don’t disregard how precious your prime sales engagement time is and how little of it you have left to achieve your goals and targets.
Prime your prime time.