The person who coined the phrase “time is money” must have been a sales rep paid on commission. In the selling profession, that old clich? rings true. If you are not talking to a prospect or customer, you’re unemployed.

How effectively do you manage your time? Do your spend your time as you would any other precious, nonrenewable asset, or are you the type of salesperson who is stressed out, constantly jumping through hoops and consistently running late for meetings and client appointments?

We measure time far better than we manage it. In today’s high-tech world, physicists have become extremely proficient at measuring time. The atomic clock, based on strontium atoms trapped in a laser grid, is so precise that it loses less than one second in 200 million years.

I am convinced that the improper use of time is the number one contributor to high turnover in the selling profession. I wish I had a nickel for every smart, talented and motivated salesperson who failed because he or she simply couldn’t or wouldn’t effectively manage their time properly.

Time Management Tips

  1. Plan your schedule the night before and hit the ground running. When you’re not in control of your schedule, you invite stress to fill the void. Set and prioritize meaningful tasks to be accomplished. Be careful not to confuse activity with productivity. For example, don’t just block off a couple of hours to make calls, set measurable activity goals to be accomplished, such as 25 phone calls per day.
  2. Identify your time bandits. Once you’ve scheduled your day, the next step in managing your time is to recognize and modify old behavioral patterns regarding the improper use of time. Having a planned schedule helps you say “no” to time-wasters such as Web surfing, personal phone calls, long lunches and chatty coworkers. An open door invites continuous distractions. Effective salespeople focus on task achievement rather than tension-relieving diversions.
  3. Delegate, delegate, delegate. Ineffective salespeople “play office” and hide behind paperwork. Make a smart business decision to delegate all non-sales related tasks to an administrative assistant in order to free yourself up for client appointments and prospecting phone calls.

I encourage you to reduce your stress level and give yourself a pay raise by integrating these simple yet highly effective time management tips into your daily business routine, and remember, there’s no time like the present.

John Boe presents motivational and sales-oriented seminar programs for sales meetings and conventions. Responses and questions can be sent to feedback@seniormarketadvisor.com.