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The Four Biggest Time Wasters

Are you a good time manager? Or are you another time waster, like most people, and achieve small? For the last three decades, I am obsessed to work with best time managers in sales. I have seen many types and habits in sales persons wasting time that spoil their potential. Well, here are four types of common time wasters in my view-

1. The attraction of important and unimportant

Sales people like being busy and loads of activities. We portray ourselves as successful people. We do and finish things, not like daydreamers. Self-esteem and identity hugely relies on busyness for many of us. Staying busy means our own importance for us in some cases. Nothing to do or no place to go is one of your worst situations. Thus we prioritize each task equally in our schedule.

Consider as example, a customer calling for a backorder situation. We consider it, “WOW,” and start thinking like – “He needs me. I can do that.” We put everything aside and start running to that back order problem for 2 hours. From experience, wasn’t it possible for someone else from customer care or sales to do that? Couldn’t they do better than us? More importantly, did we leave some important sales calls for something less important than those calls? And couldn’t those sales calls be more prospective for us for time management?

Or consider a “Request of Quote” from a customer. We start planning to shorten our working times by searching specifications, price calculations and other related stuffs for that quote request. We start working on this project instantly and become busy for that one customer. But wasn’t it possible for anyone else from the sales executives or customer service team to do it? Wasn’t it possible to direct someone else to finish and analyze it based on our communication? Again we feed our attraction of our current work. Moreover, it stopped us from making sales calls, wasted our working energy from important things to trivial things.

I could provide thousand more same examples to visualize the concept. We sales people are embraced by staying busy and take another task for present in action, no matter how unimportant it is. Every time we do so, usually we lessen our time effectiveness.

2. Satisfaction with the Status Quo

Most of sales people are comforted with their schedule and habits. They are earning a lot and feel it’s enough to do things in smarter ways or looking for more success or efficiency. Our routines work well enough for us. Even though the changing world asks for newer skills, practices and schedules. We will not be efficient unless we stop being consistent with our year old schedule.

For example, for adding your phone messages, usually you write on paper, but a contact manager will be more constructive. In this way your contact manager will help to make it easier to identify important clients’ track. These are few examples to complete important things in shorter time. Are you using typical old techniques to arrange your weekly tasks, list for sales call, evaluating clients and information collection? Or do you want to improve completing the necessary tasks? If you are satisfied with your status quo, then you would not be able to realize your potentials.

3. Lacking Faith

Sales people tend to work alone. Usually we keep planning, almost whole day, planning where to go or what to do. It is not a surprise that we have a tendency to complete everything ourselves. This may reflect a positive quality in a sales person in most occasions. But in context to competing with others, it is negative. Sales people tend to do everything themselves, even if it is additional time wasting task, rather than asking help from co-workers. Most of the sales people never trust their colleagues to write an order, source products, analyze quotes, proposal submission and other similar works.

In fact, many of these tasks are possible to complete by asking for a  little help from co-workers in a organization. It becomes a waste of good sales time and expertise when they deny to do so.

4. Lacking ‘Hard Thinking’

Time management starts with thinking. Well, I would rather say, “Think about it before doing it” is the best way of time management. Good time managers pay attention to processes. They manage time to set annual targets. And pay attention to plan quarterly, even monthly to make temporary action goals; besides plan on a weekly basis and each sales call too. Poor time managers do not pay attention to the  “thinking about it” states in their jobs.

Good time managers are not only attentive to planning methods, but are also punctual and hard in their thinking. They ask themselves digging questions and answer impartially too as much possible. For example-

  • What do I want to achieve from it eventually?
  • Why I cannot sell to them?
  • Who is the principle decision maker in this prospect?
  • Am I spending more time than I should in this prospect or less?
  • What could I change to become more effective?

As part of asking these types of tough questions, good time managers, keep emotions or satisfactions away to control their plans. They go where it is only necessary and what only they should do. They follow these steps since they had spent enough time for quality thinking.

There are numerous time wasting practices. But these four are most significant and common in all sales people. Avoid doing this and you will win more than before to get success.

  • October 29, 2014

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