On today’s episode of The Sales Evangelist, we discuss time management and how daily planning can help you be more effective in your role as a seller.
It seems like there is never enough time in the day to get things done. We need an extra day in the week or at least an extra hour a day. I was always so busy that it felt like I didn’t even have time to sit down to read a book. Even knowing how important personal development was, I always managed to put it off.
Then, I took a vacation.
It is amazing how much you can do when you are in the air for five hours with limited distraction.
So what changed? What happened? The amount of time I had certainly didn’t change. My focus did.
The concept of daily planning
How many times have you been told to try daily planning? Now, how many times have you actually done it? [02:04]
If you are the modern seller that I know you are, you are distracted. Reading proposals, talking to customers, going to meetings, checking email … These are all distractions. Every time an email pings your phone, you are pulled in a different direction.
Everyone – from internal teams to clients to prospects to friends – is vying for your time and attention. As a result, important things fall through the cracks. You finish at the end of each day and find yourself wondering if you accomplished anything at all.
It all goes back to the very powerful principle of being acted upon as opposed to acting. [02:59]
Thinking back to a previous episode when we spoke to Greg McKeown about his book Essentialism, I’m reminded that we can’t have priorities. The plural of the word ‘priority’ shouldn’t even exist. There can only be one priority.
Essentialism means to focus on the essentials. As a seller, your most important task is to bring in new customers and close deals. So, what activities will lead you to that result?
Until you understand what you need to do as a seller, you will not be able to stay focused. You will always be acted upon. Sure, there will always be important distractions but oftentimes they are not the activities that you need to do to accomplish your goal. [04:46]
To help you stay focused and have the time to do the things that matter the most, I want you to think about these three questions:
- Will the activity move me toward my essential goal of helping people make a decision and close a deal?
- Do I have to do it? Is this a task that no one else can do?
- Does it have to be done right now?
If the activity doesn’t tie into your goal or responsibility, don’t do it.
Set your focus
Let’s suppose you’ve set a goal to prospect for 30 minutes a day. It is certainly a step towards achieving your goal, so it needs to be done. But do you have to do it yourself? Or could you pass some of it off to an internal sales team? Or to someone on Fiverr.com?
Suppose you get a call from your boss and she needs a report. Does she need it right now? Is there someone on your team that can take care of it for you? If you are the only one who can do it, can you move it to the end of the day so as not to take away from your prime working time?
When you focus on the essential things, the distractions fall away. The things that used to pull you away move out of focus. [05:41]
I recommend taking an hour each week to plan for the upcoming week. Be sure you are fully vetted and ready so that you can avoid those distractions. What are the important tasks ahead? Schedule everything out. Set time for social media, time for prospecting, time for appointments … You can even set time to receive emails using Boomerang, or Google, so that you aren’t pinged throughout the entire day. [08:46]
You are acting rather than being acted upon.
Once you have the weekly focus set, spend a few minutes at the end of each day to make any necessary adjustments. You will already know what you will do the next day as soon as you arrive at the office. This makes life so much more productive!
Plan your day
Taking the time to plan your day will save you time. Forget about your friends’ Instagram posts. Focus instead on the things that will help you grow your business, grow your pipeline and have a killer year. [11:45]
Make the effort.
If it sounds like too much work, then by all means – go back to winging it. But if you do, promise me that you will compare your results to the person who is not winging it.
How much more productive are they? Are they hitting their goals? Are they working with less stress, fewer headaches, and less frustration? Probably.
I share this with you because I’ve been there. I know it works and I’ve seen the huge difference it can make. Try it. Give it a month. I don’t think you will regret it.
“Daily Planning” episode resources
If you have additional questions or want more insight, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I may not answer it right away (because I’m scheduling my time) but I’ll get back to you as soon as possible.
This episode is brought to you in part by mailtag.io, a Chrome browser extension for Gmail that allows you to track and schedule your emails. It’s automated outreach that will help you schedule your contacts and it can help keep you from getting distracted.
This episode is brought to you in part by prospect.io, a powerful sales automation platform that allows you to build highly personalized, cold email campaigns. To learn more, go to prospect.io/tse. It will help you with your outbound to expand your outreach and it allows you to set it and forget it. Your prospecting will never ever be the same.
We’ll use prospect.io in the upcoming semester of TSE Hustler’s League to focus on prospecting. We’ll give you insights and tools that will help you gain new customers. In addition, we’ll provide training and strategies that you can implement today to ensure constant flow in your pipeline.
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