Ten Days To Your Best Q4

We're beginning a ten day series for people who want to "kick it up a notch" for a great Q4 - or for those you know who want to increase their results -

Day 1 – Basics on Managing Your Time

Let’s be up front and honest – most of us do NOT manage our time well, or as well as we could. This is a HUGE area for potential improvement – especially when you are working to sell your services or products. Even if you DO well with your time, are there opportunities for improvement?

So, if this is an area for you, or others on your team – take small steps for great results.

Focusing on completing tasks within projects as well as follow up with prospective customers is CRITICAL to sales success.

I’m a big fan of David Allen’s books – “Getting Things Done” and “Ready For Anything”

David’s premise, and a sound one at that, is a systematic approach to managing what you need to get done. This approach is very complementary to the sales methodology I use through Power Marketing International.

Buy the book (read “Getting Things Done” first) - or borrow it – and think how you can apply the basics:

Start with a “Master List” – not a to-do list of immediate things to do, but one big MASTER list of all of the things that need to get done – not just now but upcoming and even months out. This could be projects, tasks, delegations, and follow ups. Put as much as possible down that you can think of. You do this because (and I’m not kidding here) – it takes up space in your brain otherwise, and you’ll have less creativity until you free up the brain. If you don’t believe me, read what David Allen writes about it. You’ve got to have a trusty way to off-load information from your brain. I use MS Outlook to do this with the GTD add-in (they have a 30-day free trial – I get nothing to recommend it)

Now prioritize what is most important to get done. When I was a Franklin Covey instructor, we talked about knowing the difference between what is “urgent” and what is “important”. When it comes to selling, focus on necessary tasks for existing customers, and just as important (in fact MORE important when growing a business) – tasks and next actions for prospective customers. Focus on “high probability” prospects – who is more likely to buy?

Identify the TOP three to five critical items to get done for that day – and do those FIRST.

If you use this method (and get more background from the book or www.gettingthingsdone.com ) – you will end your day with a feeling of accomplishment, and you will end your weeks knowing that you’ve done the most important tasks and had the highest value appointments that you could have. You will have added confidence because you are valuing the precious commodity of sales professionals – TIME. You can always make more money – but you can’t get your time back.

Sign up for David Allen’s e-mailed newsletters – read a few here

Make a weekly appointment in your calendar for planning and prioritizing – and HONOR it.

Please post your time saving ideas and comments.