Time management is difficult. You are busy. You have lots to do. Study these 7 habits of successful sales managers. How many of them are part of your schedule ?
Identify items as urgent, important and secondary.
Devote time to each but do it in the proper order. Urgent activities take priority over everything else. Anything that is hindering the completion of a sale is an urgent activity.
Do nothing else until these are completed, you have scheduled their completion or delegated the completion to someone else.
Important activities occur daily. These deal with current business and ongoing programs that lead to furthering business. Included in this group is sales follow-up, customer follow-up, training, recruiting and hiring.
Secondary activity includes anything in your job description that does not deal directly with customers or making a sale.
The simple way to prioritize is to WRITE IT DOWN in order of importance and cross it off when completed. If you have a task that is scheduled but not yet completed be certain you follow up until it is done. A hint here:
the best organization system ever created is the legal pad.
Acknowledge every Person in the Building
Management by walking around is a vital part of your success. Spend time every morning walking through your place of business. Acknowledge everyone there. A wave, a quick smile. You do not have to engage them in conversation. The benefits are enormous. The first impression you create is that you genuinely care about their well being. When you need a favor it will be easier to get it done. Do not make the mistake of being the type of manager who goes to work, goes in their office and appears only when they want something.
Touch Every One of your Salespeople
They need to know you have a genuine interest in their success. Simply ask them the following question. "What can I do to help you make a sale today?"
This simple question will get all the information you want regarding what they are going to do today. Do you know what they are going to do?
They will tell you about each and every deal they have working, customers they are going to contact, appointments, etc. Avoid the frustration of demanding they come to you with their daily work plan. By asking them what you can do to help you will not only get the information, they will come to expect it and have their game plan prepared. It might take several days for the idea to become part of the routine but once it is ingrained it will never go away.
Look at Your Numbers
Look at the numbers that tell you about the performance for each of your salespeople.
Be reminded that you cannot manage results, they have already happened. You are merely trying to identify trends in your salespeople before they become a problem.
Take time to analyze the numbers.
Look at Your People
Are they ready to work? Their time must be managed by you. Activity breeds activity. If they knew how to stay busy they wouldn't be idle in the first place. Get them involved in meaningful activities during slow traffic periods. Product knowledge, certification, helping newer salespeople, etc. These are things we never seem to find time to do. By getting them involved early each morning you set the tone for the day.
Look at Your Advertising
Is it there? You pay money to advertise. Make sure the ad ran. This is important every day but especially if you are running a promotion. More than one sales manager has had egg on his face by not doing so.
What is the competition advertising? Do not make the mistake of waiting until the last minute deadline established by the newspaper and just throwing something in to have representation. It's quality, not quantity that counts. What is the message? Why is it different? Why should they call? Who is your ad designed to attract?
The Secret of Time Management is Managing Yourself
It is setting priorities, taking charge of your situation and utilizing your time to its highest potential. It means changing habits or activities that waste it. Attempting to do too much at once will insure you completely lose track of time. Break tasks down into components that can be easily managed. All successful time management begins with planning and focusing on the plan.
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