|Be Efficient With Your Time As If Its Money… Because It Is!|
There is a calculation that helps you put a dollar value on your time. For the purposes of this article, let’s just assume that a $200,000/ year salary equates to about $250/ hr a $100,000 salary equates to $125/ hr.
Driving all over town chasing leads not only costs you time but its costing you gas money as well. You can also waste a lot of time chasing people who aren’t qualified. You wouldn’t carelessly spend $125 so don’t carelessly spend your time.
Here are some tips and tricks to help you be efficient with your time as if its money:
* Meet with members of networking groups directly before or after the group meets. No exceptions unless they approached you and are a hot HOT lead. A HOT lead comes up to after a meeting and says, “I’d like to buy your product” or “I’m very interested in your services!” This is a HOT lead! If they approach you, its a hot lead. If you approach them and they agree to meet with you, its a warm lead that could go either way.
* A great way to sift and sort through a lot of people in a networking group is to simply ask, “have you ever thought about what (your product or service) could do for your business?” Let them respond and then categorize them as a “Cherry, Greenie or Pit.”
* If there is someone at a networking event that you really want to do business with, its OK to let them know. “Listen, I’m Sandler Sales trained and if my trainer were hear right now, he’d revoke my certificate when hears me saying this… but I really love what you do and I would really love to (insert your product or service). Then shut up and listen. Based on their response, categorize them as a Cherry, Greenie or a Pit. Take their card and write C, G or P on it. If they’re a Cherry – as in they’re very interested, ask them to meet you somewhere, or schedule them into your next stacking day in the area or before or after the next meeting. If they’re a Greenie make sure to have them download your app (if you have one) and show them how to reach you if they change their mind. Its up to you if want to schedule 40 mins. with them before or after the next meeting. If they’re a Pit – they’re cold. Do the take away, “It sounds like you’re not ready” or, “it sounds like I was mistaken.” They will try to cover up and save face, but let them you know if they’re interested they can call you and then walk away and find someone else to talk with.
* If someone sends you an e-mail that isn’t directly related to your product or service, its just a kind “nice to meet you” e-mail, they’re most likely not interested in your product or service at this time, they’re just really good at follow up. Put these folks into your warm leads pile because they’re “marketing aware”. Schedule a 40 min. meeting with them before or after the next event or, on a day when you’re doing stacking meetings in their area. They may be a great referral source and you may know someone who could benefit from their products or services.
* Schedule as many meetings back to back, this is called “stacking”. If someone cannot meet with you on a stacking day, then they’ll have to wait until its convenient for you to meet with them.
* If you’re attending networking events in different parts of town, schedule stacking meetings in the area, again before and after the event so you’re not wasting time or money driving from one part of town to another. If you cannot schedule stacking meetings, plan a day of prospecting in the area, but avoid at all cost of driving to one area when you have to be to another area later on in the day.
* Sometimes a long drive for a lead can pay off, but try to qualify as much as possible over the phone first. If they ask a lot of questions, they’re trying to make sure its worth your time and theirs. If they don’t ask questions, they don’t really respect your time and think that you’re another salesperson who drives all over town to meet with anyone. Respect yourself, respect others and then others will respect you as well.
* Listen to your gut. If your gut instinct is that you can close this person, then take the meeting on their turf and terms. If your gut is telling you, you just don’t know, or it doesn’t feel like a sale, then don’t take it, or take it but make darn sure you have other meetings or prospecting planned in that area so your drive time is put to good use.
* Always remember your time is valued at $150- $200/ hour. You wouldn’t just throw $150 or $200 around would you? I didn’t think so. Yes, you have to spend money to make money so make sure where you’re investing your time into prospecting and sales meetings you’re doing so with the intention to make a good return on your investment … of time.
* Use time blocking. Schedule time for prospecting, then schedule time for follow up phone calls and sending e-mails and hand writing power notes. If you spend one day out prospecting, schedule the next day as an office day to follow up. If you finish your phone calls and e-mail early, you can head out for some more prospecting or spend time trolling social media or looking through your own databases for people to call, call and call again. Remember to tap into the Reference USA available via on-line libraries for in-office phone calling days.
* ALWAYS schedule follow up phone calls on your calendar. It doesn’t matter if you use a hand-written calendar, the one on your phone or iPad or a fancy app. Make your life easier by physically entering in phone calls. If you have to return a call to an owner who is going to be in their store at 2:00 PM on Weds. then by God, put in your calendar to call that person at 2:00 on Weds!! Include their name and phone number so no matter where you are, you can make the phone call. Even if you’re in the middle of prospecting, stop wherever you are and make the phone call. Just call. Don’t think, “well I have to be in my office” or “I have to be in a different frame of mind…” just make the call, see if they’re interested and if yes, set up another time to call them back, unless you can close them at that time. Chances are they are busy and you’re busy, but you’re just calling to set a sales appointment that’s it. You’re not calling to close the sale right then and there (although it happens!) If you need to pop in to see someone or follow up with a phone call – put it in your calendar and then keep that appointment !! You’d keep a Doctor’s appt, you’d keep your child’s school performance appt, so keep your follow up phone calls or “pop-in” appointments!!
Time Management is just like money management. You manage your money or you run out. Its the same with time. If you want more money, manage your time!