Let’s face it. Time is the biggest factor when determining your sales success.
Time is all about the choices you make.
Should you spend your day in meetings or block out time to work on your most important project? Should you wake up early or hit the snooze button?
Consider these quotes to help you gain some perspective and start using your time more wisely to sell more strategically:
- “Yesterday’s the past, tomorrow’s the future, but today is a gift. That’s why it’s called the present.” – Bil Keane
- “If you love life, don’t waste time, for time is what life is made up of.” – Bruce Lee
- “Tim is more valuable than money. You can get more money, but you cannot get more time.” – Jim Rohn
- “The time is always right to do what is right.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
- “The more time you spend contemplating what you should have done…you lose valuable time planning what you can and will do.” – Lil Wayne
- “You will never find time for anything. If you want time, you must make it.” – Charles Brixton
- “The two most powerful warriors are patience and time.” – Leo Tolstoy
- “Time is free, but it’s priceless. You can’t own it, but you can use it. You can’t keep it, but you can spend it. Once you’ve lost it you can never get it back.” – Harvey Mackay
- “The trouble is, you think you have time.” – Buddha
- “There’s only one thing more precious than our time and that’s who we spend it on.” – Leo Christopher
- “Either you run the day, or the day runs you.” Jim Rohn
- “Time is what we want the most, but what we use worst.” – William Penn
- “Time is a created thing. To say “I don’t have time” is to say “I don’t want to.” – Lao Tzu
- “The only reason for time is so that everything doesn’t happen at once.” – Albert Einstein
- “Time is like the wind, it lifts the light and leaves the heavy.” – Domenico Cieri Estrada
- “Don’t spend time beating on a wall, hoping to transform it into a door.” Coco Chanel
- “They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.” Andy Warhol
- “Lack of direction, not lack of time, is the problem. We all have twenty-four-hour days.” – Zig Ziglar
- “My favorite things in life don’t cost any money. It’s really clear that the most precious resource we all have is time.” – Steve Jobs
- “You get to decide where your time goes. You can either spend it moving forward, or you can spend it putting out fires. You decide. And if you don’t decide, others will decide for you.” – Tony Morgan
- “Efficiency is doing things right; effectiveness is doing the right things.” – Peter Drucker
- “It is not enough to be busy…The question is: what are we busy about?” – Henry David Thoreau
Maybe you’ve seen one or all of these quotes before, but have you really stopped to think about how time influences your sales cycle and approach?
Let’s break it down into three simple ways you can apply these quotes as a way to positively influence your sales cycle and approach:
1. Do More with Less
Time is too precious to waste. That’s why you must leverage timemanagement techniques such as goal setting, minimizing distractions, and focusing on one task at a time.
By working smarter, you’ll find that you can get more done in less time.
For example, let’s say you’ve been tasked with creating a PowerPoint presentation on your company’s latest product. The presentation needs to last about 30 minutes, and you’ve been asked to create 12 slides in total.
An inefficient way to go about this task would be to create the PowerPoint slides from scratch. To do this, you’d have to find and insert your company’s logo, create slide layouts, and compose the text for each slide.
A much better (and quicker) way would be to take one of your company’s existing presentations and revise it. This would mean that the layout, logo and sample text would all be in place for you. And instead of working from a blank canvas, you’d just need to update the words and images.
2. Take the Time to Set Priorities
One reason that set priorities are not accomplished is lack of time. Yet lack of time for achieving top priorities usually occurs because lower level priorities have somehow made it on to the schedule. Don’t let your top priorities be crowded out by tasks that are less important in the big picture. Schedule time for top priorities in your calendar as necessary and treat that time as you would an executive level meeting; don’t reschedule unless a truly higher priority item comes up and must be addressed.
To take this a step further, you have to determine which activities represent the highest value in terms of reaching sales goals. When you do this, you can more efficiently prioritize and increase your sales productivity because you know you’re focused on the right things.
For some sales people this might be new accounts while for others the highest value will be found in existing customers, dependent on the industry and the sales person’s primary area of responsibility. In either case, the highest value tasks should always have the highest priority level.
3. Be Prepared to Pivot
Great salespeople have to be adaptable. They also have to take the measures necessary to be prepared. Being brilliant under fire doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t also have the advantages and understanding that accompany preparedness. Equally, there are some things that cannot be anticipated; you will have to deal with what is thrown at you with confidence and quick-thinking. To succeed in sales you need equal parts adaptability and preparedness.