Be More Productive In Sales With These Techniques

It's already 1:30 pm and all you've really done today is to talk to a few sort of cold prospects, and read a bunch of email. Oh yeah, and there was the staff meeting and a conversation in the kitchen with your co-worker that seemed important at the time. What you're not seeing is the time you spent re-checking your email, peeking at Facebook, and switching tasks.

Plan for tomorrow today

At the end of the day, before you leave work, block out specific time on your calendar for specific tasks. Doing this means that when you arrive at work in the morning, you can hit the ground running wit a specific action plan. Not having to figure out what to do next on the fly saves time and prevents procrastination because you've got a series of mini deadlines to meet all day long.

Chunk your time

When you're putting things on your calendar, group similar tasks into a block of time together. For example, if you have a bunch of quick phone calls you have to make, or emails you have to write, book a solid hour to take care of all of them in a row. This helps you maintain focus, and reduces the frequency of task switching

Schedule checking email

Turn off notices that let you know when a new email arrives. It's completely disruptive and will take your mind off the task at hand. Instead, schedule time on your calendar to check and respond to email two or three times during the day. This will help keep you on track for the rest of your action plan for the day. By the way, the same goes for texting, social media, and hanging out at the water cooler

Finish what you start

Every time you switch tasks you lose time, according to the American Psychological Association.1 That's why it's best to not only chunk your time (see above) but also to plan enough time at once to complete a task. If you have a larger project then break it into sections and plan time to complete each section in one go.

Get to work early

If you can get into the office before most of your co-workers, you will have time alone and will really be able to focus. This is a great time to work on projects that need thoughtfulness - like drafting your marketing plan or working on a new sales script. It let's you take more time for lunch too, or maybe even leave a little early.

Create detailed processes for everything

For things you do over and over again, write down all the steps you need to take to complete the process, and then work on doing it the same way every time. Use a written checklist at first to remember all the steps. Over time, following the process will become second nature and you'll be able to complete the series of tasks more quickly than if you're figuring it out again every time you do it.

Embrace automation

Invest in systems or tools that automate as much of your workflow as possible. For example, write an email once and schedule it to send out to different clients at different times. Or, use a software like DYL to automate and speed up the process of dialing your leads so you can talk to more people every day. Use calendar alerts to warn you that the next task is coming up. This is good motivation to quickly wrap up what you're doing and mentally prepare to switch to the next thing.

Don't try to do all of this once! Ease into it maybe starting with filling up your calendar for tomorrow before you leave work today. After a while, once you've incorporated all of these ideas into your day, you'll find that your really can get more done in the same amount of time — and since your job is sales, that means you'll sell more in the same amount of time than you used to

1. http://www.apa.org/research/action/multitask.aspx

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