“How should I structure my time?”
Once an executive or senior development officer makes a commitment to sales this is the question that’s often asked.
Recently, we interviewed For Impact alumni and past clients who have demonstrated great success with the For Impact (Sales) approach. This sample visit schedule is a composite of several calendars we studied. It demonstrates the PRACTICAL routine and focus for a true salesperson.
- Green and Red Time. Green represents time inside the sales process doing the activity related to predisposition, making visits and follow-up. Red time is planning, prep and strategy time.
- Use the calendar to manage activity.EVERY successful salesperson we interviewed used their calendar to manage activity. They scheduled routines and blocked out time (sometimes months in advance) to think and prepare.
- Focus and Routine. I’m often asked how much time sales should take. That’s a difficult question because it doesn’t take much time at all. (In fact, this calendar only blocks out 20% of the time!) Instead, it takes two things: Focus and Routine. On the IDEAL calendar, visits are focused on one day of the week. The ideal week rarely happens but the best salespeople know how to FOCUS their time.The other highlight is a daily routine to answer emails, adjust calendar and priorities.For more on focus and routine read: Batching, Flow and Focus.
- Block time for strategy.
A big, important WOW – actually block out time for strategy! We rarely schedule time to THINK but it pays off, big time.
- The Math! What’s not apparent is the math that drives this schedule.At first glance four visits (in a week) might not look like much — if sales is your job. But it all adds up, if it becomes a routine.Suppose you did:
- 4 visits per week
- 3 weeks out of the month
- 11 months out of the year.
This would be 132 visits per year!