Managing Your Sales Time

5 Great Ways To Increase You Sales Effectiveness

For many years, sales people were taught to always say “YES,” with the idea that everything is possible, everything is doable, or we can make it happen.  I’m sure the mentality was in part – never say NO, because that puts others thinking negatively, or thinking less of you.

Even during the sales presentation – saying NO can be highly effective in directing the prospect back to the main issue or pain. So, when you’re saying NO, provide an alternative option that can be a YES – as part of the main sales goal.

  1. Sales people are measured on SALES, so sales is the action or function that we need to be doing all the time. When co-workers or bosses ask for something that is not a specific Sales Action, we need to learn to say NO, because it will distract us from the sales process. Saying NO is appropriate when it will take us away from our primary job role.
  2. You can’t, and shouldn’t try to sell to everybody.  Qualifying your prospect early in the process is critical to sales success.  With your time limited, (we typically only have 8 – 10 hours in a day to sell), you need to ask key power questions that narrow down the likelihood that this prospect is the right prospect and the right level of authority to buy.  Presenting to a “low-level” manager is usually a waste of valuable time, and good research will get you in front of a higher authority – one that can instantly make or order a purchase.
  3. Too often, sales people get really excited about making one sales to one person for one company. Since we’ve already stated that time is limited, researching and selling to clients with multiple opportunities.  Example: Selling PREP to one hotel is great, but there are many companies out there that own dozens or hundreds of hotels, and whenever you can, you should be trying to get in front of that client. Yes, it takes 50% longer to sell to that multi-property client, but the opportunities ratchet up more than 500% when selling to larger clients.
  4. Part of this discussion is about saying NO, and that includes saying NO when the project or duties relate to a non-sales action.  You are sales – not operations. You should be doing only sales-related, sales-oriented duties.  Too many times (because they want to say YES), sales people take on other roles that don’t enhance or advance their sales effort. I hear of sales people taking their car to the garage for an oil change and waiting for 30 – 60 minutes while it is serviced.  What a total waste of valuable selling time. Or doing all the shopping to buy supplies for a class or event! That’s NOT your job.
  5. Every single sales day should start with a list of the top 3 items that must be accomplished that day.  Likely, there are 50 items on your list (or even only 20), but three of them are certainly MUST DO items and these should be handled first.  None of the others (4 thru 20) should be tackled until the first critical 3 are completed. When you operate with this mind-set, you will be far more effective and successful.

Remember: saying NO can be appropriate, selling to the highest level is important, selling to larger clients is essential, performing only sales-related duties is right, and focusing on the three most important items on your list, need to be achieved before you take on other less important items.


Author:  Dick Wagner, National Sales Consultant