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The Power of Controlling Your Schedule

Posted on: January 25

Author: Admin
The Power of Controlling Your Schedule

January 25, 2008II. The Power of Controlling Your ScheduleThe third idea for getting in more presentations is to schedule appointments at the best time for you and your calendar. For example, if your schedule allows you to see two prospects in the morning at 9 a.m. and 11 a.m., don’t accept an appointment for 10 a.m. Most prospects will fit into your schedule, so try this next time: After a prospect has agreed to an appointment, and the prospect suggests a time that doesn’t work best for you, say something like this:“Would 9 a.m. or 11 a.m. be just as good for you as 10 a.m.?”They’ll agree almost every time. By controlling the times, you set appointments you can see more people!Still More ExcusesOne of my salespeople came up with these reasons why she didn’t have more new appointments set each week:Had lunch with friends (Translation: I think noon-to-1 is a bad time to call).Went to the grocery store during the day (Translation: I have to eat and the store is much less crowded during work hours).Played golf on Friday afternoon (Translation: No one else works on Friday afternoons).Left my prospect list at home (Translation: And the dog ate it).Had to get my proposals done (Translation: Couldn’t miss American Idol last night. Final episode).Friend had an emotional crisis (Translation: Her nail is all better now).John stopped by my office for a visit (Translation: We’re all caught up on the company gossip).My decorator called (Translation: She doesn’t work at night, so what choice did I have).I had to pay my bills (Translation: Couldn’t concentrate at home).I wasn’t feeling well (Translation: I stayed out way too late last night).I have already called everyone in my territory (Translation: I think I’m all out of excuses).All of these excuses are nothing more than some very creative avoidance. Salespeople use creative avoidance to make excuses not to get on the phone. If you’re serious about your success and you think of yourself as a professional, track the number of new prospects you call each week and find a way to increase it by ten percent. If you do, you’ll give yourself a ten percent increase in sales… and you can figure out what that means to you financially.You’re a Professional ... So Act Like OneIf you’re really a pro, you’ll write down your goal to increase new phone approaches, set a time frame to increase it, and then tell someone important you’re going to do it.For example, my salespeople in the banking business set appointments with 85 percent of the bankers they talk to on the phone. So, to get three new presentations per week, they must call five new bankers per week. To see four new banks per week they could simply increase the number of new calls to six. The number of new presentations then increases, and sales will follow the same increasing trend assuming no change in the quality of your presentation or the quality of the prospect.If you work for a cold call sales organization and want to increase the number of new presentations you make, here are a few simple ways to accomplish this:· Increase the amount of time you work.· Be more efficient in your workday by spending less time with each prospect.· Spend less time doing non-job related activities during prime work hours.Breaking Through the ExcusesIf you truly believe that you’ve seen all the potential customers in your area, talk to management. But the truth is not that you’ve seen all the good prospects. Instead, I’ve found that salespeople believe their own excuses to justify why they aren’t seeing more people, excuses like:· I’ve seen everyone.· I was there last year.· I’ve called 100 times and can’t get in.· They’re loyal to a competitor.It’s not really that you’ve seen everyone. You have just seen all the easy ones! Professional salespeople develop strategies for even the hardest prospects, strategies to see them and to sell them.Michelle sells printers and copiers to high-end businesses. She uses a technique that she finds highly effective when she’s working in an area that seems to be all “worked over.” When prospects give her the excuse that someone from her company or a competitor has already been there, she is relieved.“Oh good!” she will say. “It’s great to run into someone who is familiar with our products. I bet you didn’t know we have added a new product line that has saved our clients thousands of dollars and greatly added to their efficiency. I’d love to tell you about it.”It pays to be creative in selling. If it were easy, everyone would do it!Remember it will always be easier to see an existing customer than a new one; it will always be harder to overcome call reluctance than visit an old friend. If this is holding you back from increasing your new presentations or your total presentations, then make your calendar help you. Say to yourself, I have “x” amount of time for old prospects and existing clients and “x” amount of time for new prospects. Mark that time on your calendar. Set a goal and then work toward it.One common excuse you must avoid is the use of the “travel budget” crutch. Personally, I’ve never heard of a salesperson being fired for going over his expense budget if he or she was also the best salesperson. Management may whine, but they all want the same thing: more sales.Jonathan Goody was the top salesperson in one of my sales organizations. Jonathan was always over his budget for travel, typically $1,000 a month more than the next highest salesperson’s expenses. He would jump on an airplane at the drop of a hat; he stayed at more expensive hotels than most, and he ate better, too. No matter how much we asked him to lower his expenses, he never did.So, we fired him. No, the truth is, we paid gladly to have all that production! No one is going to fire a top producer for going over his budget; but weak salespeople do get replaced for going over their expense budgets or falsifying their reports.To Your Success,Tom

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