Time Management Isn’t the Issue: Task Management Improves Sales Results

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February is Time Management Month, but “time management” is an out-of-date concept says Lenann McGookey Gardner (http://www.YouCanSell.com). “We can’t manage time, in the sense that we can’t control time. We can only control the activities that take up our time, and judiciously tackling the right tasks is the key to improved selling results,” says Gardner. Gardner, the author of "Got Sales? The Complete Guide to Today’s Proven Methods for Selling Services," provides these tips for increasing revenue within existing working hours.

Got Sales? by Lenann McGookey Gardner

Rainmakers need not be the only ones responsible for bringing in business. Managers working directly with clients are often in the best position to recognize additional business that could be sold

February is Time Management Month, but “time management” is an out-of-date concept says Lenann McGookey Gardner (http://www.YouCanSell.com). “We can’t manage time, in the sense that we can’t control time. We can only control the activities that take up our time, and judiciously tackling the right tasks is the key to improved selling results,” says Gardner.

“In his book 'Time Traps,' author Todd Duncan lays out the many ways that poor task management kills sales results,” says Gardner, an international management consultant. “Time is the biggest obstacle standing between your firm and a strong new business development effort. People are busy as beavers… and yet often they aren’t fitting crucial business-building activities into their packed days. It’s possible to structure your time better, so new business development happens.”

Gardner, the author of "Got Sales? The Complete Guide to Today’s Proven Methods for Selling Services" (Jarndyce & Jarndyce), provides these tips for increasing revenue within existing working hours.

Increase F2F and P2P time

“Time spent face-to-face (F2F) or phone-to-phone (P2P) with people who can authorize checks to be written to your firm correlates directly with success in new business development,” reports Gardner. “Spending even five percent of your time, that’s two hours a week assuming a 40-hour workweek, correlates to a dramatic rise in revenue for many professionals.”

Spread the time investment around

“Rainmakers need not be the only ones responsible for bringing in business. Managers working directly with clients are often in the best position to recognize additional business that could be sold,” says Gardner. “Identifying talented people and teaching them up-to-date business development skills enables the business development task to be spread out among many, so the time investment for each person is relatively small.”

Block out time to contact or meet with prospects

“Make appointments with yourself to do a bare minimum of two hours of prospecting every week by calling current clients, old clients, and new prospects. Break it into two sessions if you need to,” Gardner advises, adding, “Make this time sacrosanct on your calendar.”

Get out or stay out of the office

“Is your office just too busy and do you find yourself unable to make time for business development? One of my clients who is thriving in this weak economy decided that to be successful, everyone on his team must spend 60 percent of their time on new business development, and as the leader, he is spending three days a week in front of prospects or clients. He’ll actually set aside entire days to go out prospecting – which includes making visits to current clients who have additional business potential, and past clients whom he would like to be working with again,” says Gardner. “By taking himself out of the office environment, he eliminates the distractions that in the past kept him from growing the business.”

Lenann McGookey Gardner, a Harvard MBA and a past #1 worldwide sales rep at Xerox, offers keynote speeches on state-of-the-art selling and closing skills, executive and sales coaching for business success, and workshops. Her book Got Sales? The Complete Guide to Today’s Proven Methods for Selling Services is the one guidebook highlighting all the latest research and data on what’s working now in contemporary selling. More information is available at http://www.YouCanSell.com.

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