A winning time management plan

Before exploring how to build, launch and manage your winning time management plan, I’d like to first reiterate to you in greater detail the value of time management to you. As such, let’s first consider the following statement:

If I were to sum up my concept of time management and how it

relates and is important to each of us as sales professionals, I’d do so by emphatically stating to you that when it comes to time management, if you are not in control of your time, then, simply put, someone or something else is in control of you.

While I am not sure if this statement means anything to you or not, at this point I want you to key on the word “control” for when it comes to time management, control is essential. Let me explain this by taking you through a series of questions.

Question 1: As a sales professional, looking back over the past few days, weeks, months, even years, who or what would you say has been in control of you, your time, your effort, your sales day?

Provided you already have a winning time management plan, it is highly likely that your answer to this question is that you were in control. And if that is, in fact, the case, I applaud you because you will no doubt already understand most, if not all, of what I will explain in this chapter. However, if you do not already have a winning time management plan (and my assumption is that you don’t), it is likely that your answer to this question is that someone or something else was in control, or perhaps he/she/it were in control most of the time.

Question 2: Okay, then, assuming you are of the second camp, tell me how the lack of control has affected or will affect your level of success.

If you are already in sales, my guess is that the effect has been negative. However, if you have not yet begun your sales career, my guess is that you can only guess just how negative this can be to you. And if this is the case, I recommend that you take this scenario outside of the sales environment and apply it to what you are most familiar with—school, other work, sports, or parenting. You see, the principle applies regardless of environment. You are either in control or you are not, and you are either productive/successful or you are not. Get my point? I hope so.

Question 3: Okay, how does this make you feel?

My guess is that, regardless of environment, your answer to this question is that you feel bad, inhibited, unproductive, or unsuccessful. Am I correct? It’s more than likely that I am.

Question 4: And finally, what are you prepared to do about it?

Again, my guess is that your answer to this question is that, provided you are actively involved in selling, you want to correct the situation, and thus, you are prepared do what it takes to take control. And if you are not yet engaged in the profession, my guess is that you will want to do everything possible to avoid the situation when you start selling. Am I correct? My assumption is that you agree with me on this; whatever your situation.

Are you beginning to understand the meaning of my statement now?

Throughout my tenure in the profession I have found that, all to often, most of the sales people that I have worked with had little or no understanding of the principles behind the three-way winning philosophy. Also, it has been my observation that this proved to be a great hindrance to those individuals’ successes in the profession and their development as sales professionals.

Therefore, in selling you must understand that, generally speaking, there are three principal parties involved in every sales interaction which, in their own right, have vested interest in the outcome of the interactions. Also, you must understand that it is incumbent upon you, as a sales professional, to ensure that each of the principal parties engaged in your sales interactions win. Consequently, the three-way winning philosophy is a sales philosophy that is predicated on the premise that in sales interactions, the sales professional not only wins, but as importantly, so must his clients and employer.

Although this may appear to be a no-brainer for you, more often than not, the best of us truly must learn the significance of this philosophy before we can effectively make it a key part of our success as sales professionals. It is therefore very likely that you are, in fact, in need of fully comprehending the philosophy.

Bobby Butler is president and founder of Sales Mentoring Solutions. His firm provides training and development as well as organization development support to sales organizations and professional association memberships.

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