Time Management tips for productive sales people

Yael Warman, Content Manager at Leverate, takes an interesting look at the one commodity we can never make more of – time – and how to use it best in the high pressure world of sales.

“Time is Money” and nowhere is this more resoundingly true for a Forex sales rep.

Yael Warman, Leverate

Yael Warman, Leverate

It is the nature of the job where time becomes a precious commodity, as sales reps are continually being asked to do more, in less time. While many thrive off the activity, it is still hard not to feel pressured and eventually become overwhelmed. That is where a few essential time management skills can become vital in helping you keep afloat with your work, without sinking from being under too much pressure.

Learn to Pivot

You are about to call a lead to discuss the investment instrument that they were considering. You’ve done your research and you’ve prepared the information that you are going to relay. You make the call… and nothing, they don’t answer. Instead of moving on to the next client in your case load, call another client with similar interests for whom this research that you have already prepared will be useful. At this point, with your mind focused on that subject, your time would be best spent assisting other clients with similar interests.

Stay on Task

Some may disagree with the advice above and would prefer to use any new found time to return to making more new lead calls or follow up calls. However, a fact about the human mind is that we’re not as fast at switching tasks as we are at zoning in and completing one task in one go. Studies have shown that switching tasks has the effect of diluting focus to the point where it slows people down, because their brains have to adjust each time to a new task. So, unless all your leads are immediately ready and you are fully briefed to prospect new calls, chances are you are going to waste time getting ready to make those calls. Over the course of a day, this can amount to a lot of time.

Bite the Bullet

All sales reps have at least one task that they really detest and find to be totally burdensome. That one task may well be different for everyone. Without question for me it’s those little administrative duties that evoke the same feeling as sharp pebbles stuck in your shoe, I know for others it is writing follow up emails or making those prospect calls. It may be different between us, but we all have at least one.  While procrastination is a great way to avoid getting those tasks done, eventually if we don’t do them, they catch up with us later – and by that stage it’s generally not pretty. The advice: Just get those tasks done and out of the way, and the sooner the better.

It Ain’t over ‘till it’s Over

You stayed focused and on the task and your “just desserts” floated in, in the form of a successful call or a target reached. It’s tempting at this point to go out and take a satisfying break. After all, you’ve just brought home the proverbial bacon. But at the risk of raining on any parade, the best time to make that follow up call or confirm an arrangement is right after you’ve had that successful call, as all the important information is still fresh in your mind. If the time you’ve allotted for first time leads was an hour, finish that hour through to the end by calling the rest of the leads on your list. Don’t pull out quickly just because you’ve had some early success. Momentum is a great thing and once you’re on a roll, it’s a great shame to just throw it away.

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