The 24 Hour Time Management Test
Being a sales trainer is a lot like being a psychiatrist. Once people find out what you do, they suddenly feel the urge to spill their guts and tell you all of their problems and challenges. I’m not complaining, mind you. I’m just saying…
Case in point: I was on a plane to Toronto last week. Sitting next to me was a nice-enough woman and we got talking about the usual stuff: What do you do for work? Where are you from? Wouldn’t Derek Jeter look great in a Red Sox uniform?
When she found out I was a sales trainer, she reached into her purse and handed over the $20 co-pay, reclined her seat, and began spewing. Out it came: The economy. Her boss. Nasty customers. Ruthless competition. And on and on.
It was a short flight and there was already a line forming in the aisle as others wanted in on the free advice, so I cut to the chase and asked, “What is your biggest sales challenge?” Out it came, as expected: “Time management.” Yup, that’s the number one answer.
Turns out she was on the same flight back, so we decided to do a little experiment. I gave her one task to accomplish and promised that if she did nothing other than that, 75 percent of her time management issues would disappear. We’d check in again on the 5 p.m. return flight the following night and see how she did.
Here’s what I told her:
“Before you quit for the day, make a list of everything you need to accomplish tomorrow. There are several things to consider: appointments, phone calls and other to-dos. In addition, give some thought to anything in your personal life that might appear on your radar. What you are left with is a plan for the day.”