The Perfect Sales Day

Part of time management—a BIG part of time management, actually—is making the most of your selling day. Call it, “sales efficiency.” That is, are you making the most of the limited selling hours in any given selling day?

In particular, what does a good day out of the office look like? The sad irony of Sales is that the more successful you become, the less time you have to become more successful.

And yet, consider this: You are being outsold by a competing sales rep who has similar equipment and sells in the same territory. He/she has the same number of hours in the week as you do, but is kicking your ass. Daily.

Why? There are many possible answers. One is, he/she has achieved “The Perfect Sales Day.”

***Insert angel chorus here.***

Efficiency. That means wringing every possible drop of opportunity from a sales day. Simply leaving the office to make a call and returning immediately ain’t gunna cut it, Bunkie. You need to be better, stronger, faster…More efficient.

Here, then, is the agenda of The Perfect Sales Day:

Before you leave:

  • Gather everything you need: samples, your portfolio, GPS.
  • Make a list of the “B-level” calls you need to make that day (see below).

On the way:

  • Pick up the phone and make those “B-level” calls. These might be customer check-ins, calls back to the shop to check on an order, a conversation with your boss, even personal or family calls. It’s a good use of this time.
  • Do NOT make prospecting calls from the car while driving. The message this sends to the customer is, “You are not important enough for me to call you from a landline.”

After your sales call:

  • Who else can you see in the area?
  • Do you have any prospects you’ve been calling nearby? Call them one more time and leave one more message: “I am going to be down the road from you and would like to swing by and stick a business card in your hand. I expect to be there at…”
  • Are there any current customers you can stop by and see?
  • Is there any cold calling you can sneak in while in the area?

On the way back:

  • Check in with the office.
  • Make more “B-level” calls.
  • Pop in an instructional or motivational CD.

The Perfect Sales Day is planned well in advance. If today is Thursday and you score an appointment for next Tuesday, you should begin preparing to make the best use of your time while you are out of the office. Do it well, do it enough, and do it effectively, and you will become the ass-kicker in the equation.

As a 30 year sales veteran, Bill has the perspective of a been-there, done-that sales rep in the commercial print arena. Following sales fundamentals and giving unapologetically "old school" advice, he writes and speaks in an entertaining fashion to make his points to sales people and owners who sell. "Bill Farquharson will drive your sales momentum."
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  • Mark Henry


    Nice overview. I would suggest adding one item – DELEGATE. Use an assistant to handle market and new client research, find injection points, identify competition in detail (offerings, pricing, availability), some B-level calls might be delegated as well. While you’re driving around stop in and say hello to existing clients, drop off some logo chachkis (post-it notes, pens, mouse pads, etc) and just get 5-minutes of face time so they remember your name and what you offer – even if they’re not buying right now.


    Mark H

  • concerned

    You’re not really suggesting that in order to be efficient a salesperson needs to be on the phone while driving to and from sales calls, are you? Being available is great, and making the most of your time while in a particular neighborhood is sound advice; but please keep your focus on the road and traffic while driving. Make those other assorted calls after you’ve parked.