An Exercise in 'No'
I am starting a time management program at the end of this week (BillFarquharson.com for more info). Preparation has put this, my favorite subject, top of mind. I’m excited about bringing lessons to the group of Vault Insiders who have signed up.
Today, I wanted to talk about one important component on the subject of time management and that is the word, “No.” No other single word will make more of a difference in your ability to be efficient with your selling time than the word, “No.”
I am certainly guilty of this and I’ll bet you are, too. You are working on a project and something pops in your head. It is a worthwhile idea so you write it down on your task list for later. Good time management, right? After repeating this action several times, you find that your to do list is cluttered with these “worthwhile ideas.” But, instead of weeding them out, you carry them forward and there they sit, day after day, reminding you of all the things you didn't get done. Next time, say, “no” after realizing that while they might be good ideas, they are not working you towards your sales goals.
Or how about when you get done with a project and look around your desk to see what’s next. Most of us gravitate towards our want-twos and not our have-twos. That's natural and completely normal. But spending time on the wrong activities is like going on a trip and heading in the wrong direction but making really good time! Next time, say “no” and in its place ask yourself, “What’s the best use of my time right now?”
Time management is not just about efficiency. It’s about doing the right sales activities and making good choices as well. Only when you combine time management with sales focus do you truly find efficiency and productivity.
Take out your task list and read from top to bottom. Next, circle those tasks which are directly connected to your sales goals. If you are brave, cross out anything not circled. If you are not sure about the validity of this sales tip, write them on a piece of paper and stick them in an envelope, writing the date seven days out on the outside. When that day comes, if you haven’t opened the envelope, that means those tasks were time-wasters. Throw out the envelope without opening it.
Consider this: Top salespeople do not work 60 hour weeks. They’re not out mowing their lawns at night with the headlights on. Part of this success comes down to their ability to do the right things at the right time.
And saying, “No” a lot.
Become a Sales Vault Insider and improve all aspects of your sales, especially growth! Go to BillFarquharson.com or call Bill at 781-934-7036.How does one task turn into five? The same way one Oreo turns into an entire sleeve (especially if they are in the fridge or if there is milk involved). It’s the failure to exercise restraint and make choices. In this week’s Short Attention Span Sales tip, Bill Farquharson gives you an exercise to do that will help with half of these problems (he’s not the guy to talk about reducing Oreo intake).
Bill Farquharson is a sales trainer for the graphic arts. Email him at Bill@AspireFor.com or call (781) 934-7036. Bill’s two books, The 25 Best Print Sales Tips Ever and Who’s Making Money at Digital/Inkjet Printing…and How? as well as information on his new subscription-based website, The Sales Vault are available at BillFarquharson.com.