It is difficult to offer just three ideas on this — we really could have a whole week of ideas (that would be interesting to do one week). Here are top ways to reduce your time spent on running your business or specifically on selling.
1. Off-load any work that you can, including lower level projects that a student could help with over the summer. If you are a micro-manager like I can be, find projects you can off-load which require initial direction, but take enough time to accomplish that it is not worth your time to do these. Post a listing on Craigslist for a virtual assistant, or use a search engine to find someone who could help you with marketing tasks, customer and prospective customer database work, and projects that need to get done.
(note: I am in search of a virtual assistant currently myself)
2. Create and post your biggest goals for the week on Monday morning (or better yet, Friday afternoon) Aim for three major items or issues to be accomplished. This way you can finish up at the end of the week knowing you at least got your main issues done. It will give you a feeling of satisfaction.
3. Streamline your paperwork and data entry. I have not mastered this, and I am pleased when I find someone who really has. The less you have to re-enter information the better. Enter once; and know where it is. We´ll talk more about filing systems in a future post. For now, try to be conscious of your process and make sure it makes sense.
I´d be remiss to not suggest the BEST way to gain time when selling — qualify better and sooner! We would like to have a YES from the prospective customer, but in lieu of that, go for a QUICK NO. It is the "slow no´s" that kill us in selling, isn´t it? The time it takes us to go through a long, drawn out sales cycle and end up with a "no" is a bad use of time. Work to qualify sooner, and get a "yes" or a "quick no" — and move on.
What tips do you have for streamlining your sales business?