Some people know how to play the game. Whether it’s golf, tennis, office
politics, or political office, they just know how to navigate the tough
obstacles, get the most out of their time, and seal the deal.
Do these folks have an innate ability for managing
their game, or have they learned by trial and error along the way? It’s a little of both, I think, but one
thing is true: the best of the
best are the best because they are thoroughly prepared and singularly focused.
Most of us are not the best of the best at what we
do, but, little by little, we hope to reach the top one day. Intentions, however, are all well and
good, but making it happen—being productive and successful on a consistent basis—is no easy feat. Ask yourself: Am I committed to excellence or am I
going through the motions? Can I be better prepared?
Managing a highly productive day takes work and
focus, especially for salespeople.
You have to balance your dials and prospecting with follow-ups, and
meetings, and emails. The finite hours of the day quickly shrink away.
So, how best to manage your time wisely? Well, hopefully, you don’t show up to the office, sit down
at your desk, and ask yourself, “OK, where should I start?” But there are many salespeople who do
this. They “wing it” and pray for good results. Now, this
may work for some salespeople, who on the surface don’t appear to be trying,
but they’re in the minority, and the chances are, these cool cats are more prepared than you
I’m certainly not opposed to spontaneity. Good salespeople need to be spontaneous
and adapt quickly to adverse situations.
The best salespeople do this well.
Why? Because they’re
prepared. They back up the freewheeling, carefree attitude with a
strong skill set, preparation, and experience. They work within the parameters of
selling, within the context of
the sales process. They simply know how to play the game—their game.
Every successful person manages his time
differently, but almost all execute a game plan that works for them.
Some believe that a good start is essential to a productive day. They come in early and hit it hard. There are others who work
themselves into the day. They may
start later and work slowly but they’re always building to a strong finish. And still, there are folks who are not
concerned with how the day begins and ends. Instead, they’re opportunists who know what they’re
looking for, and pick can pick their spots and deliver positive results.
Whether you’re a front-runner, come-from-behind-er,
or Mr. Opportunist, doesn’t matter. There are hundreds of ways to manage your day. The key is to find what method works for
you—the quicker the better—and be willing to put in the preparation needed to
make it work and be successful.
Great preparation leads to great time management
skills. The best salespeople
squeeze the most out of their day because the hard lifting is already done. In fact, they’re so on top
of their game that they actually look like they’re not trying at all.