By Brian Tracy
The first major time waster in selling is procrastination and delay. This occurs when you find every conceivable reason to put off getting there with people who can and will buy from you. Everyone procrastinates. There is always too much to do and too little time. The difference between successes and failures is determined by people's choices about what they put off. Losers put off the important things that could make a difference in their lives. Winners put off low-value tasks and activities.
Stop Wasting Time
According to Robert Half International, half of all working time, in all fields, is wasted. Most of this wasted time is taken up with coffee breaks, phone calls, and personal business, or other useless activities that make no contribution to your work.
Resolve to Overcome Procrastination
The best way to overcome procrastination is to plan each day in advance, set priorities on your activities, and then make your first sales call as early as you possibly can. Get up and get going. When you launch quickly into a workday, doing something important as early as possible, you will work at a higher level of effectiveness all day long.
The Incomplete Sales Call
Another major time waster is the incomplete sales call, requiring a callback. This occurs when you have not thoroughly prepared your presentation or taken all the materials you need for your sales call. When you are with the customer, you find you're missing the correct order forms, or other materials needed to close the sale. You then have to make arrangements to go back and see the prospect a second time, something that often does not happen.
Inaccuracies and Deficiencies
You waste a lot of time in selling when you find yourself with a prospect, but without all the information needed to make an intelligent presentation. You may have the wrong facts, the wrong figures, or the wrong specifications. You have misunderstood what the prospect said she wanted and made a proposal that does not solve the prospect's problem or satisfy her need.
Lack of Product Knowledge
This weakness can cost you hours of hard work. It boils down to ignorance of the product or service you are selling. This is invariably caused by laziness on the part of the salesperson. Fortunately it can be very easily overcome with time and study.
Thorough preparation separates the sheep from the goats among sales professionals. The top salesperson takes the time to diligently study every detail of her product or service. She reviews and then reviews again. She takes notes. She decides in advance that no one will ever ask her a question that she cannot answer intelligently and completely.
Here's a common scenario. A salesperson sets off across town to see a prospect for an appointment. It was arranged in advance, so everything should go as planned, right? But when the salesperson arrives, the prospect has been called out of town, is in a meeting, or cannot see him for some reason. As a result, he has wasted the entire trip, including the time it now takes him to get back to the office. Sometimes a salesperson can lose half a day because he did not reconfirm an appointment.
Plan every day in advance; make a list of everything you have to do, and then set priorities on your list; always start with your number one, most important task.