So Tony I think, one of the things for salesperson …Almost the most precious resource is time. Isn’t it?
Tony Morris: Yeah. Absolutely.
Grant Leboff: You could sell 24 hours a day, seven days a week …But your customers aren’t going to be there all the time …
Tony Morris: Sure.
Grant Leboff: And so you are limited. Time is a finite resource, even if you’re willing to work as hard as you can.
Tony Morris: Agreed.
Grant Leboff: How does a salesperson – there’s so many things to do – start to manage that time effectively?
Tony Morris: Yeah, I mean you’ve heard the cliché, “Work smarter, not harder.” Which I find quite frustrating because it doesn’t tell you much, it doesn’t teach you to work smarter, so the two things that I do that work for me, and you know, my 3,000 clients now, well 3,000 consultants I’ve helped, is do things at the right time.
What I mean by that is, I would never do a proposal, in what I would call time. Because like you rightly said, that the best time for me to get a hold of my clients is between 8 AM and 6:30 PM, so anytime out of that is when I should be doing my administration. So I do proposals at 6 in the morning, or in the evening, because I can’t make sales calls then.
Equally, when I’m driving to appointments or driving to training, that’s when I phone my clients because I’m on Bluetooth and I can have relaxed conversations, where there’s not much I need to write down and if I do, I’d message myself on my iPhone.
I just choose my time very wisely. I think- I read in a book, there’s a book called, “Eat My Frog” Brian Tracey, it’s a great book on time management. There’s a great quote in there that said, ” The definition of a fool is to do a task, really, really well that doesn’t need to be done.”
I know I’ve been guilty of that, of doing something that’s maybe taking two or three hours, that didn’t really need to be done, either at all or at that point. So for me it’s about really focusing on why you’re doing something at that time and is there a better way, or a better time of doing it.
Grant Leboff: What about, I mean, I understand, you know, you’ve got prime time to speak to clients, and so do things outside of those prime times. But what about managing time because there’s burnout, as well, isn’t there? You can be doing your proposals at 7 in the morning, because there’s no clients around, or you can be doing your admin at 6 at night, 7 at night, 8 at night, but that, in some ways, if you follow your train of thought to the ultimate, those are pretty long days.
Tony Morris: Yeah.
Grant Leboff: .. that you are putting in. How do you make sure that, you know, it’s okay to do it sometimes …
Tony Morris: Yup.
Grant Leboff: Course, but how do you make sure that you’re managing, not just how utilizing your time at the right time, but managing your time so you’re not just simply, the way I meet my sales targets is I work from 5 in the morning …
Tony Morris: Yeah.
Grant Leboff: Til 10 at night. You know.
Tony Morris: I think it depends what you want. I think you, as a salesperson, what you’re happy, in terms of your salary, and then I think it’s a case of what you’re willing to put in. Some of the top sales people I’ve ever worked with, probably £200,000 – £250,000 a year, they do long hours.
They are up at five, and they do work until 11 PM. You might look at them and think, that’s not me. Maybe you don’t want to earn that level. I’m yet to find a salesperson that earns, you know, that sort of income working 9 ’til 5. It just, for me, it’s never existed.
I guess it all really comes down to what you want out of it and why you do the things you do, and I think salespeople are – I know I am – very guilty of writing to-do lists. But the problem with that, is, does it all need to be done? – Number one, and number two, what order should we put those in? Because number 15 could be the priority.
I believe there should be success lists. It’s not about doing, it’s about being successful in what we do. I like to look at my list and think about what things will actually make me money, or make my business grow and develop, and help me achieve my goals?
Grant Leboff: That’s interesting. At what point do you think it’s valid for a salesperson to look at the targets they want to hit and then work back from those, and so also understand the tasks and things that you’re doing, you know, how many calls does that relate to? Those kinds of things. Starts a map, the journey of how they’re going to achieve that. Then manage their time in that way.
Tony Morris: I think that’s the beauty of sales, that knowing your figures, because ultimately if you do know your figures in detail, and you understand your average order value, you understand your conversion from a, maybe it’s a meeting, to a sale, or a telephone call to a sale, and you know how many calls or meetings are needed to achieve that. You can, as your rightly said, break it down to the number of calls required. Because ultimately, you’re always going to get voice-mails, or gatekeepers, or things of the like.
In my business, we’ve narrowed it to the, you need to make 75 calls to get hold of 5 decision makers, and when you are advanced, your pitch for people, which will result in three appointments. Which should result in two sales. Once you know that, depending on what you want to earn and what you want out of it, as you rightly said, you can bring it back to how many calls you need to do a day. You can allocate time accordingly around that, really.
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