Pay-Time Focus: A Formula for Sales Success

A good salesperson knows the difference between pay time and non-pay time. In other words, they know how to effectively manage activities that pay versus activities that are important but don't pay. In this economy, it comes down to a simple rule if you're in sales: Make pay time a priority.<br clear="none" /> <br clear="none" /> Pay-time activities put you face-to-face or on the phone with another human being&#x2014;preferably a prospect or customer who can give you referrals. Non-pay time activities are all other activities, including sales meetings, expense reports, call reports, quotes, customer order follow-up, paperwork, training, research, drive time&#x2014;and the list goes on.<br clear="none" /> <br clear="none" /> Over the years, I've seen far too many salespeople work very hard doing non-pay time activities and not getting paid. After accumulating too many non-pay time hours and days, they usually hear, "I appreciate all your hard work. Unfortunately, I have to let you go."<br clear="none" /> <br clear="none" /> Pay-time activity can only be done certain parts of the day, generally 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., while non-pay time activities can be done any time of the day. So, time management is critical. <br clear="none" /> <br clear="none" /> Here are some simple ways to create more time for pay-time activities:<br clear="none" /> <br clear="none" /> &#x2022;Block out a part of the day for pay-time activities, and don't allow interruptions. Put a sign on your door or cubicle that says "Do not disturb. I'm insuring our future."<br clear="none" /> <br clear="none" /> &#x2022;Do your paperwork when people you need to call are out to lunch (between 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.) and eat at your desk. <br clear="none" /> <br clear="none" /> &#x2022;Arrive at the office an hour earlier to do paperwork, or stay later and avoid rush hour. <br clear="none" /> <br clear="none" /> &#x2022;Make non-pay time activities more productive. For example, listen to educational sales tapes while driving.<br clear="none" /> <br clear="none" /> &#x2022;Lastly, stop quoting everyone. Qualify harder and quote less. As a result, you’ll have more time on your hands and a better close ratio.<br clear="none" /> <br clear="none" /> Don't fall into the non-pay-time trap. Manage your time, focus on pay-time activities and watch your sales and income soar.<br clear="none" /> <br clear="none" /> <i>Tom Niesen is the CEO of Acuity Systems, Inc., a sales and sales management development company based in Dallas, TX. For more information on services, seminars, and client results, call 972.960.8695 or visit <a href=" " target="_blank"> </a>.</i>