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Time Bandits

Time Bandits are things that “steal” or take your time away from
sales-related activities. They can be as obvious as the office “talker,” to
not-so-obvious things as obsessively checking email or voice mails.

But we can all agree, “Time Bandits” must be watched and properly dealt with.

First, let’s quickly summarize what “sales related activities” are. Sales related activities are actions you take that proactively lead to:

1) finding a qualified prospect
2) setting a qualified appointment
3) doing a qualified demo (product presentation)

So, in essence, there are only a few actual (real) sales related activities. Everything else can be considered “NSA’s” or “non-sales-related-activities.”

Now many people are going to say things like, “Now wait. You mean when I’m spending time putting together a quote, that this is still considered an NSA?” YES. Sure, preparing a quote is a NECESSARY event, but it’s still a “non-sales-related-activities.” Just to prove a point, if you put together 10 quotes in one day, and that’s it, let me ask you, how many sales are you going to close? ZERO. So again, quotes are necessary, but they don’t lead to finding a prospect, setting an appointment, or doing a demo.

In fact, to be completely accurate, prospecting could be considered an
NSA. It just seems to be “bundled” into the mix of traits of a successful sales person (probably because ANYONE willing to prospect effectively will be a successful sales person!) It’s unfortunate that so much time has to be invested into prospecting. Just imagine if your time could actually be spent setting the qualified appointment, or, better yet, doing the actual demo and closing the deal!

So a very simple philosophy emerges regarding time bandits. You should avoid the unnecessary ones, and work like crazy to become incredibly efficient at the necessary ones. You might even consider, if you’re truly a top sales person, to “job out” or delegate as many of the necessary time bandits as possible- thus leaving you to your craft: finding prospects, doing demos, and closing deals. And if your company has a decent marketing system, you might be able to focus on the demos and closing the deals!

Let’s look at a list of several examples of time bandits:

Necessary Time Bandits:

Prospecting
Quoting
Training
Meetings
Driving
Eating

Unnecessary Time Bandits:

Obsessive email/voicemail checking
Surfing the social sites
“Organizing” your desk
Office gossip
Obsessive “researching”
Daydreaming
Sharpening your pencils
Call-backs
Going on unqualified appointments
Making prospecting calls to bad data/leads

So these are just a few examples of time bandits. Obviously there exist many, many more.

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