We get a lot of comments and questions from people asking “how can I get it all done?” There seems to be so much that has to be completed on a given day. We have to follow up with clients, put together quotes, get pricing together, bring new clients through the door. Many people say they rarely have time for that type of thing. But more is never the solution to too much. So we need to leverage prime thinking time & prime selling time.
So what are some tips for planning your work to accomplish more each day?
Here’s an important consideration. If this is something you’re struggling with, don’t just ask “how can I get it all done?” Instead, it’s more important to ask “how much of this needs to be done at all?” So the first question I recommend you ask yourself is “can I reduce the number of activities that I’m engaged in?”
Can I reduce the number of things that I need to do on a daily basis? Because the answer to having too much to do is not to add more stuff.
More is never the answer to too much.
I know that sounds really obvious. But I can’t tell you how many times I’m on the phone with a consulting client talking about all the different things they’re doing.
Then they start asking about something else they can do. Whether it’s related to the internet or some of the things that we were just talking about. Driving traffic to a website. If you’re set up to do that, that’s great. A lot of people are not. So what they’re asking, in a sense, is “how can I learn and master these 50 other new skills, in addition to doing everything that I need to do to keep my business operating?” And the short answer to that is, it’s very difficult to do that.
So what you want to look at is, what can I eliminate first? What are the things that are being done now that need not be done at all? The goal here is to accomplish more. That doesn’t necessarily mean you have to do more in terms of the number of activities. So the first step in planning your work to accomplish more each day is to look at the specific things, the primary movers, the activities that create results for you. Then prioritize those to make sure you do those first.
What do you need to prioritize to get it all done?
It could be targeting and approaching new prospects and clients. Maybe it’s getting a customer acquisition program and system in place so that you are doing that like clockwork on a regular basis. Whatever it is, we need to make sure that happens. If you have prospects in the pipeline now, with deadlines and dates, and they need to get quotes, obviously that’s a priority. You need to do that.
But one of the things that a lot of people seem to have trouble with is when somebody asks for a quote. The prospect will say, “Hey, can you get me pricing on this?” And the person will just go scamper off and put together pricing without first knowing “when are they actually going to do this?” Do they really need a price right now?
People will often say, “can you get me pricing on this?” But until you know they have an event or what day the event is, when they need it, what’s their in-hands date? It almost doesn’t make sense to put together a price quote. Because if you put together a price quote for someone now, but they decide not to move on it for the next two or three months, it’s likely that pricing will be completely different. Not to mention stock levels!
When do they actually need it?
So one of the things you always want to find out from your prospects or clients before you put together a quote is: When do you need this? What’s your in-hands date? If their in-hands date is three months out, you can give them a ballpark in terms of pricing.
But it might not make sense to do the whole work of putting together a full quote until you’re closer to that time. This will ensure your numbers are going to be more accurate. It will also prevent you from wasting time doing something that you will likely have to re-do a few weeks later.
So look at your prime movers. Identify the activities that create results, and make sure that you do those things first. Look for activities that create positive interaction with your prospects and clients. Those are important. What are the specific actions you take, the activities you engage in to create those positive interactions with clients?
Which activities will allow you to get it all done?
Is it sending them emails? Is it talking to them on the phone? What are the specific things that you need to do to make that happen? And how can you leverage those types of things? Because that’s what’s going to allow you to accomplish more on a daily basis.
The final thing I tend to examine is taking advantage of various types of prime time. We’re all familiar with the idea of prime selling time. We have to make sure we’re in front of our prospects and clients at the times when they’re ready to buy. But beyond that, there’s also prime thought time.
What are the times of day that you are most able to think clearly and come up with good ideas? Those are the times you should probably engage in that sort of work. Why try to generate ideas when our brains are either not-yet-active or have already peaked for the day? It’s counterproductive. Get in tune with your own prime thinking time.
Which activities will allow you to get it all done?
If you become aware of your own internal prime thinking time, prime selling time, prime outreach time — the time that you can actually get in touch with the people that you need to reach — that’s all really good to do.
I was watching a video earlier today that a guy that I know put out. It’s a social media-related video. And he was talking about — for business people — the primary times of day that you ideally want to send them an email are either earlier in the morning, like between say 7 and 9 AM or around lunchtime, say between 11 AM and 1 PM. And then later in the day, maybe between 4 and 6 PM.
Those are the times that people tend to really access their email. And if you send it at the times when they’re accessing it, it’s better than if it’s just sort of sitting there and it’s part of the pile. Personally, I found that that is accurate as well.
If you send somebody an email right in the middle of the time where they’re likely to be in their car or on their way to see a client, the likelihood that they’re going to open it at that point and respond to it is a lot less than if you’re hitting them either when they’re starting their day or, you know, maybe at lunchtime when they’re at a break and they’re taking a look at their email. Or at the end of the day when they’re just sort of catching up. So those are a couple of things that will help you to accomplish more.
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