If you work in any large city, or your sales territory is large, then you can find yourself spending a lot of time travelling to and from meetings. Obviously face to face time with clients is critically important but you also don’t want to kill your productivity for a day, or half a day because of that meeting.
What can you do to be productive when you have to accommodate a fair bit of travel into your schedule? Here are some tips:
“You win not by chance, but by preparation”. Roger Maris
- This may seem obvious but plan your schedule as effectively as possible… you don’t have to accept the first time that your client suggests.
- Think through what times work best for you… for example, on your way into work, or on your way home might be most effective.
- Try to avoid prime “calling time” when you can be on the phone with other clients and prospects.
- Can you use the travel time? I would not advocate tough business calls while driving, but with hands free technology and a little preplanning you could make some of your “catch up” calls while on the road.
- If you can use other transport, like public transport, then you can work on other things while you travel.
- Plan your time so that the activities you can do while out of the office, are saved for those occasions… catch up reading, short emails, writing cards etc.
- Schedule other client meetings in the area that you are visiting, maximizing the “travel time per meeting”. If you travel for 60 minutes to have one 60 minute meeting, it is not very efficient.
- Try to meet multiple people at the site you are visiting, there are typically multiple people who would be worth meeting. The accounting people who pay your bills, the EA who helps set up meetings, the purchasing person who handles contracts etc.
- Make the most of your meeting time! Have a clear agenda, so you get all of the information you need in one go! Take good notes so you don’t miss anything!
- Make sure that you use your calendar and everyone who needs to know your schedule does know it. That way they can slot in other meetings for you, even if you are out at meetings.
“Day by day, what you do is who you become.” Heraclitus
Some salespeople are lucky, and their clients are all close by, but even then there are many things we as salespeople can do to maximize our time. A little planning, some forethought and a focus on the fact that time is a precious resource will go a long way to increasing our productivity and success!
Kevin Dee is Chairman and founder of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
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