Saturday Morning Sales

Kevin Latchford


Did You Waste Time This Year? - December 23, 2017

I’m sure you’ve heard people say, “what a waste of time” something was, such as a concert, a presentation, a sporting event, or a meeting. It happens. We don’t have a crystal ball so we cannot predict the future. When I ask the question “did you waste time this year”, I am not referring to these minor happenings that are practically inevitable, my question is much deeper. As 2017 draws to a close, looking at bigger picture happenings in your sales career throughout the past 11 ½ months, did you waste time by not being present in the moment? Did you waste time by ignoring market conditions? Did you waste time by not reaching out to your customers more often? Did you miss opportunities to advance your sales because you were off wasting time when you should have been working?


I am not suggesting that you skip a vacation or come into the office when feeling sick. All too often, especially with ‘B’ and ‘C’ level sales people, they lie to themselves. There is a feeling they are busy, the workload is pushing manageable, and sales are okay, when in fact they are having their doors blown off by the ‘A’ level sales person. This is about time management. It’s about prioritizing your life, making time for your spouse, your kids, your hobbies, and still kicking ass in sales. It is about always living in the moment and being aware of the world around you. It is about NOT wasting time.


I developed my own time management exercise years ago, blending different approaches and professional sales trainer ideas, and I call it the quadrant. Weekends are mine. I have a wife and three children. I have responsibilities to them, other family, my friends and my faith. But, Monday through Friday is about my career choice as a sales person. My quadrant begins at 5:00 AM on Monday morning and ends at 5:00 PM on Friday evening. In each of the four categories – sales / management / professional development / personal – I list my weekly activities and responsibilities. Each and every week I evaluate my calendar, my hourly, daily and weekly schedule, and I look for ways to engage and not waste an ounce of energy or time.


During the holidays, this time of year, many sales people are feeling stressed and anxious because of their performance, or lack of performance, from the previous 11 ½ months. Many wait until now to self-evaluate, ponder their performance, and plan for the new year. However, this should be a regular (at least weekly) occurrence.


My challenge to my own team and to you is this: have you wasted time this year? No, you cannot get it back, but you can learn from this exercise. Identify those times where you feel you wasted time, missed an opportunity, or did not work to your potential. Explore ways you can avoid this happening again. Commit to better time management skills. Exercise the quadrant to your advantage. Have a great holiday season and a better 2018.

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