If you work in outside sales, you have the freedom to really do whatever you want during the day. In most scenarios, as long as you are generating sales and making money, you will have the autonomy to conduct your week as you see fit. For many salespeople, this is extremely enticing. The idea of not being confined to an office all day is one of the deciding factors for people who want to pursue a career in sales.
If you are in this category of people, it can be very rewarding to have the ability to do whatever you please. It can also be very dangerous.
When setting your own schedule and pursuing your own clients, there are two pitfalls that are easy to fall into.
Not Maximizing Your Time
One of the easiest traps that outside salespeople can find themselves in is…simply put…being lazy. Not maximizing your time can mean taking a 3-hour lunch or going to see a movie in the middle of the day. It could mean taking off work a few hours early to meet up with friends. It could mean going shopping for an hour. There are literally hundreds of distractions during the day that can cause you to waste time. We are all guilty of this, whether you want to admit it or not. In all honesty, I once logged on Facebook for over an hour when I could have been cold calling on potential businesses.
Pursuing Low-Dollar Clients
The other trap that you can easily fall into is the trap of spending your valuable time going after clients who aren’t going to really help you exceed your goal. There are only so many hours in the day, so why use your time and energy on 10 small clients when you could potentially get the same results with 1 or 2 big ones? Of course, not every client can be a huge monster spender, but you also have to be strategic about the type of customers you are going after and if it’s causing you to spin your wheels.
I hear people constantly say that the solution is to simply “be disciplined.” While that’s certainly part of it, it’s hardly a working solution.
The best way to avoid these traps is to think to yourself “How much is my week actually worth?” If you are working as a 100% commissioned sales rep, time is money. It’s not that difficult to look at your previous week and calculate how much you made vs. how much you could have made.
If you are spending an hour on Facebook per day, you can really say that you spent 5 hours/week wasting time on social media. Depending on the industry you work in, that could result in hundreds or thousands of dollars worth of commission that you missed out on.
If you are spending half your day going after clients who result in a commission check that’s 1/3 of your big clients, why not use that time to pursue the larger clients? It takes way more time to close and service 5 small clients than one large one.
Before you start your week out, look at your schedule and determine what the real value of your week is. See if you can increase that value moving forward. This simple exercise is the best way to make more money, stay busier, and avoid the aforementioned traps.
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Author: Jason Karaman
Hello! I’m a marketing, sales, and customer service author, blogger and doer. I live in the South Carolina Lowcountry with my wife. I enjoy reading, writing, hiking, kayaking, and all things beach. For media inquiries, send an email to JasonKaraman@ExpertCaller.com