4 time management tips for the sport sales pro
by andre luck - Director, season ticket sales - houston astros | August 13, 2019
Many people say that they don't have enough time in the day to finish everything they want to accomplish. I still fall victim to making this excuse and I was recently reminded while listening to a podcast on my drive in to work that no one is in control of your time other than you. If you allow other people to control your time, it's no one's fault but your own. I have managed salespeople for seven years and one of the most overlooked skills of highly successful salespeople is time management. Here are some things that the best salespeople do to manage their time effectively to ensure they get everything done.
Focus on the most difficult things first
We love to do what we enjoy most and what we can perform at a high level with ease. To be a top salesperson, you must do what needs to get done whether you enjoy it or not. Relating this principle to ticket sales, it's easy and enjoyable to reach out to your current customers just to check in, or call that prospect that loves hearing from you and makes you feel great but is never going to buy. It takes discipline to come in every morning and make prospecting cold calls to cultivate new business opportunities. It’s better to do the most difficult things early in the day when you’re most energized. Also, if you’re anything like me, it’s nice to check that thing off your to-do list so you are not stressing about it all day.
Red Light & Green Light activities
One technique I learned early in my sales career was to categorize my sales activities into Red Light or Green Light Activities and perform those activities in scheduled time blocks. Working in scheduled time blocks is very productive because it allows you to plan out your day and be laser focused on one activity at a time. This repetition allows you to get in a rhythm and be more effective with what you're doing.
Red Light Activities are activities that are necessary to the sales process and should be performed at times of the day when things are slower such as before or after normal work hours or right before you leave for your lunch break. These activities consist of returning emails and voicemails, sending proposals, and writing thank you notes. Green Light Activities are your revenue generating activities. These activities should be performed during peak times of the day and consist of making new phone calls to schedule appointments, making renewal calls to current clients, making decision phone calls and showing appointments. As tempting as it is to respond to that client’s question as soon as you see the email come in or send an email proposal to your prospect as soon as you get off the phone call, if it’s during your Green Light Activity Time, don’t do it. Make a mental note (or physical note if you have to) to get back to that Red Light Activity during your scheduled Red Light Activity time and pick up the phone and make your next phone call.
Do not multi-task
With so many distractions that can limit our productivity throughout the day, we need to make sure we focus on one thing at a time and do not try to multi-task. It sounds like a simple concept, but it's much easier said than done. Here are some ways I’ve seen sales reps eliminate distractions to help them better concentrate.
-Keep your cell phone out of arms reach. It's too tempting to scroll through social media while making phone calls.
-Close your Internet browser and email inbox during Green Light Activity Time.
-Force yourself to stay at your desk for 50 minutes and reward yourself with a 10-minute break every hour to get up and move around. This is for the social butterflies in the office. Just make sure you are not using your break time to distract others in the office.
- -No listening to music, talk shows or podcasts while making phone calls.
Find an Accountability Partner
If you set a goal and you don't communicate that goal to anyone, then no one can hold you accountable. Then it becomes easy for us to rationalize and justify why we didn't accomplish what we set out to do and we make the excuse that we just didn’t have the time to get it done. Find someone you really trust that will hold you accountable. At the beginning of each week, tell them your schedule to accomplish your goals for the week and at the end of each week reconnect with your accountability partner to talk through the results. That extra level of accountability can make us feel uncomfortable but at the same time stretch us to achieve our goals.
At the end of the day, we make time for things that are important to us. As a salesperson, the most important thing you can do is exceed your sales quota. Work with your manager to develop your sales strategy and hold yourself accountable to making time in your day to accomplish what needs to get done…no excuses.
Andre Luck has been in the sports industry for more than 12 years. He’s had stints with the Arizona Diamondbacks and ASU Sun Devil Athletics and now he’s the Director of Season Ticket Sales for the Houston Astros. He’s well connected in sports and is committed to giving back and helping others, we’re lucky to have him contributing to our platform. He’s also a Clubhouse mentor, you can schedule a call with him here.