Find more time to sellWhether you’re a salesperson, sales manager, business owner or professional, you have a lot of demands on your time. Your “To Do” list is longer than a Tolstoy novel. How can you maintain some semblance of control over your schedule so you can devote the time you need to selling while still attending to all the other things that are also important to you? These six strategies can help.

1. Plan your day
Make phone calls early. That way, if you get people’s voice mail, they’ll have a chance to get back to you that day. Be sure to let them know when you’ll be available to receive calls. Schedule your most difficult work for the time of day when you perform best. And set aside some quiet time each day so you can concentrate, think and plan without the phone and other distractions bothering you.

2. Schedule your sales activities
When it seems like everything is a priority, things like prospecting calls, follow-up visits and other sales activities are all too easy to postpone. But those are the activities that drive your business! If you don’t sell, you don’t eat. So schedule sufficient time in your day for sales-focused activities and hold that time sacrosanct.

3. Prioritize your tasks
Not everything on your “To Do” list is equally important or urgent. As you create your daily schedule, make sure you plan your high-priority tasks (Like prospecting calls!) earlier in the day to ensure they get done. Then if things take longer than expected (Don’t they always?), the items that get bumped will be your lower-priority tasks.

4. Get organized
In most people’s offices, space is at a premium, and clutter can slow you down dramatically. If you can’t find what you need, when you need it, you’re losing valuable time. Investing a few hours doing some systematic filing will pay for itself almost immediately in increased efficiency. File every document and throw out what you don’t need. Get a contact manager software package or a day planner to keep track of names, numbers and other critical information. Make a habit of using it regularly so you’re not constantly searching through piles of notes.

5. Delegate everything you can
You can’t do everything. And even if you could, it wouldn’t be the best use of your time.  Delegating and outsourcing saves you time and usually gives you a better result, thus letting you focus on the tasks that are the most profitable for you.

6. Just say no
Don’t try to take on everything. If you’re already stretched thin, you’re not helping anybody by piling more onto your plate. Politely turn people down by saying that you’re too busy right now to give their project the attention it deserves. Better to cultivate a reputation for being honest (And in great demand!) than to end up with a reputation for shoddy work and missed deadlines.

Do you have any other time-management tactics you use to maximize your sales time? If so, please share them below!