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  • Never Have a Maniac Monday Again with These Two Tips

    Guest Post By: Amanda Johns Vaden

    time-to-planDo you ever feel like you have more to do than the hours that are available on any given day?

    Sometimes I wake up and I go to bed and I haven’t even checked anything off of my to-do list, and I think, “What did I do all day today?

    If you’ve ever felt like you had a Maniac Monday, we’re going to give you a couple of tips on how to really prepare your week. It will help you get things in order so you feel like you accomplished things and have a balanced week.

    Monday mornings crash in on you, whether it be responding to voicemail, setting appointments for the week, or responding to emails from the weekend, you’re picking up from where you left off on Friday afternoon. It’s crazy.

    Here are two tips to put into place to help better organize and manage your time.

    Tip 1:

    The key to avoiding a maniac Monday – don’t wait until Monday. Start your week off the right way and plan your whole week on Sunday’s.

    Yes, your whole week. Plan your calls, plan your meetings, plan your meals, plan your workout time, plan everything. Schedule it out. Scheduling is like anything else. If you don’t schedule it in, it probably won’t get done.

    The reason that you start to feel flustered and frustrated in the evenings or after work or on the weekends, if you tell yourself you’re always so busy and you never have time to do anything, it’s because you’re always doing things off the cuff and on the fly.

    You’re never planning ahead. You’re reactive, you’re not proactive. I know that because I used to be that way. Planning on Sunday night, it gives you clarity. It lets you breathe on Monday mornings because everything has a place and everything is in its place.

    Tip 2:

    Know where you’re going. This is the second benefit of having a very detailed schedule. I see and hear one of the biggest mistakes of sales people is they spend so much time searching, and looking, and preparing but they actually never do what they intended to do in the first place.

    Many times we have found at Southwestern Consulting that some of the best times of the day to reach decision makers are from the hours of 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. or even before 8 a.m. But generally, that’s when most people do their daily planning.

    That’s when they’re figuring out who are they going to call today? Who do they need to call back? Who do they need to email? Who do they want to put on their prospecting list? What kind of lead generation activity should we be doing?

    That’s not the time to be doing that. Eight o’clock to 10 o’clock is the time to be making phone calls and walking in doors. But many times, because we weren’t prepared, we didn’t know who to call on, that’s when we do all our prep time and the moment we get ready to walk out the door and pick up the phone, our decision makers, they’re busy or they’re gone for the day.

    If you really want to be successful and feel movement, you have to align your schedule with your decision makers, not with what’s convenient for you.

    Being detailed and planning ahead are really two keys that you can use to get rid of maniac Mondays and get a grip on your schedule.

     

    Amanda Johns Vaden is a founding partner, executive coach and senior consultant at Southwestern Consulting. She has worked with over 400 sales offices nationwide.  Amanda is the author of the upcoming books Unspoken: Redefining Expectations Between  Men and Women in the World of Work and 4-Dimensional Follow up: Increasing Client Retention and Customer Loyalty Through Follow Up


  • What Is Stealing Your Time: How My Coaching Clients Get Up To 18 Hours Back In Their Schedule

    Guest Post By: Kitty Barrow

    “It’s hard to see the picture when you are in the frame” is never more true than when it comes to time management.

    kitty barrow frame

    (The following is an example in the insurance industry. The lesson applies in all industries.)

    Several of my insurance clients reported to me that they suffer from a BIG time waster.  They have clients who call or come by the office complaining about their rate increase. One client reported that it can be as small as a $5 increase yet they will consume hours of time.

    What’s the BIGGEST PROBLEM?  This seems SO NORMAL to them that they don’t even realize that it’s an issue!

    When dealing with things that ruin the schedule, I teach my clients to ask “What would Smokey the Bear do?” What does this mean?  Allow me to explain.

    kitty barrow time waste

     

    Smokey does not run around the forest chasing fires to put them out one at a time!  NO!  Smokey steps back and observes what is  CAUSING the forest fires and leads a campaign to STOP that!

    Let’s think like Smokey in business. Stop running around putting out single fires. Become like Smokey and handle the REAL issue.

    The clients reacted to the SHOCK of having their rates increase. A proactive solution is simply letting the clients know ahead of time of the rate increase.

    kitty barrow

    My first ‘Smokey’ client this year reported that he and his staff spent 10 – 20 hours every month speaking with clients about rate increases. After analysis, we decided that it would take 1 to 2 hours to call everyone who was having a rate increase BEFORE they received their notice in the mail. They found that when you let people know you are looking out for them they SAVED themselves 8 to 18 HOURS per month in LOST TIME! BONUS, they were also able to pivot this call into more products to better protect their clients!

    Eight to 18 hours SAVED by merely being proactive in their approach!

    What is stealing your time during the month?

    What is getting you off schedule?

    Businesswoman stood in front of three wall clocks

    Step outside the box and think like ‘Smokey’. What is causing this problem? Hint, most things that get us off schedule come from lack of preparation of your staff or clients. For example:

    • Rates might increase
    • They might need to work longer than expected
    • You might need to spend more time explaining exactly how a task should be done or the expected outcome
    • You might be answering your team’s questions instead of teaching them how to think for themselves
    • After a couple of months with your product, this might happen….etc.

    Please comment below about the issue that is stealing your time and give us your  ‘Smokey’ solution.

     

    Kitty Barrow is a Senior Partner and Executive Sales and Leadership Coach of Southwestern Consulting. She specializes in creating successful systems that are easily duplicated. Her motto is “Keep Things Simple for Stress-less Selling.” Kitty has trained thousands of sales professionals in companies such as Wells Fargo, MassMutual, New York Life, Xerox Global and Allstate