Guest Post By: Kitty Barrow
In my last post we talked about my client who was struggling with productivity and as a result, his sales were suffering. After analyzing his schedule I discovered that he was making two very common scheduling mistakes that were ruining his productivity. In the first blog, we covered his first mistake; his schedule wasn’t ‘real’.
In this post, we are going to talk about his second big mistake.
He wasn’t setting aside time for ramping up or ramping down.
Our brains like to do as little thinking as possible. When we make our brains do a lot of heavy thinking all day long, we find that we are typically EXHAUSTED at the end of every day.
Ramp-up time is an amazing cure for exhaustion! It will also help you to come across as a well prepared professional.
What is Ramp-up time?
It is 30 minutes to an hour that you SCHEDULE into the beginning of your day. (I typically do my Ramp-up time beginning at 7 or 7:30 AM). During this time, you look at the appointments you have for the day and prepare for them mentally and physically.
♦ Prospecting time set?
- Then you prepare the list of everyone you will call for the day (PERK if you go ahead and put them in the order that you would like to call them)
♦ Look at your appointments
- Prepare any information you will need to have with you. Review your notes from the last meeting so you can plan out any information that will need to be top of mind.
- Think of any questions you need answered and plan how you would like the end of the meeting to go.
- Is there anyone who needs to be included or updated about this meeting?
- Is there information that you still need from someone else in order to be prepared for this meeting?
As a Coach, what I typically see instead are a lot of sales people and leaders who are running from event to event. They aren’t prepared because they haven’t taken the time to thoroughly think through their day. This can result in our prospects and team members thinking we don’t care about them or their business and we don’t truly know what we are doing.
Are you wondering why your prospects/clients aren’t calling you back? Are you wondering why people are canceling meetings on you? Are you wondering why you lost a big deal that you thought was in the bag? Can you look back and know that you have been fully prepared and thus fully present for these people? Everyone wants to feel important. Are you showing your people that they are important by being completely prepared?
What is Ramp-down time?
It is the 30 minutes you take to clear off your ‘to-do’ list before you head out the door.
♦ During the day, when someone is trying to distract me, then I do 1 of 3 things:
- Start an email to the appropriate person and enter enough in the subject line so that I will remember what I wanted to email them about. Hit ‘save’ and then minimize it
- Jot down a note on my daily ‘to-do’ list
- If it is something that I want to remember to discuss with someone who I have an appointment with on my Outlook calendar or cover/discuss at a meeting that is coming up in my Outlook calendar, then I open a calendar appointment NEXT to the appropriate appointment and make a note of what I want to remember to cover/discuss, hit save and close it. Now, when I am doing my ramp-up time, it will be easy for me to remember anything important for those meetings.
♦ For Ramp-down time, at the end of the day, I:
- Open up my minimized emails one at a time, finish the email and send it
- Handle what can be immediately handled off of my ‘to-do’ list
- Anything that can’t be handled immediately, then I will find a place in my Outlook schedule when I will handle it, create a calendar appointment for it, save and close. (As my business Partner Sales Coach Dew likes to say, if it isn’t important enough to be in your calendar, then it isn’t important enough to do.
Once your mind is prepared through Ramp-up time and cleared through Ramp-down time, you are equipped to handle your day and whatever it may throw at you. You are giving your brain a break because it isn’t working so hard to stay in ‘reaction’ mode all day. This means at the end of the day you are energized and ready to be present with your family and friends, thus enjoying your life a whole lot more.
Don’t forget to go back and read about mistake number one if you haven’t already. Then try applying these two solutions to your schedule every week and let me know what kind of a difference it makes for you!
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