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  • Category Archives Time Management
  • 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


  • Create Your Ideal Schedule

    Guest Post By: Kitty Barrow

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    Effective self-management begins with a well-planned schedule.

    The strategy is to create a schedule for the entire week which includes both professional and personal activities from the time you wake up until the time you go to bed. The idea is to treat this like you’re back in high school and schedule your activities in blocks of time.  I understand in your industry things pop up and it’s difficult to keep to a specific schedule. However, if you can’t picture the perfect week then chances are you’ll never have one. You’ll want to start by planning in your CSF’s – Critical Success Factors that we discussed today!

    —> Click here to continue reading…


  • How to Schedule Your Golden Hours for Maximum Results – Day 4

    Once you have your weekly schedule created, each evening, you’ll want to convert your next day’s schedule into a well-planned, detailed format. You’ll do that by having a set appointment with yourself each evening before going home, to plan out your next day in detail.

    For example, you’ll take prospecting time from your weekly schedule and make a list of 20+ prospects you can call on the next day. That way you don’t have to waste time the next day trying to dig up names to call on. Instead you’ll be able to show up and simply execute. This is a habit that less than 10% of professionals have. Mediocre salespeople don’t take the time to plan. Instead they just take each day as it comes, reacting to circumstances as they pop up. They end partaking in “creative avoidance.” This takes place when you avoid doing what you know you should be doing. In its place you do more pleasurable activities such as organizing your desk, checking emails, surfing the net, etc. At the end of the day you’re frustrated that you didn’t accomplish more. This makes it difficult to be in the moment with your family because you’re thinking about everything you didn’t get done at work. Keeping your ideal schedule, on the other hand, will prevent you from wasting time during the day on non-income producing activities, equipping you to head off interruptions to your schedule which are not as critical. Learning to set boundaries will enable you to work more effectively.

     

    Your schedule is your roadmap to get you to your goals. I encourage you to look at your schedule like it is your lifeline. You break it and the likelihood of hitting your goals dies. So let’s say we were to calculate your hourly rate to be $50, so every time that you are doing something other than what you should be doing, you are wasting $50. With this in mind, the majority of your day should be invested in either setting up appointments or going on appointments. Everything else should be delegated to assistants if possible. Your prospecting time is what we call your Golden Hours. Here are the steps for creating consistent momentum during The Golden Hours:

     

    *Schedule “The Golden Hours” in your calendar as if it’s the most important appointment you have in your day.  Do not do ANYTHING else during that time but prospect!

    *Don’t waste a second during your “Golden Hours”.

    *Have your top 20 prospects listed out and in a queue ready to call.

    *Stand up during your Golden Hours.

    *Eliminate all possible distractions.

    -Put a sign on your door saying “Golden Hours in process. Currently increasing my net worth or I am in the process of winning a trip to the Mediterranean. Interrupt at your own peril!”

    -Turn you outlook email notice button off!

    *Do not check email!

    *Don’t answer questions.

    *Don’t take personal calls.

    *Don’t answer any call that is not someone calling to set a new appointment.

    *Use the restroom before your “Golden Hours”.

    *Make as many dials as humanly possible during your “Golden Hours”.

    *Think about prospecting like a sport, setting up a contest with yourself or others. For example, treat yourself to an ice cream after you’ve put in the work and kept to your schedule.

    *Repeat the affirmation, “My job is to make a list and then cross people off that list. It can be a yes or no. I need both to have a great day. Who’s next? Who’s next?”

     

    High performance salespeople create a plan; they execute on that plan within a given time line and they have somebody hold them accountable to that plan.

    Planning, executing and accountability.

    It’s a great feeling waking up in the morning with a plan. It takes all of the emotion and guesswork out of your day. You simply execute on your predetermined plan. Once you form this habit, you’ll find yourself getting more done in less time. It’s easy to procrastinate putting this schedule together and keeping it. Remember, however, the key to overcoming procrastination is forming the habit of doing things that you don’t like to do. As you’re tweaking your ideal schedule, keep track of all your activities throughout the day to determine the income producing activities versus the time wasters. The goal is to get to the point where your days are on task and highly productive. Get excited about you leading your day versus letting other people and circumstances do it for you!

    Your partner in success,

    Steve Reiner

    Professional Certified Coach

     

     

    www.southwesternconsulting.com

    [email protected]

    (513) 600-2976 Cell

    (303) 774-6559 Office


  • What would you do with an extra four hours today?

    Time management is a constant issue for everyone.

    If you had four EXTRA hours today, what would you . . .

    spend more time networking?

    finish up administrative paper work?

    leave work early and surprise your family?

    These are all great ways to spend extra time. We would like to hear how some of you would put that time to good use. Then, we will provide a few tips of the next 31 days on how to actually GET 4 EXTRA HOURS  to do with whatever you please! Now, we can’t actually give you more hours; but we can show you how to get done what you need to in less hours, so that you have more time for the things you WANT to do.

    Please share your ideas in the comments section below.


  • To Multi-task or Not to Multi-task ??

    I work with lots of coaching clients and a common topic we discuss is “how to multi-task”. This is my response:

    Make it a habit to not multi-task. The net result of multi-tasking is doing a poor job on each activity and having it take longer than if you focused on one activity at a time. To help stay focused on the task at hand and stay in the moment with people, it’s helpful to carry a piece of notebook paper with you. Whenever a thought pops in your head, such as a “to do,” immediately get it out of your head and onto the paper. That way the thought will not be weighing you down while trying to concentrate on the activity at hand, such as being in the moment with whoever it is you are talking to. During your planning time each evening, you’ll want to transfer your “to do’s” from your notebook paper into your detailed daily plan.

    Think of your life like an hourglass. You know there are thousands of grains of sand in the top of the hourglass: and they all pass slowly and evenly through the narrow neck in the middle. Nothing you or I could do would make more than one grain of sand pass through this narrow neck without impairing the hourglass. You and I and everyone else are like this hourglass. When we start the morning, there are hundreds of task which we feel that we must accomplish that day, but if we do not take them one at a time and let them pass through the day slowly and evenly, as do the grains of sand passing through the narrow neck of the hourglass, then we are bound to break our own physical or mental structure. One grain of sand at a time. One task at a time.

    Steve Reiner

    Professional Certified Coach

    www.southwesternconsulting.com

    [email protected]


  • SCHEDULING SECRETS OF TOP PRODUCING PROFESSIONALS

    Did you miss the FREE teleseminar?

    Hi! We’ve been getting some amazing feedback from the call, so thanks to all of you who have been writing and calling about it.

    In case you missed it, the topic was: Scheduling Secrets of Top Producing Professionals

    Here’s the RSS Feed:   http://tiny.cc/mt84n   Here’s the link to the audio:  http://tiny.cc/wd60a