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Pay-Time Focus: A Formula for Sales Success

A good salesperson knows the difference between pay time and non-pay time. In other words, they know how to effectively manage activities that pay versus activities that are important but don't pay. In this economy, it comes down to a simple rule if you're in sales: Make pay time a priority.

Pay-time activities put you face-to-face or on the phone with another human being—preferably a prospect or customer who can give you referrals. Non-pay time activities are all other activities, including sales meetings, expense reports, call reports, quotes, customer order follow-up, paperwork, training, research, drive time—and the list goes on.

Over the years, I've seen far too many salespeople work very hard doing non-pay time activities and not getting paid. After accumulating too many non-pay time hours and days, they usually hear, "I appreciate all your hard work. Unfortunately, I have to let you go."

Pay-time activity can only be done certain parts of the day, generally 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., while non-pay time activities can be done any time of the day. So, time management is critical.

Here are some simple ways to create more time for pay-time activities:

•Block out a part of the day for pay-time activities, and don't allow interruptions. Put a sign on your door or cubicle that says "Do not disturb. I'm insuring our future."

•Do your paperwork when people you need to call are out to lunch (between 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.) and eat at your desk.

•Arrive at the office an hour earlier to do paperwork, or stay later and avoid rush hour.

•Make non-pay time activities more productive. For example, listen to educational sales tapes while driving.

•Lastly, stop quoting everyone. Qualify harder and quote less. As a result, you’ll have more time on your hands and a better close ratio.

Don't fall into the non-pay-time trap. Manage your time, focus on pay-time activities and watch your sales and income soar.

Tom Niesen is the CEO of Acuity Systems, Inc., a sales and sales management development company based in Dallas, TX. For more information on services, seminars, and client results, call 972.960.8695 or visit www.salesmadeeasy.com .