Spend more time on time management. You’re in as good a position to save time as your richest and most powerful competitors. Over a lifetime, it’s incredible how much time you can save, and the advantages you can achieve, while you’re sitting on your duff in your car. For example:
- Use a cell phone… but do it with respect for the posted rules, or you may alienate important people. If you call in your car, use a car phone. Investigate gadgets like a Blackberry that can give you total control over e-mailing and phone lists.
- Always phone ahead when you make a call on a customer or a prospect. And, make sure you have both the customer’s landline and cell phone numbers, as well as their e-mail address.
- Always park your car in a getaway position.
- Use the car’s CD player to listen to disks that teach you something, instead of tuning in to the usual babble on the radio.
- Never travel without a PDA or a pocket dictating unit at your side so you can “write yourself notes” while you’re driving.
Add a few noncar time-savers to that list:
- Keep that PDA or recorder in your coat pocket or by your bedside. You’ve now doubled the hours you can be getting ahead of the competition.
- Plan out your e-reading daily. Have all the important publications logged for instant reference. Rambling through “paper” papers is a luxury of the past. If you’re likely to be waiting in a otel room or a reception area, know exactly which Web address or laptop file you will move to next.
- Never go to the bank or the corner ATM machine during Friday lunch hour.
- Never have coffee with another salesperson, only with a customer. (Make sure you know which sort of latte they’re nuts about.)
- Just for the hell of it—for an entire week—switch your reading plan. Dump the sports section or gossip scoop and read the hometown newspapers of your major customers… or the trade journals of your key customers or suppliers, so that you can learn what they’re worried about. Through Google, you can reach forty-five hundred continuously updated news sources.
Excerpted from Swim With The Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive
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