Hi there, did I catch you at a bad time? I know that time is not a commodity you take lightly and rightfully so might I add. As always, I’m Nicholas Yeap, VP of Sales and Marketing at FLEXIROAM. I enjoy sharing thoughts and experiences with people, which is why I thought I should share a few golden nuggets with you on some of the techniques that are revolutionizing the efficiency of our team here at FLEXIROAM. So stay with me for a bit, let me tell you all about it and exactly how you can add it to your method of working to boost your productivity, as well as your team’s, in a matter of minutes (25 to be exact).
There is a single phrase that serves as the Holy Grail by which every sales person marks their productivity: “Time is money’’, and who could argue with that. Every minute wasted feels like a lost opportunity to meet new clients; add new contacts to your list; attend a networking session and most certainly…close a deal.
If you haven’t heard about the Pomodoro Technique, then you are in the right place at the right time. It is a powerful technique that I have been using for years. It literally gets the job done… faster and more efficiently than you can imagine.
It is the 21st century’s home-run method for maximum productivity in realistic periods of time. This technique is just the tool you need to get you to:
- Increase focus
- Get stuff done
- Evaluate time (see where your time is going to make decisions on whether to automate certain tasks etc.)
Simply put, here is how this technique works:
- Pick a task
- Set a timer for 25 minutes
- Focus your attention on the task until the alarm rings
- Have a 5-minute break, allow yourself to have this time for any external interruptions
The basic requirement for this technique is for you to block each of your activities to a time span of 25 minutes
The Francesco Cirillo crafted technique has six basic steps to get you moving:
- Find out how much effort an activity requires so that you can estimate how many 25 minute blocks of time you will need
- Protect your 25 minutes blocks from internal (Facebook, Youtube etc.) and external(Chit chat with colleagues)
- Make average estimations of how many 25 minute blocks(Pomodoros) you will need for each task
- Use your 25-minute block for both your task and a recap and review of your tasks
- Set your timetable according to your “to do list” or to your time of the day (morning/afternoon/night). This will help you to organize your work and will allow you to create more free time
- Once you have completed these steps, you can set up your own personal objective e.g.: find ways to improve the quality of your work
Now let’s put this into practice
Over the past few years, I myself have cultivated a unique work method driven by this golden nugget of productivity. I have been in the sales industry for years now and a priority I have set for myself is to continuously expand my capability to manage my time effectively. So here is an example of the average sales person’s use of time:
You attend a Networking session where you meet a huge volume of prospective clients. Conversations begin, name cards are exchanged and from here on you have the first step to building your leads list. But this is where sales people most often fall off the wagon. When it comes to sorting and organizing your leads list, it’s easy to fall into the habit of carrying out their tasks separately when it comes to arranging their contacts, which definitely takes a chunk of their time, thus making you seem like you are working but, in fact, drains your productivity level.
Say that you have collected name cards from 200 travel agencies, which are 200 name cards in total.
The question from here is: How do you, as a sales person, organize and build your leads list from this stack of contacts. Well, the traditional way of going through the name cards you have collected at networking events and calling each and every number without alertness of time passing is simply ineffective and time-consuming.
Here is what the average salesperson usually does:
The problem with these steps is that each of these tasks is done singularly for each client instead of by batch. Imagine how much time it takes to call a client, update your notes of the client to remind you of the conversation and then follow up with the client. Now if you have to follow that exact order for each client on a list of 200 travel agencies, it is quite ineffective and quite slow. Perhaps the biggest complaint of the salesperson today is:”Where did the hours go?” Yes there just doesn’t seem to be enough hours in a day. But I want to introduce you to the batch system that means batching your tasks and arranging them accordingly so that you focus on a single activity in a given time period. Walk with me…
Make sure of the following:
- Set a timer for 25 minutes and start calling. For each call, make detailed notes in the relevant group; this will help you to further segment your clients into a pool of leads.
- This batch will only consist of two kinds of clients, those who are interested and those that you need to consider calling back (Group 1 and 2)
- Now you have a lead pool, repeat the initial steps: Call back and propose
The purpose of sticking to a 25-minute block is to build discipline and alertness which will ultimately maximize your potential.
So now you are all set to go. I must tell you that since our team here started using this technique, we have seen a tremendous revolution in time-management and productivity. The ultimate goal here is to start your Chinese New Year off on a productive and encouraging note, after all, there is so much prosperity coming your way, and I want you to grab each and every bit of it. From Nicholas and the entire FLEXIROAM Team…
Written by Mbula Ngulube