When It Comes To Time Management – Think Like A Surgeon07/21/2017
Most reps have never been trained how to effectively manage their time. This is evident when you compare it to other professions. Consider a day in the life of a surgeon.
As soon as he’s in the hospital, his entire day is already mapped out down to the minute. He knows exactly how many surgeries he has planned for the day, his patient’s backgrounds, the types of operations to perform and when they will be occurring. Can you imagine a surgeon entering the hospital and thinking, “Hmm, I wonder what I should focus on today?” It would be absurd.
In order for reps to reach the highest levels of success, they need to manage their time with the same level of focus. The way to do this and master your time management is through the creation of an Ideal Calendar. Without one, you’ll never reach your full potential.
In this post, you’ll learn the essentials of creating your Ideal Calendar. However, we need to discuss an equally important topic first: your mentality.
Are you operating from a mentality of abundance or scarcity?
In order to manage your time effectively, you must first check your belief system.
You must first believe that you are good at what you do. You must believe that you are in a market where there are plenty of people. Your issue is not to see enough people, but your issue is to see the right kind of people.
Most importantly, you need to believe that the people who are fortunate enough to see you will be greatly impacted in a positive way and forever grateful. With this mindset, becoming efficient with your ideal calendar is simple. All of these beliefs demonstrate that you think abundantly.
However, if you feel that in order to succeed, you need to drive all over your community to talk to anybody who can fog a mirror, then you’re operating from a mentality of scarcity. If this is the case, then I would encourage you to step outside of your box, try to understand it and work on it. (Developing your mindset is covered more in depth in my Sales Cycle Mastery program and will also be discussed in future posts.)
The Foundation for Creating an Ideal Calendar
The first step in creating an ideal calendar is to identify how your week would look in a perfect, most efficient world from a geographic stand point.
For example, in my city of Chicago, my ideal calendar would state that Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday are reserved for all downtown Chicago appointments at my office. Thursday is reserved for meetings in the north suburbs and Friday for the western suburbs.
The second step is determining your time slots. Just like the surgeon, you should have timeslots on each day. These slots define when you:
- Meet with your clients
- Conduct your staff meetings
- Make your calls for new appointments
- Handle case preparation
- Work out, worship or engage in other important personal activities
Client meetings will take up the largest number of slots on your calendar – so it’s important that you know how many appointments you need to keep each week to hit your goals.
Let’s say you need 15 meetings every single week to hit your goals and you know that you have a cancellation rate of 50%. This means that you need to have 30 appointment slots in your ideal calendar every week in order to keep the 15 meetings.
This calendar is followed on a week-in, week-out basis. It’s critically important when you have staff that they also know and operate by your ideal calendar. One critical mistake that I find reps make is that, despite good intentions, they don’t follow their own calendar right out of the gate. This shows their staff that it’s not important.
For instance, imagine you have a set time for your telephoning, however a client requests a meeting during that slot and you agree to it. That is a slippery slope because you’re telling yourself and your staff that telephoning isn’t really that important. That’s a real cardinal sin – don’t do it!
When you put together an ideal calendar, do the best you can to live it every day.
The Driving Force Behind Your Ideal Calendar: Always Knowing Where You Stand
You should always know exactly where you stand in filling up your ideal calendar. At the end of every day, you should know how many of those appointment spots are filled for next week and how many you still need the book. Additionally, you need to know where these appointments should be located and when they should occur during the day.
It is this sense of awareness and intentionality that will provide a greater sense of urgency for picking up the phone and making additional appointments. With this mindset, you can work in relentless pursuit to have next week booked by the end of your current week. This creates a system by which your business can achieve exceptional performance.
While there are many important aspects to maximize the efficiency of your time, the ideal calendar is a great starting point. In my upcoming post, we will build upon this foundation by mastering the art of phoning to efficiently and effectively fill meeting slots with the right types of prospects.