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Stop Wasting Time, Start Making Sales

November 4th, 2014


The single biggest asset that a Salesperson has is time.

Great salespeople manage time effectively, poor ones don’t. Unfortunately, the vast majority of salespeople fall into the “poor” category. In their zeal to close deals, many salespeople (and principals that sell) waste tons of time, up to and often including more than enough time to burn through the entire profit margin of a sale.

This article includes some things your salespeople can stop doing in order to generate more sales.

As you review the following list, please ask yourself if your salespeople exhibit any of these profit-destroying behaviors. As you work through the list, try to estimate how much healthier your bottom line would look if they would eliminate these time wasters:

They spend time Talking/Convincing instead of Listening/Understanding: Buyers do not really care what a salesperson wants to talk about. They care only about where they are and where they want to be. This is, was and will always be the case. For some reason, most salespeople never seem to get this simple fact. As a consequence, they burn through dozens of hours each week trying to present, propose, demo and convince. And they do so prematurely. These activities are all huge time wasters and profit-killers.

They avoid selling:   Let me share a little known secret. The majority of salespeople really don’t like to sell! They may enjoy holding title of “Sales Executive." They usually enjoy being paid on a salesperson’s pay scale. They may enjoy giving presentations or demos. They sometimes enjoy customer service or resolving existing customer issues. Many enjoy researching websites, Google and LinkedIn profiles. Many are OK with sending emails and texts. But only a very small percentage of “salespeople” enjoy doing the Real Sales Work. Real Sales Work involves hunting, prospecting, qualifying, and closing. It involves navigating their way to Decision Makers and asking them tough questions. It involves consistent execution of an effective sales process. Real selling involves discipline, persistence, and commitment to do real sales work. These are the activities that should dominate your salespeople’s time. If your salespeople are not doing the Real Sales Work, they may be costing you much more than they are earning.  

They invite interruptions: For many reasons, including the fact that they simply don’t like to sell, many salespeople allow a rampant set of pervasive, time-intensive tasks to distract them from doing Real Sales Work. The table below outlines five of the biggest time-wasting distractions:

 Distraction / Task         Daily Time Burned       New Time to Sell

Checking / replying to personal email during work hours


      30 minutes / day


         115 hours / year

Giving personal contact info to customers



      60 minutes / day


         230 hours / year

Giving work contact info to friends



      30 minutes / day


         115 hours / year

Reading / replying to texts, IMs and email alerts



      20 minutes/ day


          76 hours / year

Answering every call in real time



      60 minutes / day


          230 hours / year





       3.3 hours / day


          766 hours / year

A huge percentage of salespeople proactively bring these five interruptions into their world.   The best salespeople do not. By eliminating these very popular, pervasive distractions, a salesperson can free up over 766 hours of time per year, or more than nineteen weeks of new selling time.  

How many more sales could you generate if you were granted nineteen more weeks to sell each year?

Happy Selling!


Copyright ©   Joe Zente  2014.   All Rights Reserved.