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Time Management Effectiveness with The “Quadrant Manager” System: Increase Your Productivity by A Factor of Four!

Being “active” and being “productive” are worlds apart. Many sales professionals are very active and have a lot of activity going on around them daily, yet when the daily dust settles they seem to generate less bottom line results than others. The reason is simple merely being “active” is not the same as being “productive”!

Sales professionals must understand that managing time and having the self-discipline to stay focused is crucial to maximizing every precious moment in time for prospecting, customer contact, selling, marketing and taking care of the administrative responsibilities associated with the act of closing-the-sale.

To maximize time, you must understand the concept of Primetime for Primetime endeavors. Start by asking three strategic questions to determine what activities need to be scheduled at what time intervals each day. Consider:

  • As a sales professional, do you have your greatest over all daily energy in the AM or PM hours?
  • Within that defined window of time (If you’re an AM than that would be from what ever time your day starts through Noon or if you’re a PM person that would be from Noon through the typical hour you end each day), define the hours that constitute that AM or PM notation?
  • Now within those hours, break out the precise hours that you feel that you are at your best and are at “peak performance”? This is ones’ “Primetime”.

For example: A person may find them self as an AM person, with they’re Primetime or peak performance hours being from 6 AM through 9 AM. As these are the hours with the least amount of distractions and fewest gatekeepers between them and targeted prospects/customers!

Sales professionals must recognize the greatest level of “productivity” occurs when only high level important items take place within the “peak performance-primetime” times.

With this calculated focus, now coach the sales professional to review what ever systems they use to manage their daily work flow and ensure that no important tasks get over- looked. Encourage them to consider how the next technique can be used to increase their effectiveness even more.

Now, here is a system that can be used to manage your day and all of the interruptions that may occur to ensure peak performance – but it takes serious self-discipline. The “Quadrant Manager System™” allows for a universal over view to ones’ work to be seen, planned and monitored. The down fall to most sales professionals is that they have all had days where a lot of things got done or a lot of people were called and even days were a lot of people were seen or a lot of materials written/completed. The down side is that for any one of these days where one spent all day in any one category it was at the end of the day that the sales professional realized that they had over looked another important area.

The “Quadrant Manager System” allows for work to be managed from an aspect of not what one would like to get done, but more so from an aspect of what is important and must be done. Also, the system is powerful as it keeps all important work areas moving forward at the same time.

To use the “Quadrant Manager System™” there are three steps.

First Step: Create the template that you will write into (do so on a blank piece of paper, modify the template and add it into ones’ day planner, etc.). To do so, simply draw a large “plus sign”.

Second Step: Place entries into the template. Log or write down a maximum of three entries per category. This allows you to perform a fast, mental exercise of all the items that you could assign to their according quadrant, if you could only have three items per each quadrant, then what are the most impactful, ROI, important. Here you just write down up to and never more than three entries per quadrant, no numbers go down at this stage, make a dot, asterisk, bullet to denote an entry at this stage, again no prioritization or numbering a Step two.

Third Step: Now, review one quadrant at a time, doing so for all four quadrants when you are done. Objectively, look at each quadrants set of threes, and now only those items in it and then prioritize. Place a “1” beside the most important item in each of the four quadrants, created by the “plus sign template”. When you are completed you will have four #1’, then continue on with a #2 and a #3 in each quadrant, should you have two or three entries in any given quadrant.

The power of the “Quadrant Manager System” approach, is that it allows you the ability to manage the important tasks, as divided on a blank sheet of paper, modified and added into a daily to do list system or a daily work planner binder. The instrument can look like:

In using the “Quadrant Manager System” as a more efficient tool for managing over all work responsibilities, focus upon the top three important items noted in each quadrant daily, sales professionals can gage when they are low priority items, off track or avoiding work.

Another powerful way to use the “Quadrant Manager System” to enhance selling effectiveness, is to develop two additional and more specific “Quadrant Managers” for execution on a daily and weekly basis. Imagine the typical selling funnel or selling pipeline diagrams, you could have:

  • A “Marketing-Quadrant Manager System” that would outline the top three “To Dos’, To Calls’, To Sees’ and To Writes’” that can feed the Sales Funnel from a marketing and prospecting basis and lead to future selling opportunity contacts on a weekly basis.
  • Develop a “Sales-Quadrant Manager System” that would outline the top three “To Dos’, To Calls’, To Sees’ and To Writes’” that can immediately move you to a Close in the selling process on a daily basis.

Sales professionals must also be great stewards of their basic professional time, you also must be thinking in specific terms of “marketing” and “selling” time responsibilities. The “Quadrant Manager System” powerfully addresses all three areas of responsibility.

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