Mark Hunter — First 30 Minutes of the Day

The first 30 minutes of the workday will set the tone for the entire day. For most people, the first half hour of the day consists of settling into the office routine by grabbing a cup of coffee, checking the internet, and, of course, chatting with others. Now, I will never be one to say we have to avoid coffee and/or socializing, but I will be the first to say it is advantageous to put these activities aside until later.

One of the ways that top-performing salespeople separate themselves from others is by effectively using the first 30 minutes of the day. It is highly beneficial to your productivity to know exactly what you are going to accomplish during this period. Therefore, you must determine the day before what you intend to do when you first arrive in the morning.

For anyone in sales, this means one thing: start the day by making a minimum of three sales calls before you do anything else.

To begin using this strategy, your objective today (and everyday in the future) should be to identify three people you want to call first thing tomorrow morning. There is no better way to start the day than by calling customers. If you are the type of person who arrives in the office early, your phone calls will wind up going straight to voicemail. Great! In fact, using voicemail is an effective way to demonstrate to others that you are a hard-working individual and you take your relationships seriously. For those of you who have a large number of clients, this is also a perfect way to personally reach out to them, while not having to wind up in a long, drawn-out telephone conversation.

In addition to beginning the workday more productively, you will also find yourself warmed up to make additional phone calls throughout the day. This will help you overcome a very common problem among anyone in sales: the initial reluctance to make the first call of the day. Many studies have shown that people waste on average 15 minutes each day just getting ready to make that first call. It is ironic to think that you will have made three phone calls in the time it takes the average salesperson to even start making theirs.

An additional benefit of this plan will come when you begin applying this same principle to the first 15 minutes after returning from lunch. Use that time to make three prospecting calls. Again, you will find yourself becoming productive faster and you will be less likely to find yourself at the end of the day looking back to realize that you did not make the phone calls you needed to.

By establishing these habits, you will increase the number of phone calls you make every day from utilizing time that, in the past, was unproductive. Make it part of your routine at the end of each day to identify both the three people you intend to contact the next morning and the three you’ll contact after lunch. Do not fall into the trap of thinking you’ll come up with the names the next day, because the chances of you actually contacting those people will fall dramatically.

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