Time is Money: the Sales Professional, the Clock, and the Pocketbook

Time is money.  Guess which group of people utters this phrase most frequently?  Commissioned salespeople.  Hands down.  It’s almost a rite of passage that you can’t be a salesperson unless you rinse and repeat daily.  Salespeople know how to turn time into money: spend a majority of time on selling activity, namely generating leads, business development, and follow-up.  Simple.  What makes it so hard?  All the non-selling activities that need to be done. 

I believe many salespeople have lost sight of the value of their time.  They run for coffee, socialize with friends, check the latest blog postings, schedule personal appointments, surf the web…all which tends to increase when a sale is made…as if now they can relax a bit. 

As a salesperson, if you really want to get clear about if the activity you’re currently working on is worth your time, figure out how much your time is worth.  Then you can objectively ask, “Is what I’m working on right this minute generating the sales goals and income targets I’ve set for myself?”

So let’s do a little bit of math. 

1. How much do you want to earn this year? (Ex: $80K)
2. If you’re lucky enough to have a base, subtract that out to get your target earnings. (Ex: $80K – $10K = $70K)
3. To realize those target earnings, how much would you have to sell to achieve it with your commission structure?  (Ex: at 7% commission, you’d have to sell $1M)
4. How many weeks do you work after you subtract out vacation? (Ex: 52 weeks minus 2 weeks of vacation = 50 weeks)
5. Divide your annual sales goal by the number of weeks you’ll work to arrive at your weekly sales goal. (Ex: $1M / 50 = $20K)
6. Divide that by the number of days you work each week to get your daily sales goal.  (Ex: $20K/5 = $4K)
7. IF you could meet that goal each day, how much would an hour of your time be worth?  Divide your target earnings from #2 by #4 to reach your weekly income target. (Ex: $70K / 50 = $1400)
8. Find your daily income target by dividing by the number of days you work each week. (Ex: $1,400 / 5 = $280)
9. Figure out your hourly income target by dividing that figure by how many hours you work each day (Ex: $280 / 8 = $35).?
10. Lastly, determine your to-the-minute rate by dividing by 60 (Ex: $35 / 60 = $.58). 

Now you start to ask yourself the tough questions.  If time is truly worth money, is what you’re doing this minute worth $.58?  Is five minutes of your current activity worth $2.91?  If an hour goes by, did you produce $35 of value?  If someone were watching, would they reach into their pocket and pay you $35 for what you just produced?  My hope is that by tying the clock to your pocketbook, you might be more aware of the time…and money…that slips by when wasted.

© 2008 Laura Stack.  Laura Stack is a personal productivity expert, author, and professional speaker who helps busy workers Leave the Office Earlier® with Maximum Results in Minimum Time®.  She is the president of The Productivity Pro®, Inc., a time management training firm specializing in productivity improvement in high-stress organizations.  Since 1992, Laura has presented keynotes and seminars on improving output, lowering stress, and saving time in today’s workplaces.  She is the bestselling author of three works published by Broadway Books: The Exhaustion Cure (2008), Find More Time (2006) and Leave the Office Earlier (2004).  Laura is a spokesperson for Microsoft, 3M, and Day-Timers®, Inc and has been featured on the CBS Early Show, CNN, and the New York Times. Her clients include Cisco Systems, Sunoco, KPMG, Nationwide, and 3M.  To have Laura speak at your next event, call 303-471-7401. 

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  1. Resource Links – July ´08 (Blog Posts) | WHAKATE says:

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