Seven Time-Management Secrets for Corporate Support Professionals

Corporate Support, time management

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It’s a new year with new challenges, new initiatives, and new underwriting sales goals. There’s so much to do, how will you get it all done? Let’s take a look at how we spend our time.

On average, we spend just 21% of our time selling underwriting, either on the phone, writing emails, or in face-to-face meetings. That works out to slightly more than one day a week, or the equivalent of just over 10 weeks a year.

So that means we spend about 40 weeks a year on non-selling tasks. I'm not saying those tasks are not important. Preparation, research, paperwork, waiting, driving, and servicing our underwriting accounts are all part of what we have to do.

Based on a 40 hour work-week, here are the average percentages spent on the following:

Task Percentage of Time
Face-to-face selling:     8
Phone/email selling: 13
Waiting/traveling: 5
Proposals, presentations: 14
Order preparation: 15
Administrative tasks: 21
Internal paperwork: 13
Order follow-up:  11

How can we improve the use of our time? Here are some suggestions:

  1. Get all the information you need from your prospect.

    Some underwriting salespeople ask their prospects questions only about the nature of the products and/or services that the customer buys. To be able to close the sale you’ll need to ask about the buyer's situation, needs, and motives. Save yourself time by finding out this information on your first sales call with the prospect.

    • Do I understand the customer’s needs and buying motives?
    • Am I clear about the problems they are currently having?
    • Do I know what other alternatives the customer may be using or considering?
    • What is this person’s thoughts and understanding about  public radio and my station?
    • What are the customer's business goals and how does my station, website and other media contribute to them?
    • Have I considered this customer's previous relationship with my station, other public or commercial advertising media?
    • Do I know their decision-making process and time-frame?
    • Do I know their budget?

    And some good time management habits:

  2. Know where you are going each morning and why.
  3. Use the telephone for calls that don’t need to be made in person.
  4. Have an alternate plan ready if an appointment cancels.
  5. Make and confirm appointments to avoid wasting time with cancellations.
  6. If the person you’re meeting is running late, ask permission to make another call and come back later or get another appointment. Personally, the longest I'll wait is 15 minutes past the scheduled appointment time. Waiting longer can send a signal to the prospect that you have nothing else to do.
  7. Avoid personal business during prime selling time.

And lastly, understand that your time is money. Invest it wisely!

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