"Stop Driving Yourself to the Poorhouse"

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It Goes with the Territory
by Joe Bonura, CSP

 

A while back I was making calls with a sales person in St. Louis, and we drove forty minutes to our first appointment. The second appointment was located about four blocks from our original starting point—there went another forty minutes. The next appointment was clear across town which took over fifty minutes of traveling. Most of the day was spent driving between calls, and with the high price of gasoline, that is an expensive proposition.

On The Road Again

Windshield time is not selling time, so why do so many sales people waste valuable selling time on the road? One of the main reasons is call avoidance. No one likes to feel unproductive, so many sales people drive around the city all day on their way to make calls. As long as they are in the car, they will not face customer rejection. Poor planning is often the cause of this wasteful use of time. If you fail to plan, you will be counting the stripes in the road, instead of the money in your wallet.

The more time you spend in front of customers, the more opportunities you will have to make the sale.

Road Map To Sales Success

Quadrant Map

Buy a map of your city or the territory that you work, and divide it into four quadrants by drawing a line from top to bottom and from left to right. The top left hand quadrant will be Monday, the top right hand quadrant will be Tuesday, the lower left hand quadrant will be Wednesday, and the bottom right hand quadrant will be Thursday. Friday will be a "catch-all-day," and you can drive anywhere that you schedule appointments.

 

 

 

Play The Slots and Win

Now that you have set up your four quadrants, it is time to set up your calendar to correspond to the map. The most effective way to set appointments is to preset appointment time slots on your calendar.

Make Your Calendar Work for You

Take out your calendar and look at next month. Let us assume that Monday is the first of the month. You will leave the office at 8:30 a.m. and drive for thirty minutes to the first appointment. Write in 9:00 a.m. at the top left hand side of the Monday box. Allow one hour for the appointment and thirty minutes to drive to your next appointment. You will drive from 10:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., so your next appointment slot will be at 10:30 a.m. Enter 10:30 am below the 9:00 a.m. appointment slot. Your next appointment will be from 10:30 a.m. until 11:30 a.m. From 11:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. go to lunch, and then drive to your next appointment at 1:00 p.m. Repeat the process above, allowing thirty minutes to drive and one hour for each appointment, everyday for the entire month.

Your weekly calendar should look like this each day Monday thru Friday for the whole month:

Weekly Calendar

If you are using a calendar with the times already written in the calendar, use a yellow highlighter pen and draw a line across the times that you wish to schedule.

Obviously, you will need time to set the appointments, so use one or two of the time slots to make the appointments or to do paperwork or miscellaneous tasks.

 

 

It's All In The Game

Once your calendar is set for the month, you are ready to get on the phone to fill the preset times. The empty slots on your calendar will visually challenge you to fill them. Make a game out of filling in the times with client appointments.

Start Dialing For Dollars

A typical prospect call will go something like this:

  • You:    Hello, this is Joe Bonura, who am I speaking with?
  • Customer:    Mary

  • You:    Mary, I need your help!
  • Mary:    How can I help you?

  • You:    Mary, we work with customers who want to increase sales through effective advertising. Does that make sense to you?
  • Mary:    I guess so.

  • You:    (You have already determined that she would fall into the Monday quadrant on your map.) Well, Mary, I am with Joe Bonura & Associates, Inc., and I will be working in your area on Monday, the first. How does your calendar look at 9:00 a.m.?
  • Mary:    I have an appointment from 9 to 9:30.

  • You:    How about 10:00?
  • Mary:    That looks fine.

  • You:    See you at 10:00. Bye!

Put Mary's name in the Monday slot at 10:00 a.m., and then begin your next dial.

Monday Calendar
Check out the articles section for a more complete description on how to use the phone to make appointments.

 

 

 

 

What If?

But what if Mary had said that she could not see you on Monday? Go for Friday, the catch-all-day, or go for next Monday. The objective is to stay in control of your calendar and your driving time.

Time On Your Hands?

I have deliberately allowed too much time for driving and too much time for the appointments. Why? Because, if you finish early on any of the appointments, walk out the door, look to your left and look to your right, and make a cold call before your next appointment.

The Big D

Recently, I flew to Dallas with a sales person, and when we arrived, he had set only one appointment for the day. OUCH! He had spent his company's money on airfare and car rental to make only one call. I insisted that we spend the rest of the day making cold calls, in order to make the trip worthwhile.

Have It Your Way

Please look at the above suggestions as a concept and not something carved in stone. Make the times on your calendar fit your particular industry and territory. The key to sales success is to have an organized way of approaching your schedule.

Spend your time selling, not driving.

 

© 1997 Joe Bonura & Associates, Inc.


To see Joe and hear one of his favorite selling tips, follow this link to a video he created to share with folks who are interested in making more sales, or finding a job:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q9AyPsDMu0I

 

REPRINT info:
Joe Bonura would be pleased for you to reprint the article text free of charge (non-exclusively), but asks that you include his name and contact information:

Joe Bonura
Joe Bonura & Associates, Inc.
Website: www.bonura.com
407 Landis Lakes Court
Louisville, KY  40245

(502) 553-1746 phone

E-mail: joe@bonura.com


About Joe Bonura

His background is unique. Joe owned and operated a highly successful advertising agency for 18 years. During that time, he found his advertising campaigns were more effective when he educated his clients in the areas of sales and service. He conducted training seminars for his clients as added value. Word spread that Joe was a quality speaker and more and more people asked him to speak. The demand became so high that he sold the agency to three of his associates to start his own speaking and consulting company, Joe Bonura & Associates, Inc.

Joe is past President of the Kentucky Speakers Association and a Certified Speaking Professional (CSP), a prestigious designation earned by only 8% of the 3,600 member National Speakers Association. Joe presently serves on the board of directors of NSA.

He is author of the audio learning systems "Three-Dimensional Selling®" and "Turning Customer Satisfaction Into Customer Excitement®." He is author of the book Throw the Rabbit—The Ultimate Approach to Three-Dimensional Selling.

Click here TO ENGAGE JOE BONURA FOR A TRAINING SEMINAR AT YOUR COMPANY

 

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