I just read a very interesting article, written by one of our business clients, about Interruptions and Time Wasters in business.
The drift of his article is that as business owners, we are expected to answer phones and emails for business enquiries. It’s part of the territory.
So, he asks, “How do you balance time as a business owner so that you actually get things done . . . . ? ?
The main 2 culprits seem to be the phone and the internet; emails in particular, and also social media.
Interesting. Most people have a Pavlovian response to hearing a phone ring! Seems that they just cannot help themselves.
In his article, Shane says . . .
For some time now, I have joined the business community that don’t answer ‘blocked numbers’ on my mobile. I let these go to message bank, no exceptions.
And I for one totally agree because most ‘blocked numbers’ are a total waste of time.
You can further narrow this down . . . e.g. if you are a locally based business receiving a call from an unknown interstate number, then it will most likely be a sales call of some kind.
If you do not want or need clients from interstate, why answer? And they almost never leave a message . . . so it could not have been too important.
“But I have to answer every call so that I do not miss any opportunities!” Really?
What about the cost to your business of the time that you waste on those calls?
The bane of salesmen the world over is the Tyre Kicker.
They take up lots of time with little or no intention of making a purchase.
Like Shane, I have spent up to an hour on the phone talking with “prospective clients” about websites . . . only to have them say “Thank you” and then hang up.
I didn’t know their full name or business name, and some I didn’t even have their phone number to call back because it was a blocked number!
So we set about qualifying our enquiries before investing a lot of time with them, by:
- asking probing questions up front
- using an online enquiry form to qualify the leads
I soon found that people who were unwilling to spend 3-4 minutes filling out an online enquiry form to discuss a major purchase like a website were not really that serious anyway.
They were no going to become our clients.
But we will bend of backwards to help those who show a small commitment by completing the online enquiry form.
Simple and effective.
The other way to deter the Tyre Kicker is to charge an upfront consultation fee.
In his article, Shane gives the example of a business consultant who put a parking meter in the office. Clients have to feed the meter to have a conversation – what a way to stay focused !!
So I am not going to go on about it here.
Suffice it to say they there are many ways to restrict and limit the time that you spend dealing with emails.
One way is to allocate certain times of the day, or certain parts of each hour, to handle email and social media.
Then leave it alone and get on with other productive work.
The simple advice for Social Media is:
- stay focused
- turn it off
- get someone to help you manage social media
“But I have to be on Social Media all day so that I do not miss any opportunities!” Really?
So . . .
If you feel that there are never enough hours in the day, it may be worth looking at how effectively your time is being used.
And where you can cut out the time wasters.
Well, that is quite simple really!
You can read Shane’s original article here . . .
And talk to Shane for the best deals and service on sign writing and vehicle wraps.
What should you do now?
- If you want to get you life back, evaluate where you are spending your time.
- And what return you are getting for that time.
- Want some help or ideas? Just contact us at Hotpink Websites now.
Circumstances may cause interruptions and delays, but never lose sight of your goal.
Prepare yourself in every way you can by increasing your knowledge and adding to your experience, so that you can make the most of opportunity when it occurs.
~ Mario Andretti
Remember – Interruptions and Time Wasters