Posts Tagged ‘wasted time’

12 Is a Costly Number to Every Sales Leader

Do you waste 12 minutes a day as you are conducting your daily sales activities?  Be honest.  If you are honest with yourself, the time wasted each day probably exceeds just 12 minutes.  Ongoing workplace time use and workforce productivity research suggests employees continue to waste a lot of time.

What is all that wasted time costing your ability to increase sales?  Maybe you are thinking, it’s just 12 minutes a day, not much.

By doing some simple math, 12 minutes a day equals 1 hour a week and this translates into 52 hours per year or over a solid week of productivity.  Now that the picture is much bigger, what is that costing you?

If you are a sales leader and value your time, then you should be worth at least $100 an hour or $5,200 annually given all that expertise.  Even if you believe you are only worth $50 an hour that still adds up to $2,600 each year. If you know how much time it takes to close a sale, then do that math.  How many more sales could you achieve in 52 hours?

What can you do as a sales leader for yourself to reinvest those lost minutes into productive ones? Here are some simple strategies from which you can take action:

  1. Eliminate unnecessary conversations and time wasters including social media. Be intentional in all your actions.
  2. Review your sales goals daily, weekly and monthly.
  3. Set a schedule and review your schedule daily. Use a CRM tool as you review your activities.
  4. Use agendas for meetings with your sales management or other colleagues. Without agendas, meeting time becomes a lot of lost minutes.  Do not allow any new items that come from the discussion. Table them for the next meeting.  Keep personal issues out of the meeting. This one strategy helped one of my clients consistently increase revenue by 20-25% annually.
  5. Model as a sales leader the desired behavior. Respect the time of your colleagues and your customers. For example, let your sales prospect know that you only want 30 minutes of his or her time.
  6. Align your time to your sales goals. If you goal is to secure one new sales lead from your regular chamber to civic meetings, then make sure you achieve that goal.  Do not waste time visiting with people that you know. You must first be accountable before you expect others to be accountable.
  7. Have a  sales action plan. As a sales leader, you should be an overall Strategic Business Growth Action Plan© reinforced with Marketing, Sales, Customer Loyalty, Management, Innovation and Financial sub plans. Stop the praying and spraying mentality and behaviors that are time wasters.
Share on Facebook

What Wasted Time Actually Reveals

Smart devices keep us connected and reveal a lot of wasted time according to Adobe. Would you believe checking email (both work and personal) is consuming 6.3 hours per day?  As an entrepreneur and small business owner for the last 18 years, I can say my time is probably around 60 to 90 minutes per day.



This email marketing and time management research also suggested that 30% of those surveyed check their email in the morning while still in bed. Some may believe this is due to the fear of missing out, my sense it may be revealing something far more serious.

When we are so preoccupied with checking email or being on the smart phone all the time, we just may not have any clarity as to what needs to be done next. We are mired in the endless activity that really does not move us forward. Yet we feel emotionally satisfied that we are doing something constructive.

This endless checking of email shows we have not properly scheduled our time.  However by checking email we do not think of it as wasted time and it justifies not doing what really needs to be done.

Checking email becomes our excuse not to work.

Email marketing agencies are probably in a dither over this time management research. With email not going away, this opens more opportunities.  For mid-size to small businesses, this spells productivity to economic disaster especially if the business factors in texting which does not appear to be part of this research study by Adobe.

Email has become part of our lives especially for mid-size to small business owners and entrepreneurs.  For me, I check email first thing in the morning at my desk (10 minutes) and several times through out the day for another five minutes each.  I have folders on my desktop and quickly file 90% of all email immediately.  Since my clients and sales leads have or can easily find my phone number, if something is really important they can call me.

If I am working on a project, I close my email.  I then open it at scheduled breaks to ensure my focus is where it needs to be.

Now some may suggest checking email is part of their multi-tasking as when watching TV or worse yet driving.  The human brain is not designed to multi-task and to engage in multi-tasking behaviors reduces overall effectiveness of all engaged activities.

Time was gone is never recovered.

Time is an investment.

Each of use have to decide how to invest our time wisely to avoid wasted time. How we do that is a personal decision and one that requires personal responsibility and accountability.

My question is if you are addicted to checking your email, then why so?  Is it because of the fear of not being connected or the fear of not wanting to do what you must do?

* * * * *

Leanne Hoagland-Smith is THE People and Process Problem Solver. She supports forward thinking leaders in bridging the gaps between the two problems restricting strategic business growth – people and processes. Leanne can be reached at 219.508.2859 central time USA.  Follow her on Twitter or check out her profile on LinkedIn.



Share on Facebook

There Is a Time for Giving

Life is busy, in fact crazy busy for most people.  Between jobs, children, parents, relationships, housework and all those other to do items one can be busy every day of the week and the thought of scheduling a time for giving goes right out the window.

time-for-givingYesterday I gave a couple of hours of my time on a Saturday to pick up roadside trash along a portion of a state highway in Porter County,IN.  This activity was sponsored by the Valparaiso Rotary Club and is a semi-annual event.

Yes, I would have preferred to stay home and take care of my writing and client projects still to be completed.

Yes, I would have preferred not to be in the rain picking up trash because of inconsiderate and lazy drivers and passengers.

Yes, I would have preferred not to have to run a special load of clothes after completing this volunteer assignment.

With government budgets stretched thin in many instances (regardless of the reason) and many struggling here in this country to make ends meet, volunteers make up the short fall by scheduling a time for giving.  These individuals in many instances belong to civic organizations such as Rotary International to religious institutions to for profit firms where employees volunteer their time.

Today is Sunday and for me another time for giving. I volunteer at least twice a month to assist at our early mass for Augsburg Evangelical Lutheran Church located in Porter, IN.  Our church, meaning our congregation, is very active in its efforts to support the local elementary school with backpacks; the local food bank; as well as Lutheran Aid International.  Members even those with young families give of their time to these giving opportunities.

For some, money is the way they give. Yet sometimes scheduling a time for giving means far more to these organizations and to our communities than just money.

As noted earlier, most of us are crazy busy. However from my own private time management research must of us admit to wasting 12 minutes per workday. Those 12 minutes of wasted time add up to one hour per week.  From my simple math, we all have the potential to schedule a time for giving even if it is just one hour per month.

P.S. What I have learned is I appreciate far more of what I have when I am able to give of myself to others.

Share on Facebook

The Greatest Excuse for Small Businesses

How many times do we hear from small businesses “I don’t have the money?”  Some believe this is the greatest excuse, but they are wrong.

small businessesThe greatest excuse, the most damaging one to small business growth is this one:

“I don’t have time.”

Small businesses can always get more money, but they can never get more time.  Once time is gone, it is gone forever.

What is quite ironic is many business coaches or change management consultants who profess to help small business owners and other professionals including salespeople consistently use this excuse.  I continue to shake my head about this disconnect.

Most people admit to wasting 12 minutes a day. This adds up to one hour per week or 52 hours per year.  Time management studies suggest the wasted time that being unproductive time is closer to one hour per work day.

In 2011, America Online and conducted a survey that revealed the average worker wasted 2.09hour per 8 hour workday. This wasted time does not include lunch or break.

The impact to the American economy is a  literally mind numbing $759 billion per year.  (Paying for salaries where work was expected, not performed.) Add this wasted time to the continued research on workforce engagement and those billions probably double.

The additional irony is that time management is an oxymoron as no one can manage a constant.  What really must take place is better self management.

For small businesses, this may mean using automatic online software such as Hootsuite or delegating some of those daily to do tasks. At the end of the day, when someone states “I don’t have time” what they are really saying is they cannot manage themselves, their professional roles or their small businesses.

I leave you with this thought leadership question.

Do you really want someone who cannot manage himself or herself helping you manage your business challenges?


Share on Facebook

The Collision of Wasted Time and Lost Productivity

Everyone is busy. Technology allows us to be even busier. With fewer people expected to do more work there does not appear enough minutes in the day.  And what happens is there now appears to be even more wasted time and even more lost productivity.

wasted-timeYears ago a colleague made this statement:

“People confuse motion with progress and activity with results.”

Motion is wasted time because no progress is actually made.

Activity without results is lost productivity.

Here are seven questions to ask yourself to avoid this collision of wasted time and lost productivity:

1. Have you ever tracked your time for several days in 15 minute intervals?  Sales Training Coaching Tip:  If not, you may wish to do so.

2. Are you really efficient at multi-tasking? Sales Training Coaching Tip:  The brain is truly not designed to multi-task. Do one task and complete it before starting another.

3. Do you have written action plans supported by WAY SMART goals so you know what needs to be done?

4. Are you capable of saying NO?

5. Do you allow distractions to be part of your daily routine such as checking email, social media sites,etc.  Sales Training Coaching Tip:  Incorporate automation marketing tools such as HootSuite to allow you to be more efficient and effective with your time.

6. Do you find yourself making excuses for not completing tasks or promises to colleagues, clients, etc?

7. Have you invested the time to write your purpose, vision, values and current mission statements?

Yes, we all have experienced wasted time and lost productivity. However, we have the ability and capacity to reduce those resource draining experiences because we have control over far more of time and the desired results than we sometimes believer.

Leanne Hoagland-Smith is a heurist who disrupts the status quo by discovering new ways to guide and support rapidly growing small businesses; those who wish to grow beyond their current employees and executives in career chaos.  She is recognized as one of the Top 25 Sales Influencers in 2013 by Open View Sales Labs and can be reached at 219.759.5601 CST


Share on Facebook

Lost Profits and Wasted Time

lost profits

Years ago some people in business viewed efficiency experts with apprehension.  These folks in their white lab coats running around checking this operation or that one and reporting about all the inefficiency to stop the drain of lost profits.

People fail to understand that wasted time is like the annoying, dripping kitchen or bathroom faucet. The drips are the seconds being drained away along with all the profits.

Wasted Time

$20,000 Salary

$30,000 Salary

$60,000 Salary

$100,000 Salary

12 minutes a day





1 hour per week





52 hours per year





Note:  These figures do not include any benefits and are per employee.

So what does wasted time cost small businesses or mid-size organizations, daily, weekly and annually?

10 Employees = $28.81 Daily; $144.05 Weekly; $74,906 Annually

  • 1 executive at $60,000
  • 6 Employees at $30,000
  • 3 Employees at $20,000

30 Employees = $95.10 Daily; $475.590 Weekly; $24,726 Annually

  • 1 executive at $100,000
  • 4 employees at $60,000
  • 15 employees at $30,000
  • 10 employees at $20,000

60 Employees = $213.30 Daily; $1066.50 Weekly; $55.458 Annually

  • 3 executives at $100,000
  • 12 employees at $60,000
  • 30 employees at $30,000
  • 15 employees at $20,000

100 Employees = $369.00 Daily; $1,845.00 Weekly; $95,940 Annually

  • 6 executives at $100,000
  • 24 employees at $60,000
  • 40 employees at $30,000
  • 30 employees at $20,000

Remember, The US Bureau of Labor Statistics among other organizations and the admissions of actual employees suggest wasted time is at least one hour per work day per employee. In other words, the small businesses with 10 employees are potentially losing up to $374,530 annually and mid size organizations may see those lost profits reach nearer $479,700.

Now these figures all in black and white just may shock you and should shock you. All those dollar figures are lost profits and these lost profits will continue to grow unless your executive leadership undertakes a systematic process to stop the wasted time.

Note: The above percentages are estimated and will vary depending upon industry and organizational structure.



Share on Facebook

In Solution Selling Even a Caveman Can Calculate a Return on Investment”

A posting over at LinkedIn Group asked if the members were witnessing a lack of return on investment (ROI) in solution selling.  This individual was quite taken back by all the dollars being spent without a direct connection to a return on investment.


As a trained instructional designer, I can attest to much of the sales training and even some sales coaching fails to deliver a positive return on investment for a variety of reasons. This failure has also been transferred to many who are engaged in solution selling.  Some of those reasons for that failure are within the control of the salesperson and many are not.

Yet I believe truly top sales performers in solution selling will always present the case for a return on investment provided they did their research and their solutions are not smoking mirrors.

What is really disheartening from my perspective is that a return on investment is fairly easily calculated especially for the majority of small businesses with under 100 employees. Here are some quick ways to ensure any purchased solution delivers a positive return on investment:

  • Promotional mugs or other such products used as a seasonal thank you for business – How many end of the year orders did you receive after delivering the gift? Did the customer buy again in the following year?
  • Use of specialized, custom order cartoon to attract attention. Did the customer take your call? Did you eventually get an order? Stu Heincke demonstrated how his marketing approach delivered a positive ROI in this past blog.
  • Wasted time – 12 minutes of wasted time per day equals 1 hour per week equals 52 hours per year. Using $30,000 as an average salary without benefits, any people or process based solution that saves at least 52 hours generates a return on investment.
  • Employee turnover – Firing one employee and hiring another costs small businesses on average $25,000. By reducing turnover by just 1 person per year saves $25,000.
  • Employee productivity – Research suggests on average one employee in four is actively engaged giving 8 hours of work for 8 hours of pay if not more. Two employees in four are disengaged giving less than 8 hours of work for 8 hours of pay. One employee in four is actively disengaged giving less than 6 hours of work for 8 hours of pay. By moving just one employee out of four into being actively engaged saves 2 hours per day; 10 hours per week; 520 hours per year.

To calculate return on investment  in solution selling begins with the results your solution delivers. The next step is to align and then monetize those results to the current financial costs being experienced by your customer.  By taking this approach, one can appreciate that even a caveman can calculate ROI for solution selling.

Speaking of ROI, have you consider the ROI for your CRM solution.  Did you know with the recent updates to the LinkedIn Contact feature, you now have a free solution that can deliver exceptional ROI. On Thursday, June 27, 2013 from 10-11am CDT, in this webinar LinkedIn Contacts Your Competitive Advantage, you will begin to learn how to leverage this powerful CRM tool. Note: This is a small registration fee ($9.97) as seating is limited.

Share on Facebook

What Is Your Time Worth To Research New Business Sales Leads?

Finding the right buyer is far more effective when you have written down the ideal customer profile. However time being what time is, investing that limited resource is one investment that many crazy busy sales people just do not make.

Even if they have the time, between the plethora of social media sites to other Internet sites, the research to complete that targeted ideal customer profile is lacking in depth and quality. Yet having the information helps to be the Red Jacket by differentiating you from all those other gray suits that have only the cursory information or worse yet the wrong information. Sales Training Coaching Tip: Having the wrong information may cause a conversational miss step that shuts down the relationship right in front of you.

For example, you are speaking with one of your loyal customers who makes a qualified referral to Mr. Buy Now at the Best Company which is right down the street.  You write his name down and upon your return to your car you do a quick check over at LinkedIn via your mobile device.  His name is not there.  This is not unusual because Mr. Buy Now is a babyboomer who is not totally into using the Internet specific to certain social media sites.

Now you do some more quick research on your Blackberry or other mobile device through Google.  Information is spotty as best. By now, 15 minutes have passed and you realize you still lack enough specifics to make that call.

From an investment standpoint, if you view your time as $60 dollars per hour or $120,000 a year, you have just wasted $15 dollars specific to your time. Then add the wasted productivity to those 15 minutes and the $15 can quickly jump to $50. Sales Training Coaching Tip: Know your numbers to focus your actions where they deliver the best results (meaning increase sales)

If you are a sales manager or even a small business owner, those wasted dollars can quickly add up.  Multiply those wasted $15 dollars by the number of salespersons in your team per day for an entire year. This translates as follows:

  • 5 equals $75 per day, $375 weekly, $19,500 annually
  • 10 equals $150 per day, $750 weekly, $39,000 annually
  • 25 equals $375 per day, $1,875 weekly, $97,500 annually
  • 50 equals $750 per day, $3,750 weekly, $195,000 annually
  • 100 equals $,1500 per day, $7,500 weekly, $390,000 annually

Now since this is the invested time for just research one sales lead each day, these estimates are very much on the conservative side. Also, this time does not include transferring all that information into a comprehensive and consistent report that can be readily imported into a mobile device. Sales Training Coaching Tip:  Consistency helps to reduce wasted time.

Wasted time (that being time that does not deliver the desired result) is one of the greatest obstacles facing crazy busy sales professionals from those on the streets to sales managers to C Suite executives. With the continued advancement of marrying technology to existing needs, wasted time can be reduced while increasing productivity. The challenge is to find those tools that meet this challenge. Sales Training Coaching Tip:  Time is green (dollars).

By having such a sales tool, the salesperson has the advantage to go beyond rapport building and make a true and authentic connection. As Jeb Blount notes in his great book – People Buy You – building rapport at its basic foundation is manipulative. This does not inspire confidence or trust between the buyer and seller.

Sales professionals to be the Red Jacket need to stay ahead of the flow when it comes to researching their ideal customer profiles.  The better prepared you are, the better impression you make and this does help to build the relationship. Remember people buy from people they know (and who know about them) and trust.

P.S. Today marks a potentially historic day for crazy busy sales people.  If you want to save time and save money, then IntroMojo may be the right solution allowing you to have that completed and quality individual customer profile.  This sales force tool for larger sales teams or sales and marketing tool for small business owners, independent sales or service professionals including realtors, financial advisors, accountants, lawyers, sales representatives, business coaches, management consultants, etc. can bridge the gap between marketing (securing new business sales leads) and selling (having the opportunity to work through the selling steps) allowing more sales conversions.  Just go check it out for yourself and if you do add it to your marketing and selling sales toolbox, let me know what you think.

Graphic courtesy of Bing image –

Share on Facebook

Time Is A Non-Renewable Resource

In spite of so many people have time management issues, when I ask folks if they waste 12 minutes a day, I always get 100% positive response to that question. One of my colleagues, Laura Novakowski, has taken that question into her practice and she explains in greater detail on her Positive Power Strategies blog the impact of redirecting wasted time.

Time is a non-renewable resource. Once those seconds, minutes, hours, days and year pass by they will never ever return. Of course maybe that is why the fascination with time travel such as in H.W. Wells The Time Machine to Back to the Future.

The Internet allows people to truly conserve time provided they have invested some of those critical resource minutes to find sites where value is always present. For me one of those sites is Sales Gravy. Jeb Blount has a highly visited site and his Sales Gravy ezine is always chocked full of good ideas and resources. Today, there was a free sales meeting agenda provided by Meeting to Win.

Upon receiving it, I used a url shortner and then:

  • Did a couple of  tweets
  • Emailed it off to a couple of potential clients

Since my goal is to be the guru or invaluable as noted sales expert Jill Konrath explains in her new book Snap Selling, using time well is absolute necessity.  By  doing so I help my clients and demonstrate to potential clients (a.k.a. qualified prospects) my value because I am saving them time.  Just think for a moment what would happen if you could conserve with your customers a non-renewable and very expensive resource? Imagine the possibilities?

Share on Facebook
RSS Subscribe!
Coaching Tip

People buy results or rather people buy the feelings the results deliver.

What’s Happening?

Internal Results interviews
Leanne Hoagland-Smith
. Some of her answers may surprise you.

Check out this podcast on value creation between David Brock and Leanne Hoagland-Smith

Listen to Leanne Hoagland-Smith at Sales Scenario podcasts

Another list of top sales bloggers

Pre-order this great book How to Get a Meeting with Anyone. You may recognize a familiar name.

Top 100 Most Innovative Sales Bloggers Honored this blog is included in this impressive list.

Best Sales Blogger Award for 2014 Third place awarded to Leanne Hoagland-Smith.

NWI SBDC awarded Small Business Journalist of 2014 to Leanne Hoagland-Smith. Awards.

Expand Your Business Horizons
Sign up to receive monthly newsletter devoted to small businesses and busy sales professionals Beyond the Black
Be the Red Jacket
Seeking an easy and practical book on marketing, selling and sales? Read the reviews at Amazon and then order your hard copy or eBook.
Sustainability Expert
The Institute for Sustainability
Ezine Expert
Blogroll – Leadership, OD
Contact Coach Lee

Leanne Hoagland-Smith
219.759.5601 Main Office CDT
219.508.2859 Mobile CDT

Office located near Chicago, IL Main Website

Sales Corner

Tracking by The Sales Corner
Blog Rankings
Business Blogs - Blog Rankings
Blog Top Sites
RSS Search
Blog Log