Sales Productivity

Working in sales? 5 ways to make the most of your downtime

Downtime we’ve all got it. That half hour between meetings, that 3-hour train journey, that time you’re delayed at an airport. Over the years, I learnt to maximise that downtime to my advantage so I was always learning or growing my sales number. Here are my 5 useful tips that will help.

On your way to the office 

It’s easy to zone out on your way to and from work, your Facebook account can be distracting. Even if you just use 50% of your commute time to learn, it will make a difference.

My top tips are…

  • Find a podcast you enjoy, there are many great ones out there. One of my favourites is The Growth Show by Hubspot.
  • Audio books are great on the go. A great audio book is To Sell is Human by Dan Pink. It takes a fresh look at the arts and science of selling.
  • YouTube, there are some amazing videos for sales if you look. Check out Gary Vaynerchuk. He is a master salesman with some great insight on all things social.

In between meetings  

There are always sales prospects you should be touching base with. At the end of each day write a list of the top 10 people you want to speak to tomorrow to create absolute focus.  You need two things, their name and contact number. Have the list visible at all times. When you have extra gaps throughout the day, work your way through the list, repeat over and over if time allows, you’ll have much more success reaching your most important prospects. You are not in your sales CRM every minute of the day, so the list is critical to making sure you push yourself to create those extra contact points.

Waiting for your prospects to answer the phone

Unfortunately, we spend more time listening to a dial tone than actually talking to our sales prospects so call volume is key if you’re going to speak to as many prospects as you can during the day. Have your CRM open, bring up your 1st task and make your first call. Whilst the phone is ringing be lining up your next call and be ready to make the next dial straight away. It’s actually a little trickier than it sounds but when mastered it is really effective. You’re not going to be able to keep this up constantly but if you can do 2 one-hour sessions of that intensity per day, you’ll achieve a much higher rate of held calls.

Working ‘Offline’

Most planes and trains claim to have wi-fi but the quality is sketchy at best. Use this time to write proposals, read through tenders, draft your emails, look through reports etc. These tasks are easier to complete without the distraction of a new email or hangouts message so use this time wisely, enjoy being disconnected.

On your way home from the office 

Download one of your recent sales calls or demos and listen back to it on your way home from work. There is nothing more powerful than being able to evaluate our own performance and make your next call or demo even better.

Please feel free to share your tips as well, I would love to hear them

Contact me @TomLavery7



2 thoughts on “Working in sales? 5 ways to make the most of your downtime

  1. Great piece.

    I am a huge advocate for podcasts. In November of 2014 I listened to a podcast that literally transformed how I approached work and helped me build the career capital to get the job I have now.

    It was an interview with Cal Newport deconstructing the prolific career advice of “following your passion” and how to build value wherever you find yourself. –

    I would add, if I may, its a good idea to set some time aside to build a queue of podcasts you want to listen to. That way when you do have time you aren’t wasting it searching for one to listen to.

    I’m really enjoying the blog keep it up!

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