The reason we block time for prospecting is so we can ensure that we have time to make calls on our dream clients. The activities that result in new relationships and new opportunities are too important to leave to chance, and too crucial to be overtaken by other tasks, duties, and responsibilities. In some ways, call blocks prove that we get priorities exactly backward, freeing up time for what’s most important instead of limiting the amount of time spent on lower value activities. By reserving small amounts of time for prospecting (and the very few other actions that drive sales), we are conceding more time to what is less important.
A Thought Experiment
What if instead of blocking time for prospecting, you blocked time for administrative and other necessary tasks, limiting the time available for things that don’t result in a new opportunity or the movement toward a deal, things like sales calls, follow-up activities, research, client communications, and nurturing relationships? What if the 90-minute block was all the time available to you for updating your CRM, most internal emails, and reporting?
An eight-hour day would then be comprised of 1.5 hours of mostly administrative work and 6.5 hours of sales activity. How different would your days look if you spent 81.25% of your time on the tasks we know result in opportunity creation and opportunity capture?
Autonomy, Agency, and Discipline
Salespeople are given a good measure of autonomy, deciding for themselves what they do and when they will do it. That requires a greater discipline to be able to work proactively on the few things that truly matter—while avoiding the countless number of distractions available to each of us, much of them coming by way of interruptions on the small screen of infinite distractions.
The idea of agency is that one has a sense of control and can initiate and control their own acts in the world. If you are reading this, it’s likely that you can do whatever you want with your time, or that you have enough autonomy to do so.
Instead of a single 90-minute call block, what if you committed to double that number, with one in the morning and one in the afternoon, eliminating the possibility of less meaningful work (work that feels like work but isn’t) encroaching on your day—and your results?
What if you blocked time for sales meetings and worked diligently to fill half your day with real sales meetings? Few tasks result in helping clients change and produce better results, improve your company’s performance, and accrue greater benefits to you, including the pecuniary benefits that follow.
By increasing the time you dedicate to selling, you crowd out the things of lesser importance and you improve your results.