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The Ruby Group | Akron and Columbus, OH

The STORY:

Nick, while sitting at what had to be the longest red light in the world, was ready to tear the steering wheel off the column and wrap it around the neck of the idiot driver in front.

“Use the pedal to the right of the brake when the light turns green.  Green means GO!,” he yelled.  Fortunately, no one could hear him since the windows were rolled up. 

He was late for his second appointment of the day.  With one more after this one, he didn’t have much drive time to spare.  Still the light was red.

For the past year, he had worked and become very good at cold calling.  While not liking it, he did get appointments.  In fact, Nick had gotten the most appointments of anyone in the office for the past month and a half.  Now everyone came to him for advice on cold calling.  They all knew he was on the road to winning big.

Except for this imbecile in front of me, thought Nick.  For the past five miles, unable to pass, Nick had been stuck behind someone who believed that the speed limit was just that, the limit.

Still the light was red.

Two appointments tomorrow, thinking to himself.  Lots of driving to do tomorrow.  Better fill up tonight.  God, I can’t believe my gasoline bill for last month.  Had to be at least five times more than ever before.  But I’m getting appointments.  Just wish they weren’t so far apart.  Can’t wait for the sales to start rolling in.  Been like this for the past three weeks.

The light turned green.

“Move, you cretin,” screamed Nick.  “I haven’t got time to sit here waiting for you to make up your mind.”


The RESULT:

Nick spends most of his week in the car, not in front of prospects or customers.  It’s pretty difficult for any salesperson to make sales when he is behind the wheel.  Even with a car phone.


DISCUSSION:

Nick, like many salespeople that travel during the week to visit with prospects and customers, gets a mileage reimbursement.  And like many salespeople, Nick has fallen under the spell of seeing himself as the salesperson who is booked solid with appointments.  After all, the more appointments you can book and the more traveling you do can only lead to being a successful salesperson.  Right?

Nick was reimbursed for mileage.  Nick was not reimbursed for the time he spent behind the wheel.  Now that Nick has an inkling of the discrepancy between what he thought was happening and what is happening, he has a choice.  He can continue doing the same thing.  Or, he can devise a plan to reduce the travel time and increase the prospect/customer time.

Which choice is most likely to increase his income?


APPROACH:

A travel time log is nothing more than noting the beginning time your body hits the car seat and the ending time when your body leaves the car seat.  You keep track of this whenever your body leaves the car for any reason.  What you are going to find out is exactly how much time you are behind the wheel.

The prospect/customer time log is the amount of time you are physically in the presence of  prospects/customers.  The clock starts ticking when you are in the presence of the prospect/customer, not when you arrive in the parking lot, not when you are sitting in the outer office, waiting.  What you are going to find out is exactly how much time you are in front of your prospects/customers.

How long should you keep these two logs?  At least for a month.  This is difficult to do.  But consider the benefits.  While you may think that most of your time is spent selling, you may actually spend most of your time driving.  Sitting behind the wheel of your car does not put money in your pocket.  Only selling does that.

When you add up the time driving and the time selling, you have to decide if there are changes that need to be made.  In most instances, you will be shocked at the amount of time behind the wheel when compared with the amount of time selling.


THOUGHT:

You probably get reimbursed for mileage, but does anyone reimburse you for the time you spend driving?




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