How to Manage Downtime


There are 2 kinds of downtime: Controlled and Uncontrolled

Controlled downtime is the time you know about in advance. In sales, it is usually in the form of travel – to and from presentations, meetings, air travel, etc…

Uncontrolled downtime comes up unexpectedly – when meetings get canceled , technical problems and the like…

Good sales people plan for both. Here’s a few ideas for you:

  • Use travel time for some professional development. You can find a lot of free sales podcasts and download them to your mp3 player or burn a CD for the car.
  • Always bring some work with you. Downtime can great for boring paperwork, review priorities lists, organize receipts, etc…
  • Review product information – is there anything new? Something different you can focus on? A new way to provide value?

With any downtime, the basic idea is to avoid asking yourself, “what should I do now?” Take advantage of downtime situations and make the most of your time. Effective time management is one the most important skills a sales person can have – by grabbing back just 30 minutes a day – at the end of the year you would have about 22 extra 8 hour days to sell.


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