As a sales coach, the most common excuse I receive when encouraging Bank Leaders to implement a coaching cadence is that they “don’t have time”.
Similarly, many Bankers and Finance Professionals tell me they “do not have time” for training or to complete coaching exercises.
The reality is you DO HAVE TIME to coach and learn, but you are choosing not to prioritize these activities.
And the irony is that making time for coaching will help you better manage your time for everything else.
Before you can develop better time management skills, you first need to develop better time prioritization behaviors and beliefs.
As Stephen Covey – the author of “7 Habits Of Highly Effective People” – says:
“The challenge is not to manage time, but to manage ourselves. The key is not to prioritize your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.”
To become far more productive at work, I strongly encourage you to consider these five critical priorities:
1. Your Goals
You always “find time” to do things that are important to you – that you are passionate about. You will generally do whatever it takes to do something you love.
The first tip for better managing your time is knowing your personal goals – what you love and what makes you happy. This will give you the motivation to better manage your time.
Clearly determine your short term (annual) and long term (5 year) goals. Understand WHY you need to prioritize your time – both professionally and personally.
We all have the same time, so why waste it doing something that does not fulfill our dreams or does not make us happy. You will become far more productive with your time when you pursue something you love.
2. Your Business Development Activities
The banking and finance industry offers plenty of opportunity to achieve your personal goals. Clearly, if you succeed at work (ie. by growing your bank) then you will succeed in your personal life.
Consider what business development ACTIVITIES you need to consistently perform – and prioritize – in order to be more successful at work.
Create a business development ACTIVITY PLAN that identifies at least 4 – 5 specific activities you will focus on every month to help you become more successful at work. For example – 3 community events, 4 new prospect meetings, 6 cross-department referrals.
By focusing on a few core business development activities each month you will be able to better prioritize your efforts …. and consistently achieve better results.
3. Your Clients (Customers)
Of course your clients are your priority. Servicing their needs is your primary responsibility as a finance professional and this consumes a large proportion of your time every day.
But how efficient and effective are you at servicing their needs? And are you capitalizing on this time to also improve time spent on business development?
Review the processes and resources available to you to look after your clients. Leverage these processes and resources more effectively to achieve customer satisfaction.
Stop over-thinking and over-servicing. And stop simply being an order-taker. Remember you are a Finance Professional.
It is far easier and more efficient to grow your bank (and achieve your personal goals) by exploring your client’s broader needs every time you engage with them. This will enable you to promote more bank solutions and seek referrals to new clients.
4. Your Internal Meetings
Throughout my banking career, I attended many many many internal bank meetings. And I can confidently say that at least half of them were a complete waste of everyone’s time. Can you relate to this observation?
If the internal meeting is not driving greater results for all attendees, then question the need to meet and consider an alternative way to communicate the information (and/or gain feedback).
To be clear, I am not discouraging you from being a team player. I am simply encouraging you to become a more productive team.
Review your calendar every month and ask yourself “WHY do we need this internal meeting and WHY do I need to attend”? When invited to another internal meeting during the month, I encourage you to also ask “WHY”. Become more diligent and deliberate about internal meetings.
5. Your Personal Development
As stated at the beginning of this article, if you want to be more efficient and effective with your time it is important that you invest time in developing your skills, behaviors and beliefs.
What is a more effective use of time?
- Spending 2 hours making 60 cold calls to get 6 meetings; OR
- Spending one hour learning a better way of cold calling so you only need to make 20 calls to get 6 meetings.
The BEST way to become more effective and productive with your time is to consistently review your efforts and develop your skills.
Committing time each month to personal development will enhance the results you derive from business development activity, client engagements and internal meetings.
Sounds like a great use of time to me.
Please STOP considering coaching as something you do if you can find the time …. and START making it a priority each month so you can better manage time you have.
Remember …. to be more effective at time management you must first understand and schedule your priorities.
This article was written by Sales Coach, Joe Micallef. Reach out to Joe at firstname.lastname@example.org