If you’re in sales, you’ve had that moment. You know the one…where your carefully planned week crumbles to nothing before your very eyes. The one where you had 19 appointments scheduled Monday-Friday, but, over the course of a day or two, you’re suddenly down to only six.
It happens – advisors get overbooked, someone gets sick, a client’s kid breaks his arm or weather shuts down a city. Your day can go from full to zero in a very short time and that means you’re stuck trying to figure out how to fill in the gaps.
At Executive Scheduling Associates, we call this crisis scheduling and, believe it or not, it’s a huge no-no.
When your week falls apart, the first thing you do it react.
“Okay…my days are mostly empty and that is not going to cut it.” You drop what you’re doing, sit down with your CRM and start dialing. Surely someone is going to be available on short notice!
You make your way through your territory’s biggest producers and no one can meet. So then you move onto your B prospects and there is one FA who has 15 minutes for you…but his time and your time don’t match and you don’t book the appointment.
On and on it goes and before you know it, you’ve spent two hours trying to fill in a couple of spots that you knew probably weren’t going to be filled because of the short notice.
What To Do Instead
Trying to schedule only a few days out rarely works out well. You may get lucky and find a few people who are available, but the return on your time is just not worth it.
Instead of spinning your wheels, try picking out a few key people instead -- the client you haven’t seen in a couple of months or the prospect who asked you to come by the next time you’re in her area. Whittle your list down to a half dozen strategically picked names and give them a call.
Once you’re done, cut your losses and find other ways to fill your time. Catch up on thank you notes, run illustrations, return phone calls. Map out the next quarter’s rotation or book your travel for your upcoming trips. There’s always something to do, so use your sudden windfall of time to get your office in order.
The ESA Advantage
Partnering with ESA won’t stop cancellations from happening, but it will keep you on track when your train inadvertently derails.
ESA schedulers are trained to avoid crisis scheduling. Should a day or a week suddenly open up, your scheduler will call you and ask you for a few people you would like to see. She’ll make those calls, try fill up those open time slots, and then she will move on.
We aim to keep our clients’ calendars pushed out two-to-three weeks in advance. We’ve found that this period of time allows for maximum “yeses” while minimizing the number of cancellations. Our scheduling services are results-based and our goal is to set as many meetings as possible for you.
So the next time you find yourself with a suddenly empty day or week, don’t panic. Plan how you will fill your time and work from there. With a little strategy and a calm demeanor, you’ll be back to a full calendar in no time.
In the comments section below, tell us about a time when your day or week completely fell apart.