3 ways we lose time & what to do about it!

What I’ve discovered is that there are 3 primary ways we lose our time. And they are different from most people expect or realize.

A.  Not knowing where you’re going next

  1. Don’t waste a second – ever. Don’t let your goals and dreams fall victim to unplanned events. Anything that isn’t a part of your schedule is a distraction and should be minimized at all costs. Don’t be rude to people; just know that you should “always have a meeting to be at” in the next few minutes. There should always be somewhere you’re going next.
  2. Have a written schedule and stick to it relentlessly. Your results are very often the output of your schedule. Do what is on your schedule all the time.

B.  Fatigue

  1. Physical – You need at least 6.5 hours of Sleep and if at all possible get 7-8. Vince Lombardi said “fatigue makes cowards of us all.” If you’re not energized you won’t be efficient.
  2. Physical – Get your booty to the gym. Don’t let your body feed you the BS that you’re too tired to work out. Your body recharges from working out. Even if it’s 30 minutes for 3 days a week. Just get there! We see consistently that people who can just get their body into the gym can usually get motivated to do something once they’re there. Do it. Once you are physically there then get yourself amped up to crush it! Dominate your workout and hit it hard. Then go home and go to the next thing.
  3. Emotional – Some of the best managers in the country forget this and they don’t realize that one thing that is holding them back is they never get emotionally recharged. If you’re pouring out into others you need to be refilling your emotional fuel  tank. Find what fills you up spiritually and emotionally.
    • Positive reading: John Maxwell – 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, Ken Blanchard – One Minute Manager, T Harv Eker – Secrets of the Millionaire Mind, Dale Carnegie – How To Win Friends and Influence People, John Maxwell – Leadership Gold, Jim Collins – Good to Great
    • Read the Bible each day – at least 1 chapter.
    • Church on Sunday with no excuses. Just go do it.
    • Family – I find that spending actual time physically with family is very recharging. Sometimes on the phone it’s not always. Try to get some place that makes you feel like home and especially reconnecting with parents and letting them know how much they mean to you will naturally recharge you.

C.  Having focus diverted across too many things

  1. Imbalance is the new balance – The way most people think about balance is absurd. We tend to think of spending an equal amount of time on all different types of activities.  Balance is not equal time across equal activities; it’s APPROPRIATE time across critical PRIORITIES. In other words, don’t try to be all things to all activities or try to do everything. Instead figure out what things are most important to you and imbalance your life in those directions.
  2. Keystone Goal – Have 1 overarching goal that ties all your others together. A keystone goal isn’t necessarily the most important; it’s just the one that if you accomplish it, all of the others will happen as a bi-product.
  3. Batching – multi-tasking means juggling lots of priorities; it doesn’t mean doing many tasks at once. Don’t try to be on Facebook while doing paperwork and taking cell phone calls. Doesn’t work. Focus is power. Blitz it hard. Paperwork for paperwork time. Gym for gym time. Family for family time. Pounding the phones during phone time. That simple.

Your results are just a bi-product of your schedule. Don’t worry about what everyone else is doing. You be consistent and relentless about your schedule. Work the system and allow the system to work for you. Put your self-esteem into your work habits and  let the rest shake out as it may.

Follow us at www.roryontwitter.com, Friend us at www.roryonfacebook.com, Watch us atwww.roryonyoutube.com

For information on booking motivational speaker and self-discipline strategist Rory Vaden please visit us at www.roryvaden.com

For information on sales coaching, sales training, or sales consulting please visitwww.southwesternconsulting.com

Have a college-aged student in your life that you want to introduce to success principles, entrepreneurship, and leadership? Have them check out The Southwestern Company paid internship at www.southwesterninternship.com

Join motivational speaker Rory Vaden’s Take the Stairs Tour:

Click Here

See you in the stairwell,

Rory Vaden
Take the stairs – Success means doing what others won’t.

5 Steps to Keeping Appointments & Reducing Cancellations

Here is a 5 step process to confirm appointments, reduce cancellations and decrease rescheduling! Read it, learn it, implement it!

Post Appointment Follow Up Guidelines

Step 1: Send confirmation email with date/ time of your appointment. Send email within a few hours of setting appointment.
· Sample email verbiage:

I just wanted to thank you again for taking a few minutes with me on the phone today, I really appreciate it. I look forward to meeting to meeting you in person on (date/time). Please feel free to call or email me if you need any extra information or have any additional questions. My contact information is listed below. Thank you again.

Step 2: Send Outlook invite
· Once you schedule an appointment (phone meeting or physical appointment) schedule the meeting in your Outlook calendar and then invite them to join your meeting (Outlook function). The individual will have to accept or decline the meeting at which point you will be notified of their decision. If they accept the meeting, the appointment will immediately be placed into their personal calendar. This is also a good indicator of the quality of your appointments.

Step 3: Handwritten Thank You card
· In a world full of high-tech availability sometimes the most unique, visible and personal thing you can do to catch someone’s attention is to send them a good ole fashioned hand written thank you card. Don’t under estimate the power of the personalized touch that comes with a handwritten thank you card!
· When the market is saturated and your prospect has a variety of options here is the key to being noticed among your competition; find out what everyone else is doing then do the opposite.
· Just think, when is the last time your real estate agent, insurance agent or car salesperson sent you a handwritten thank you card thanking you for your business?

Step 4: Add them to your network on LinkedIn
· This acts as one more way of getting connected and building rapport before your actual appointment. The more they have invested in you the less likely they are to cancel or postpone your meeting. Get to know them and let them get to know you. This is especially powerful if you have recommendations available on your profile.

Step 5: Follow up with a phone call a few days before the actual date of your appointment
If you have to leave a message call back the next day. Call until you are able to confirm your appointment. Start the attempts 5 days before the scheduled meeting because it may take you 2-3 days to actually reach your prospect. Reconfirm the meeting address, let them know you will be there a few minutes early and remind them of anything they may need to bring.

Appointment Confirmation Rule of Thumb

If the appointment is more than 10 days away:
a. Complete steps 1-4 within 48 hrs.
b. Call 1 week before appointment for confirmation.
c. Send an email the day before your appointment to let your prospect know how much you are looking forward to meeting them tomorrow.
If the appointment is less than 10 days away:
d. Complete steps 1-4 the same day as you set the appointment.
e. Call 2 days before meeting to re-confirm the details.

In the Spirit of Success,

Amanda Johns
Southwestern Consulting
formerly known as Success Starts Now!
2451 Atrium Way
Nashville, TN 37214

Join my professional network on LinkedIn


Please share your tips that work or let us know what  you think about the 5 Steps.

3 Success Tips of Top Producers: Plan & Execute Day 6

Some of the biggest obstacles we face in sticking to our schedule are:

1. Too much socializing at the office.

2. Starting your calls, but getting sidetracked.

3.  Starting your day without a clear plan.

Top Producers have a plan and execute it. Here are some solutions to keep your focus on completing tasks and staying on schedule.

1.  Going to the office and socializing or screwing around. To head this off, you need to go straight to your office or desk and put up “Do Not Disturb – Golden Hours in Progress” sign outside your door as well as a sign on the inside of your door that says, “The pain of discipline weighs far less than the pain of regret.” Remember, the discipline of staying on schedule for prospecting is no different from the discipline of lifting weights. As you know, when you start lifting weights for the first time it can be uncomfortable and even painful the next day. However after getting on a good schedule and getting in the gym consistently, over time you begin building muscle and enjoy the process. The same is true with prospecting. Initially it can be a little uncomfortable and even painful. However after getting on a good schedule and going after it day in and day out, you’ll begin to set more appointments and will actually start enjoying the phone.

2.  Starting calls but getting sidetracked. To head this off, think of yourself as a thermostat versus a thermometer. While a thermometer reflects its environment, a thermostat sets it. In the same way, you’re being a thermometer when you let your emotions determine your actions. People who are thermometers are activity oriented. If they don’t like the activity they don’t do it. If they experience a rude prospect, they stop making calls. Just like a thermometer, they are allowing their emotions and circumstances to determine their actions. People who are thermostats are results oriented. If they don’t like the activity, they do it anyway because they understand it will produce the desired results. If they experience a rude prospect, they become more determined because rather than basing their decisions on emotions, they base their decisions on values, principles and a predetermined plan. People who are thermostats are successful because rather than allowing themselves to be controlled by their environment, they simply set their own temperature and go after it!

3.  Showing up to work without a clear plan. To head this off, you will make sure to take time the night before to plan out your next day in detail. This will include when you’re prospecting and who you will call. You will print out a predetermined list of prospects to call on the night before and lay it on your desk. Rather than wondering what you’re going to do and who you’re going to call, you’ll simply execute on your predetermined plan. It will take all the emotion out of the equation. It’s simply a matter of planning & executing. In fact your new affirmation should be, “I’m a top producer because I plan and execute. I blow out quota each month because I always take time the night before to plan my next day.”

Please comment below on what tips work for your, or how these tips worked for you after 1 week.






To your success,

Steve Reiner

Professional Sales Coach

Southwestern Consulting™

How to Schedule Your Golden Hours for Maximum Results – Day 4

Once you have your weekly schedule created, each evening, you’ll want to convert your next day’s schedule into a well-planned, detailed format. You’ll do that by having a set appointment with yourself each evening before going home, to plan out your next day in detail.

For example, you’ll take prospecting time from your weekly schedule and make a list of 20+ prospects you can call on the next day. That way you don’t have to waste time the next day trying to dig up names to call on. Instead you’ll be able to show up and simply execute. This is a habit that less than 10% of professionals have. Mediocre salespeople don’t take the time to plan. Instead they just take each day as it comes, reacting to circumstances as they pop up. They end partaking in “creative avoidance.” This takes place when you avoid doing what you know you should be doing. In its place you do more pleasurable activities such as organizing your desk, checking emails, surfing the net, etc. At the end of the day you’re frustrated that you didn’t accomplish more. This makes it difficult to be in the moment with your family because you’re thinking about everything you didn’t get done at work. Keeping your ideal schedule, on the other hand, will prevent you from wasting time during the day on non-income producing activities, equipping you to head off interruptions to your schedule which are not as critical. Learning to set boundaries will enable you to work more effectively.


Your schedule is your roadmap to get you to your goals. I encourage you to look at your schedule like it is your lifeline. You break it and the likelihood of hitting your goals dies. So let’s say we were to calculate your hourly rate to be $50, so every time that you are doing something other than what you should be doing, you are wasting $50. With this in mind, the majority of your day should be invested in either setting up appointments or going on appointments. Everything else should be delegated to assistants if possible. Your prospecting time is what we call your Golden Hours. Here are the steps for creating consistent momentum during The Golden Hours:


*Schedule “The Golden Hours” in your calendar as if it’s the most important appointment you have in your day.  Do not do ANYTHING else during that time but prospect!

*Don’t waste a second during your “Golden Hours”.

*Have your top 20 prospects listed out and in a queue ready to call.

*Stand up during your Golden Hours.

*Eliminate all possible distractions.

-Put a sign on your door saying “Golden Hours in process. Currently increasing my net worth or I am in the process of winning a trip to the Mediterranean. Interrupt at your own peril!”

-Turn you outlook email notice button off!

*Do not check email!

*Don’t answer questions.

*Don’t take personal calls.

*Don’t answer any call that is not someone calling to set a new appointment.

*Use the restroom before your “Golden Hours”.

*Make as many dials as humanly possible during your “Golden Hours”.

*Think about prospecting like a sport, setting up a contest with yourself or others. For example, treat yourself to an ice cream after you’ve put in the work and kept to your schedule.

*Repeat the affirmation, “My job is to make a list and then cross people off that list. It can be a yes or no. I need both to have a great day. Who’s next? Who’s next?”


High performance salespeople create a plan; they execute on that plan within a given time line and they have somebody hold them accountable to that plan.

Planning, executing and accountability.

It’s a great feeling waking up in the morning with a plan. It takes all of the emotion and guesswork out of your day. You simply execute on your predetermined plan. Once you form this habit, you’ll find yourself getting more done in less time. It’s easy to procrastinate putting this schedule together and keeping it. Remember, however, the key to overcoming procrastination is forming the habit of doing things that you don’t like to do. As you’re tweaking your ideal schedule, keep track of all your activities throughout the day to determine the income producing activities versus the time wasters. The goal is to get to the point where your days are on task and highly productive. Get excited about you leading your day versus letting other people and circumstances do it for you!

Your partner in success,

Steve Reiner

Professional Certified Coach





(513) 600-2976 Cell

(303) 774-6559 Office

Sales Tip of the Day – DAY 1

Leaving messages and not getting calls back? Here is a script for those folks who are not returning your voicemails:

“Hi Mary, this is Shelly Blume over at BBI. I’ve got to tell you, you are a tough person to get hold of, but you know what? I consider that a good thing. It tells me you’re working hard and you’re making things happen and you’re the type of person I like to work with. So I’ve got an idea since the phone is not working so well. I’ll plan on coming out to your house on Friday between 3 and 3:30 to drop off the guide. Now if you can do me a favor, it’s about a 40 minute drive out there, if that time does not work for you, please give me a call and suggest a better time that works for you, that would be great. Otherwise if I don’t hear back from you I will assume that Friday between 3 and 3:30 works for you and I will plan on introducing myself to you then. Again, this is Shelly from BBI and my number is xxx-xxx-xxxx. I look forward to meeting you on Friday!”


If you are wondering if this really works . . . here is how it worked for a current SWC coaching client:

Just wanted to drop you a note regarding using this script.   It is fabulous.  I’ve used it on four calls and I’m thrilled with the results.  It definitely was a shot in the arm that I needed.  The first couple was today at 2:00 p.m. and they didn’t call to cancel but were at home waiting for me.   This was a couple I had been calling since April and never got anywhere with them.  The second call was for an appt on Friday, she did call and cancel but asked me to call her back with another day and time.  The next was an appt for next week and he called to confirm.  And the last one I haven’t heard from.

Thanks again for your sharing this script.   Can’t wait to get going with our first meeting.

Kathy Kemper, Community Service Counselor
Olinger Crown Hill Mortuary & Cemetery


Looking forward to your results – please comment below

Calls That Get Appointments

Considering your focus is an outbound call with the intent to schedule an appointment, the scripting I am suggesting would be used whether the call was answered live or if you leave a voicemail. It would be the same opening statement. The call objective is to schedule an appointment.

The first thing you want to do is create a “headline” opening statement. You want to create something that is catchy and grabs the attention through proposing benefit to the prospect.

Three major components of your effective opening monologue:

1. Pleasantry

Capture their attention with their full name.

Use a pleasantry different from, “How are you, today?”

Don’t use your company name in the opening statement?

2. Benefit focused statement

Who is your “Decision Maker” and why should they choose to do business with you?

Think and speak “Benefits”!

– Specific, Measurable, Time Phased

– Results-oriented

Hit the “bull’s eye” to get the interest of the caller. The ultimate objective is to get the person to listen to you by connecting at the highest level. The key is to get closer to the bulls eye which is referral specific.

– Generalized

– “Companies in your city…”

– “Other groups in your industry…”    

– Referral Specific

– “ABC Insurance has increased sales activity and suggested I contact you…”

– “Mary James was able to improve first time closing ratio by 23% through our unique method…”

3. Transitional Question

Require a minor “yes” decision to help move the dialogue forward.

Deliver further benefits, and then end with a question that asks for an appointment.

Use the take away technique.

Review of the Outline of Your Effective Opening Statement:

Step One: Use their full name

Step Two: Pleasantry. Don’t ask “How are you today” because it telegraphs you are a salesperson. Simply say “Thanks for taking my call”, pause for a brief second and move on. Do not ask if you have caught them at a good time, because there never s a good time. If you have caught them at a bad time, they can tell you.

Step Three: Bridge (links communication to become conversational)         

“Last week…”


Step Four: Benefit focused Statement

Step Five: Transitional Question

Here is an example of how this may work for either the initial call or the voicemail message:


“Hi, my name is _________from Scottsdale, Arizona. Thanks for taking my call. I trust I have not caught you at a bad time (slight pause) the purpose of my call and I will be brief, I have been talking to a number of sales managers in your area and they seem to be challenged with getting their sales people to do all the necessary activity to meet their sales goals. I am sure that is something that frustrates you as well. We have a unique solution; I am not sure if it would work for you, but if we can invest a few seconds I am sure you could tell if it would work. Recently Joe Smith of ABC Insurance was able to increase sales activity by nearly 30% with our solution within 30 days of implementing it. I can not really tell you right, or show you wrong. Please call me at 800-486-7586 and we can take a quick look. My name again is_____________800-486-7586



Opening statement on initial call

“Hi, my name is _________from Scottsdale, Arizona. Thanks for taking my call. I trust I have not caught you at a bad time (slight pause) the purpose of my call and I will be brief, I have been talking to a number of sales managers in your area and they seem to be challenged with getting their sales people to do all the necessary activity to meet their sales goals. Is that something that frustrates you as well? We have a unique solution; I am not sure if it would work for you, but if we can invest a few seconds I am sure you could tell if it would work. Recently Joe Smith of ABC Insurance was able to increase sales activity by nearly 30%with our solution within 30 days of implementing it. I can not really tell you right, or show you wrong. How many sales people do you have on your team?

To Your Success,

Ron Marks



In my work coaching sales professionals, I am always ecstatic to hear that they are using a calendar to schedule everything. It’s one piece of advice that never changes – It will change your life!

Simply scheduling things ensures that you have time to get things done and it eliminates opportunities to ‘forget’ or ‘excuses’ that we come up with as to why we didn’t get things done. If you haven’t perfected the use of your calendar yet, the first thing you need to do is go through your To-Do list and determine what needs to be done now. Then begin scheduling longer term projects, personal time, date night, and anything that is important to you. If you don’t schedule it … it probably won’t get done!

Another stumbling block that comes up in my coaching is ‘fear’.  Fear when it comes to making phone calls. Maybe reluctance or procrastination is more of what they are experiencing, but that comes from fear; fear of rejection, fear of hearing “no”, fear of failure. Here are a few ways of overcoming those fears:

  • Stand up when you are cold calling. It gets the blood flowing, your adrenaline going and gives you an overall sense of control.


  • Put a mirror on your desk and watch yourself – Smile!!! It’s hard to be nervous or sound nervous when you are smiling. Knowing that you look good and look the part will also help in your confidence.


  • Dress up for work. Looking good makes you feel good which will help boost your confidence.


  • Make sure you are working out and eating healthy. Looking good outside is much due to feeling good inside!


  • Read affirmations: Brainwash yourself on an daily basis into positive thinking. Only you can build your confidence and it starts with telling yourself positive things every day.


  • Schedule every call you need to make. Having it on the calendar forces you to make the decision to call it or just move it around on your calendar… if you don’t call it today you will just see it pop up again later!

Remember these 2 quotes:

“When the mind is on service, it is hard to be nervous”
         -Rory Vaden
“It doesn’t matter if 10 people say yes to me or if 10 people say no to me, all I know is that 1 day is not going to make or break my career but my attitude and activity will determine my success”
          -Dave Brown

You have to mentally pump yourself up every day. Just like professional athletes jump around screaming to get going … so do we!!!

Have a great week!

In the Spirit of Success,

Amanda Johns
Corporate Partner and Program Director
Southwestern Consulting
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