On a busy day, you’re barraged with tasks and details. The natural reaction is to swing away at them as they come, like you’re standing in a batting cage and the ball machine has gone crazy. But being purely reactive isn’t effective.

To be successful, you need to generate and cultivate prospects on an ongoing basis. So, you should have a system in place to prioritize lead-converting activities.

The first place to start is with your outbound communication. I often hear, “But Mike, I don’t have enough time.” The truth is, there’s always time to do the things you want or that you think are important. If you don’t have time for lead-converting activities, it’s because you haven’t made this task a priority.

Start by committing one hour every day to reaching out to prospects. Make 20 calls—but do it at a time that will deliver best results. For example, starting the morning by calling people will not be as effective as reaching out to them in the afternoon, when prospects are more available. If you randomly plan to tackle outbound communication at a time when you would normally be working with customers—like weekends—you also set yourself up for failure. Evaluate your schedule and see how you can best allocate time for your proactive lead-converting activities.

Now email is another story.  You can send out your emails first thing in the morning, before heading to the office, or at the end of the day. Set aside the time, keep focused, and follow through. By dedicating just 30 minutes a day to emailing, you stay connected and demonstrate your responsiveness to prospects—two important factors in converting the lead.

Side note: To prioritize lead-converting activities, you need to evaluate the time you spend in meetings. Ask yourself if a particular meeting will help you accomplish your goal. If not, de-prioritize it and commit that time elsewhere. Don’t allow those distractions to take you off track, because they’ll eat up your valuable prospecting time like a piranha.

I’ve worked with many successful sales professionals, and there is always a common thread. They commit at least 20 percent of their time to prospecting, contacting people, and proactive lead-converting activities. They’re diligent, focused and they have a process.

Do you?

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