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The 4 Biggest Time Wasters in Sales and How to Avoid Them

Time wasters in sales

One of the biggest challenges as a business owner and a salesperson is that we only have 24 hours in the day. It can be difficult to accomplish all the tasks we need to everyday, not to mention having a personal life in between.

As a salesperson, however, there are certain things you can avoid doing in order to free up some time to do the things that really matter. Here’s the 4 biggest time wasters in sales and how to avoid them:


Too often salespeople spend valuable time writing up proposals before they have even qualified the prospect and got to the bottom of the problem they need solving. The chance of winning a piece of business before you have spent time getting to know your prospect, asking the right questions and understanding their needs is very slim.

Yes, your prospect may seem interested in what you have to offer but further down the line you’re likely to face objections if you don’t put the hard work in initially. So, before you even think about writing a proposal, spend the time eliciting the right information from your prospect and really strive to understand what their pain points are and work out whether you’ll be a good fit for them. If you do this and realise that your prospect isn’t ready to commit to your service just yet or they don’t have the budget or you simply cannot help them, you’ll have saved yourself a huge amount of time and effort writing a proposal that is doomed to fail.


The next of 4 biggest time wasters in sales is having meetings for the sake of having a meeting. We are fooled into thinking that meetings mean we are being productive but in fact, meetings can be a huge waste of time. Why spend a morning talking about prospecting when you could spend a morning actually prospecting?!

As salespeople, we also waste time having meetings with prospects that aren’t yet ready to convert. We spend time on the road, travelling to a prospect’s site, sit in a meeting and still don’t win the business. Why? Because again, we haven’t spent the time qualifying the prospect.

Avoid this by arranging a call as opposed to a meeting until the prospect is further down the line and then a face-to-face meeting may be necessary. Until then, however, spend your time more wisely, on prospects that are ready to become customers.

The 4 Biggest Time Wasters in Sales and How to Avoid Them


Often, salespeople are cautious of sending automated and generic emails to a prospect or using a script on a sales call because they want their communications to be personal. However, what you do and what you offer prospects doesn’t change, it remains consistent. If it doesn’t, you’ve got a problem! Therefore, save time by writing up a paragraph about what you do as a company and the problems you solve and use this in your initial emails or calls with your prospects. Think about altering it every few months as your business changes and grows. You can also add some personalised information for the particular prospect but don’t waste your time writing up a whole new script every time!


The last of 4 time wasters in sales is spending time chasing prospects you thought were interested in your product or service. Again, we haven’t qualified the prospect and we’ve wasted a lot of time chasing them only to hear that they are not interested after all. If your prospect is actually interested in you and your company, they’ll show signs that they are keen to move onto the next step in your sales process, whether that step is a demo, a trial or a meeting. If it’s a struggle to arrange this with them, you’ve got to start questioning how interested they are in becoming a customer.

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If this is the case, it’s your job is to really clear about what you want from them. If the next step is a trial, do your best to get this in place but don’t spend too long trying if they’re simply not interested. Ask the question- is this something you want to proceed with? A no is better than no response at all because it means you can move onto a prospect that is interested!

So, there’s the 4 biggest time wasters in sales and how you can avoid them. The best sales people know the value of their own time and they know their time is precious and shouldn’t be spent on chasing leads that are never going to come to fruition. So, learn from this advice and spend your time wisely because it truly is invaluable.


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James White
James White
James White is the UK's leading prospect conversion expert. He understands what it takes to convert leads into real business within the modern digital era and what it takes to achieve business success.
James White

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