Creating a career where you are in control of your time is the key to work-life balance.
Many salespeople feel like they have no control over their day because it’s dictated by their relationships with clients. But if you approach your work with a plan for how you’re going to spend your time, you become more efficient balancing your day in and out of the “office.”
By successfully hitting targets throughout the workday, you’re more likely to feel confident unplugging and letting customer concerns carry over to the next appropriate time to work.
If you have a customer that needs help outside of working hours ask yourself these questions:
- – Do they need an answer today?
- – Could you help them more effectively at another time?
Maybe the solution is asking if you can call them back later in the week. Or maybe they can solve their problem by being directed toward the right resources. In other words, create a process to help your customers that feels more manageable for you.
We believe work-life balance is achievable and it turns out, many sales experts do too. We asked a few for tips to help you and your sales team unplug:
Define clear boundaries
The work of a sales rep is very demanding, and it is even more taxing when you have to travel for work. Work-life balance as a sales rep is achieved by drawing defined boundaries between work time and personal time, constantly ensuring that the two do not overlap.
While on the road, unplugging from work may seem impossible. What to do is to set a daily target for yourself, and when you find you’re in a promising sales situation, try to achieve it. Once the milestone is complete, you get to kick back and relax.
As daunting as it seems, maintaining a work-life balance as a sales rep is very possible, as long as you manage time properly to build relationships with people outside of work. It can also help to have hobbies that you can engage in to relax now and then.
For anyone looking to go into the sales business, my advice is to find a mentor. Look for a successful salesperson that was able to find the balance between work and life to guide you through how to best manage your time.
- Miranda Yan, Co-Founder, VinPit
I block my schedule, plan in advance, and I don’t compromise. If you’re willing to compromise an appointment or activity then it’s not important.
I believe work-life balance is absolutely realistic with the demands of the sales job. First, ask yourself what you want out of your career and your personal life. It doesn’t have to be to become the top salesperson in your office, company, or field. Sales for me has provided the freedom and flexibility in my life to also pursue other interests.
Set expectations for your clients early on. Customer service is important but so is setting ground rules of when you are and aren’t available. Not everything is an emergency. Your clients have lives outside of work too.
Seek out seasoned professionals you respect and ask for their advice. Once you’re established, automate and outsource the tasks you can as much as possible. Wasting time on anything that does not have high pay-off will drain your mental energy.
Most importantly, work in an industry you love. Think about and write down why you chose a career in sales. It comes in handy when you feel overwhelmed.
- Dylan Ford, Realtor, www.buyhomeswithdylan.com
Make the most of every moment
To be successful in medical sales, you must have a passion for people. I want to support my customers and the patients they care for at any point they might need me. With that comes sacrifice to make sure I can make early morning or late cases in the day, and stay all day to educate and in-service all staff.
I balance work and home life by taking advantage of the days I have off and completely unplugging, and making sure I do not work on the weekends. I also make sure to set aside time to take PTO and give myself days to step away and recharge. Having a company that values its employees and encourages you to take the PTO offered is critical to maintaining a healthy work-life balance.
Some of the days away from home actually help me relax more than when I am home: no laundry, no cleaning, no pets to care for; just time for me to relax and do things I enjoy on my own time. I like to find new restaurants to try, a mall where I can shop at stores I might not have at home, a spa to get a quick evening massage or a park where I can walk in silence to collect my thoughts and wind down from the day.
I think it’s very realistic to have work-life balance with the demands of a sales job. To achieve this balance, it is critical to schedule and plan your weeks strategically, especially when having a large territory, and creating lists of tasks to achieve your weekly/monthly/quarterly goals. The other side to achieving balance is having a great support system. My significant other, family, and friends understand the demands of my job and always support this lifestyle so I can be successful.
- Andrea Joseph, Endotherapy Territory Manager, Olympus America Inc.
Know when enough is enough
Having a hard cut-off time is key. No matter what, when I get home after work, I’m unplugged. There’s (typically) nothing that I absolutely have to hear at 8 pm that can’t wait until the next business day. If I’m constantly trying to manage my job while I’m not even working, I begin to get burnt out and do my job worse.
No matter what job you have, work-life balance is realistic. If you’re working for a company that is asking too much of you, it can sometimes be best to start looking for another job. It’s important to remember that your job performance will suffer if you’re not making time for yourself outside of work.
There’s no company in the world worth sacrificing your long-term health and happiness for. Sure, sometimes entry-level positions are expected to work longer hours, but if you aren’t able to do that and maintain a work-life balance, that job might not be the best fit.
Cliff Auerswald, President, All Reverse Mortgage, Inc.