This article comes from Entrepreneur.
Before you start booking appointments, take the time to evaluate which appointments take priority over others. When you understand the priority concept, you can prioritize your appointments to have the most impact.
Only book an appointment if it will help you reach your goals.
Let’s say you are looking for new prospects or investors. Your appointments could be building relationships, sharing your vision, or metrics like revenue, selling a specific product, or the number of sales calls you make in a day.
The first step in prioritizing appointments is to make sure that they align with your goals. Delay, delegat or delete any appointment that doesn’t help you reach a specific goal.
Booking back-to-back appointments may sound great in theory but it isn’t the smart approach because we need time to prepare before an appointment. For instance, if you’re a CPA or tax adviser, you need to review your client’s information prior to the appointment so the meeting will be more productive and less time-consuming for both you and your client.
After an appointment, you need time to catch you breath, grab a snack, follow-up with the client and attend to administrative tasks like returning emails.
By prioritizing your appointments you’ll have a better understanding of what exactly needs to be done before, during and after the appointment. This makes appointments more efficient and gives you a good idea how long the appointment will take. Now you can appropriately schedule your entire day so that everything that needs to get done does.
Prioritizing your appointments will save you time. Instead of devoting much of your day to appointments that aren’t productive, you can focus solely on the appointments that help you achieve a goal.
This can also save you money. For example, if you’re not prioritizing tasks then you may schedule too many employees during non-peak hours. As a result, you’re paying your team to basically stand around. Even worse, you may be understaffed during peak hours.
And, most importantly, prioritizing your appointments keeps you sane. As opposed to constantly “winging it” and rushing from appointment to appointment, you can remain calm, cool, and collected. You’ll also have time to decompress and catch your breath.
When you don’t prioritize your appointments there’s a greater chance that conflicts will arise.
For instance, because you’re accepting every request, you may end-up double-booking events. You may also run late to your next appointment, which means you’re prospect or client is wasting their time waiting for you.
If you’re working with others, these conflicts could be be being over-or-understaffed. Again, this can be costly and keep your customers waiting.
When you prioritize appointments you’re only focusing on the most important appointments. This reduces conflicts because instead of booking too many appointments, you’re only setting the amount of appointments that you can handle in a day.
No matter how prepared you are, you can always be certain that the unexpected will happen.
You or your client may be forced to cancel or reschedule because of a family emergency, inclement weather, or putting out a fire at work.
While you can’t plan for every scenario, you can develop a couple of contingency plans. For instance, if you have a meeting booked with a high-profile client or investor, you could have your co-partner on stand-by just in case you can’t make the meeting. This way the meeting goes on, instead of having to reschedule several months from now.
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