For the last 14 weeks, save for Thanksgiving week, I have been a road warrior, visiting Efficio customers near and far and even farther. As I made many new friends, I found I was gathering quite a few BFFs. They needed me to help them get their staffs and systems up to speed RIGHT NOW. Meanwhile, my other BFFs are calling and emailing, saying “long time no talk, but I need your help RIGHT NOW.” The Efficio sales staff needed my help RIGHT NOW, our Efficio president needed to talk to me RIGHT NOW, a new sales manager needed training RIGHT NOW – are you seeing a pattern?
As I was doing my non-travel work in the two days left in the week, and as I was sitting on hotel room beds watching Jimmy Fallon’s monologue, I began to get better at prioritizing. I began to look at what was really immediate, and what was immediate just because someone else wanted it to be. While I tried to be fair, bigger customers and those that have worked with me to forge relationships got Kitty more quickly and more readily. But those to whom I had promised focused training got it first and foremost.
As I began to tell people that I would not have time to address their “immediate” need for a few days, I realized that the demand (and the stress that accompanied it) diminished. Some things that ONLY Kitty could take care of could, lo and behold!, be done by one of our other more capable Efficio team members. I found that next Friday was just fine! I found that some even apologized for bothering me!
I realized that the way I started to treat my time was much like a media sales traffic director treats inventory and how sales managers price their spots. As time runs out and there is more demand on that time, prioritizing begins. Contracted specific time such as sponsorships (like my in-market visits) get first focus. Other spots may be placed based on whether the client is a Key or long-term. Like it or not (and admit it or not), relationship come into play. Rates go up and some buyers are satisfied with other dayparts because they understand the limitations on the time.
As the holidays approach, I know we are all time starved, and this last couple of days will be frantic as we try to get things wrapped up (both figuratively and literally) before our business takes a bit of a break. Use your time wisely, making sure those things that need your attention get it. Make sure that applies to your home life, too, as we busy media people step back and give our focused attention to those that mean the most to us – our family and friends. This is the part of the year when you have time to do so.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays, to all my new and already-in-place Efficio BFFs!
By Kitty Malone, Efficio Solutions Manager of Client Services