Customers have less time to spend with sales reps today. That’s a problem. Sales reps need to find a way to remain visible.

First, remember to respect your customers' time constraints. If you try to overstay your welcome, you'll only succeed in making him/her more irritated with you. Do unto him as you would have him do unto you, if you were in his place. Protect the relationship.

Then, focus on making the time that you do have with him more productive for both of you. Think of the issue being quality time, not quantity time. As a sales rep, focus on the quality of the time you have with your customer.

If you're not going to have as much time in front of the customer as you'd like, then you must concentrate on making the time that you do have as valuable and productive as possible. That requires you to spend more time planning and preparing for each sales call.

Gone are the days when you could just "stop in." Rather, make sure that you have at least three things prepared for every sales call:

• a specific objective — what do you want to accomplish in this call?

• an outline of how you're going to accomplish that objective, and

• all the necessary tools you'll need to do it.

That way, the actual time that you spend with your customers will be more productive. Your customer will appreciate your organization and your respect of his time, too.

Dave Kahle is one of the world's leading sales authorities. He's written twelve books, presented in 47 states and eleven countries, and has helped enrich tens of thousands of sales people and transform hundreds of sales organizations. Sign up for his free weekly Ezine, His book, How to Sell Anything to Anyone Anytime, has been recognized by three international entities as "one of the five best English language business books.” Check out his latest book, The Heart of a Christian Sales Person.”