Many years ago, before I was in sales and business for myself, I used to be a bit of a clock-watcher. Now that I’m in in business and success depends on the success of my sales efforts (or my sales team’s efforts), it’s different.
If you are not a business owner, or if you are in the non-selling world, you win when the big hand is on the twelve and the little hand is on the five and you’re still breathing.
You’re free to go. “Work” is over and you get to go home. Put five days like that back to back and you still get paid.
When you become a business owner, you become a reverse clock-watcher. You race to get everything done before the clock strikes five and still you don’t finish. It’s not always your fault either. Sometimes you just can’t reach the people you need to talk to or have to put out unexpected fires.
There’s a reason that most people don’t make it in sales. It’s not because the money isn’t there, nor the job being physically difficult. It almost certainly has nothing to do with the market. It has mostly to do with how committed you are as a professional and how you choose to spend your time.
If you’re happy with your performance, then you have my permission to stop reading. If, on the other hand, you are worried or uncertain how the rest of the year will pan out then the recipe for your success is below.
I strongly suggest that you:
1. Plan the rest of the year’s prospecting activities in detail and commit your plan to writing.
2. Share your plan with someone who knows more about sales and salespeople than you do.
3. Adjust your plan based on their advice.
4. Establish a way to track your selling activities.
5. Find a way to be held accountable by someone who won’t accept excuses from you.
6. Commit to upgrading your selling skills.
7. Personally invest in your professional and personal growth (that means don’t wait for your company to do it for you).
I’m reminded of a story I’ve been told is true. I’m not sure if it is, but it’s still a good story. Apparently an entrepreneur once approached the US Industrialist Charles Schwab and offered to provide him with the written secret to success for US$25,000 (it was a lot of money at the time).
Mr Schwab, being a very savvy businessperson, agreed on the condition that he could read the contents first and then, if he thought it was worth it, pay the $25,000.
Inside the envelope was a piece of paper headed, “The Keys To Success”. Under the heading were two points. Point one read, “Every day make a list of things you need to do”. Point two read, “Do them”.
Apparently, Mr Schwab handed over the $25,000!
It’s not too late to make 2015 your best year ever.
Phil Lee is a professional speaker, trainer and sales performance coach.