Salespeople, does this look familiar . . . ?
You arrive at work. Grab a cup of coffee. Talk to a few people in the lunch room. On the way back to your office or cube you stop & talk to two more people to complain about the Detroit Lions. Finally sit down at your desk. Go through email. Reply to a few. Push paper from the right side of your desk to the left side of the desk (& call it work). (I’m getting ready…) Call your spouse to see if the kids made it to the bus. Look at the pile of prospecting & follow up calls you have to make & push it to the other side of the desk. Make another personal call. Oh, too much coffee… better go to the restroom. On the way back, stop by the same two people as before to ask how the Red Wings will do this season. Get back to your desk. Reply to a few more emails. Make sure your stapler is full. (I’m getting ready…) Adjust a few pictures on your desk. Look at that pile of prospecting & follow up calls & move it to the other side of the desk. Another personal call. Look at the clock … (think to yourself… only an hour & a half until lunch… nobody’s probably available… I’ll wait until after lunch to make calls). (I’m getting ready…) After a few inter-office conversations & a few more emails it’s lunch time! YES!
An entire morning wasted! Gone. But it felt like work. If you did it all day you’d make it to 5 or 5:30. You’d be tired on the drive home. Maybe even have a headache. But what would you have accomplished? Nothing. ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. Don’t get mad at me, it’s true. There is not one other person at your company in any other department that can get away with this behavior at work – not one. So what am I getting at? How about STOP getting ready to get ready!
In sales we have a responsibility that some of our colleagues can’t understand. We don’t punch a clock. Most of us are not micro-managed. We manage our own time (or not). We all need a motivation that comes from within. It’s called discipline. Discipline to manage ourselves. To do the work. To make the calls. Even the hard ones.
It’s not for everyone. It’s not easy. Some people need the structure. Others are very task oriented & require a process. It’s OK. But they aren’t in sales. Salespeople have to have the discipline to buckle down. They need to carry a fire in their belly & a passion in their heart to succeed. Salespeople have to be accountable to themselves. It’s a pretty tough thing to do.
Lots of salespeople love the “freedom”. They say they want to be in charge of their own schedule. They like that every day is different. That’s all great. But that still requires work. Hard work. Who else at your company wakes up every morning knowing that their job that day is to call strangers (who don’t want to talk to them) to talk about something they don’t want to buy? Nobody in your company does that but the salespeople. Nobody.
That very thing (calling strangers who don’t want to talk to you) is a tricky thing to do. The likelihood of being rejected is great. The number of voice mail messages we have to leave is daunting. The hours put in with nothing to show for it is ridiculous. So, if you got a kick out of paragraph #1 above let’s put it into context. All of that time spent getting ready to get ready is done because some salespeople don’t like to call strangers. Some can’t stand the rejection that comes with calling strangers. Some fear the word “NO” so much they would rather make personal calls, check email, grab a coffee & move paperwork from one side of their desk to the other (& call it work).
After all, “I have to do something productive today.”
But, none of that pays salespeople. We are measured by results. We either make it rain or we don’t. The way to get results is to put in the work. Fight through it. Fight the temptation to perpetually get ready. You can. The studs in your office do – you can too.
Now, get to it & STOP getting ready to get ready.