By Jeff Beals
Hopefully, you have set your 2019 goals by now, but there’s still time if you haven’t. Either way, there’s an important part of goal setting that you might not have considered: What are you going to stop doing?
The beginning of a year is a good time to declutter your business and your life. The longer you’ve been working in sales, the more unnecessary stuff you accumulate in your brain, on your calendar and in your job description. Sometimes that stuff needs to be purged.
Salespeople are notorious for adding things to their plate without taking things off. Why? Salespeople tend to be ambitious and very confident in their abilities. They want multiple ways to prospect even if one prospecting method hasn’t paid off much in the past. They tend to be independent personalities, rugged individualists who think they can do it all. Sales professionals know they need to persevere in an eat-what-you-kill environment, so they don’t give up or accept defeat lightly.
Those are great traits, essential for long-term success in sales, but they are traits that can burn you out if you’re not careful.
Since there is great power in decluttering, here are a few things you might consider stopping:
Blowing off leads
Fifty percent of sales leads never receive proper follow-up. That is probably the greatest waste of resources in the sales world. If you let leads fall through the cracks because you’re focusing on less important things, by all means, stop doing it.
Stop wasting time on people who will never buy. For whatever reason, many sales reps latch onto prospects who look good on the surface, but deep down, you know they’ll never buy from you.
Networking for the sake of networking
Some sales people never miss an event. They are on umpteen boards and committees and are always running from one meeting to the next. Why do they over commit and run themselves ragged just trying to keep up with all of it? Prospecting! They are afraid, they’ll miss out on their next dream client if they are not at every event. While I’m a big proponent of prospecting through networking, you must be efficient. If a time-chewing obligation is not regularly producing convertible leads, don’t trick yourself into believing you have to be there.
Chasing Shiny Objects
Many sales practitioners are looking for silver bullets, anything that could save them from researching the right prospects and picking up the phone to call them. If you have been hoping that social media can generate all prospects you need, you’re probably coming up short. Stop it.
Lack of Focus
Stop wasting time on non-sales functions. Sales professionals are often drafted by upper management to serve on company-wide projects or task forces. This is especially true if you are a senior leader in the sales division. Sales people tend to have first-hand knowledge of customers and buying trends, so they are valuable contributors to these company-wide groups.
But be careful. I’ve seen sales professionals sucked into so much committee work having nothing to do with sales that they have hardly any time left to sell. The United Way, for instance, is a fine organization, but do we really want our sales reps on the United Way employee committee instead of working the phones and hitting the streets? Sales is the lifeblood of the company; we need all sales hands on deck.
Would you like to know the single most important thing to stop? Counter-productive thinking. No matter how successful you are, you probably cling to some negative ideas. Every sales rep is at least occasionally afflicted with self doubt. Whatever negative things you harbor in the deep recesses of your brain, now is the time to perform a Japanese decluttering miracle on them.
So, consider this permission to declutter your sales career and liberate yourself. What do you need to stop?
Jeff Beals shows you how to find better prospects, close more deals and capture greater market share. Jeff is an international award-winning author, sought-after keynote speaker, and accomplished sales consultant. He has spoken in 5 countries and 41 states. A frequent media guest, Jeff has been featured in Investor’s Business Daily, USA Today, Men’s Health, Chicago Tribune and The New York Times.”
Here’s Why Should You Choose Jeff Beals as Your Next Speaker:
“Jeff Beals has presented four different topics at five of our internal events this year. At each event, the audience of commercial real estate principals and agents was completely engaged and motivated the entire time. Jeff facilitates his training sessions in such a way that each member of the audience was able to relate and understand how to apply it every day in the field. Jeff is brilliant, and we have hired him to continue speaking at our events next year!” – Lindsay Fierro, Senior Vice President, NAI Global, New York, NY
“Jeff Beals is a consummate pro. With short notice, he put together an engaging, fun, sales-focused presentation full of specifics – just what our exec team needed. We’ll ask him back for annual company retreat again next year.” – John Baylor, President, On to College, Lincoln, NE
“In the three months since Jeff Beals became my sales coach, I have signed over 20 top-tier clients and have positioned myself among the top three sales producers in my company nationwide. Jeff has helped me create a beneficial success plan and ensures, through an accountability process, that I’m actively accomplishing my goals. Not only is Jeff an incredible coach, he’s a true friend, mentor and wonderful human being.” – Carter Green, Vice President of Sales & Marketing, Stratus Building Solutions, Oklahoma City, OK