I met with a friend this week, who told me about a saying one company uses to keep people focused on success: “Default to action.”
Do you ever find yourself paralyzed with indecision? Sometimes we get so busy that we don’t know what to do first. “Default to action” tells us to at least do something. Getting started with something right now is better than fretting about what to do first (because that just leads to procrastination and no progress).
Do you ever find yourself in a down market and therefore demotivated? Default to action! When all else fails, and you’re feeling frustrated or even defeated, the best remedy is action – lots of activity.
If you’re dealing with negative emotions, taking action releases endorphins, making you feel healthier and more energized. Plus, every action you take now moves you closer to some future success. Closing sales is the result of many actions. You can make progress by simply taking the next step.
Some industries are thriving right now, but others are slowing down. Too many sales pros use down markets as an excuse not to prospect as intensely as normal. They convince themselves that prospecting is pointless when people aren’t answering the phone and are hesitant to make commitments.
That’s a destructive belief, a harmful mentality. When market conditions decline, default to action. Tough markets are the time when you double down and do even more prospecting.
In the aftermath of the Great Recession in 2008-09, I worked with several sales pros who actually did better than they did a couple years prior. Why? They worked harder and prospected with more intensity and discipline. They perceived a (very real) threat to their livelihoods, so they upped their efforts accordingly.
Action leads to results. Of course, you want to make sure you use good sales technique, but assuming that’s the case, just do something. Break the barrier. Take the first step.
Not every single call you make leads to a deal, but every batch of calls you make almost always leads to a deal. Making even one call is better than sitting around thinking about calls you could be making.
When it comes to prospecting, I’m a big believer in time blocking, in which you place dedicated chunks of time on your calendar that are non-negotiablly reserved for prospecting. Maybe one action you could take right now is to put a prospecting time block on your calendar today.
But let’s say you’re a seller-doer. In other words, you do some sales, but you also deliver the product or service to clients. People in these roles often find themselves doing a lot more product delivery and client service than prospecting. That’s because the client-serving activities feel more urgent and frankly tend to be easier to do than calling strangers and interrupting them.
If you’re a seller-doer, time blocking becomes even more important. At the very least, establish a policy for yourself – If you haven’t made a certain number of prospecting calls by 4 or 4:30 in the afternoon, don’t go home until you do. It’s a different twist on the “Make-just-one-more-call” philosophy.
Whether you’re sitting around the office break room feeling lazy, putting off making a call to a high-ranking prospect who might intimidate you or even feeling depressed because you lost a big deal, the best remedy is to do something positive now. Take the first step. Move forward.
When all else fails, your default reaction should be to take action.