by Joe Bonura, CSP
FEELING GOOD VS. DOING GOOD
You will succeed in sales in direct proportion to your ability
to overcome procrastination. Procrastination has caused more losers
than any other sales 'sin.' Procrastination focuses on temporary
feel-good, and ignores long-term success.
Procrastination puts off what we know we should be doing for what
we enjoy doing. The key factor of successful salespeople is that
they do the things that the unsuccessful people avoid doing. Although
we all have an equal shot at grabbing the same brass ring, the successful
salesperson makes the effort to reach for the ring.
THE BUMPY ROAD TO SUCCESS
If procrastination is such a downer, why do so many people procrastinate?
Consider and avoid the obstacles on the road to sales excellence.
FEAR OF FAILURE
If you make the sales call, you might be rejected. So you stay
in your comfort zone, and you do not make the call. Actually, you
fail more if you do not make the call because the result is cumulative.
One call adds up to two calls, and two calls add up to three calls,
until you are not making any calls. In order to feel productive,
you spend the time cleaning off your desk or playing prospect card
solitaire. Remind yourself that avoiding your sales calls is the
biggest detriment to your success.
LACK OF KNOWLEDGE
If you are not a pilot, and I took you to the airport and put you
in the cockpit of a small airplane, gave you a short explanation
of how the plane works, would you take off and fly the plane? You
would not attempt it, if you have your sanity. If you spent about
forty hours in training, you would know the basics in flying to
take off and land solo. We sometimes procrastinate because we lack
the knowledge of how to do the task. Become a lifelong student of
selling, and you will become an expert in your chosen field.
LACK OF MOTIVATION
As Stephen Covey writes in his book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective
People, begin with the end in mind. The end is the goal or the positive
result of doing whatever it is you have been putting off. People
buy for only two reasons: pain or gain. You will only buy in to
the task if you visualize the pain or gain you will experience for
completing the task that you have been putting off. Determine how
you will spend the additional money, if you go the extra mile. Visualize
the new car you want to drive or the vacation you want to take,
and then start selling toward those objectives.
Let us face it: sometimes you are just too lazy to start and finish
a task. We all have those days, and when those days become weeks
and months, we are on the path to self-deception and self-destruction.
You need to mentally kick yourself in the pants, get off the couch,
and move forward. The couch does not have wheels, and when you are
sitting on the couch, you are going nowhere.
YOU SHALL OVERCOME
There are some proven ways that you can overcome procrastination
and become all that you can be.
CHUNK IT DOWN
When faced with a large task, chunk it down into smaller tasks.
Don't try to eat the whole Thanksgiving turkey in one sitting. A
friend of mine wanted to write a book, and every time I visited
with her, she told me that she was going to write the book one day.
She said the task overwhelmed her, and she could never seem to get
started. I told her that the average book is two hundred fifty pages,
and if she wrote just one page a day for two hundred fifty days,
she would have a book. She took my advice, and in less than six
months, she was ready to go to press with her book.
Start building your client list, one prospect at a time. In no
time, you will have a long list of customers to prospect.
MOOD FOLLOWS ACTION
Mood follows action; action rarely follows mood. If you wait until
you are in the mood to do something that you have been putting off
- good luck! I heard an expression once that I totally agree with,
'Beginning is half done.' I hate to weed the garden. One morning
I went out to get the newspaper, and on the way back to the house,
I noticed a weed that needed to be pulled. I pulled the weed, and
then noticed another weed that needed my attention. Before I knew
it, I pulled up weed, after weed, after weed. My wife came out to
see what had happened to the morning paper only to find that I had
weeded the entire garden.
Pick up the phone, and start dialing. To warm up, make your first
call to an existing customer, and then keep dialing.
PLAN TOMORROW TODAY
Each night before you go home from work, spend fifteen minutes
making a list of the five most important things to do tomorrow,
and first thing in the morning, begin doing the first thing on your
list. Morning can be the most productive time of the day, so don't
waste it trying to determine what you are going to do for the day.
I visited the office of one of my students at about 4:45pm, and
she said, 'Look what I'm doing; I'm putting together my to-do list
for tomorrow. It has made all the difference in my success since
I heard you speak five years ago.' It was nice to know that she
took my advice and made her list each day. It was even nicer to
know that it helped her move to the next level in her career.
Have your call list ready to go the night before. Begin making
your calls as soon as you arrive at your desk.
DO IT---DON'T DELAY IT
One of my favorite methods for getting things done comes from W.
Clement Stone and Napoleon Hill. It was suggested in their book,
Success Through a Positive Mental Attitude:
When faced with something that needs to be done, say to yourself,
'Do It Now,' and then take action immediately.
Forget yesterday, and begin NOW to overcome the habit of procrastination.
Follow the principles above.
Don't procrastinate - Do it Now!
© 2005 Joe Bonura & Associates, Inc.