Establishing a Disciplined Start to Your Day
Before any game, professional athletes watch videos of their opponents, discuss strategy with their coaches, perform warm-up exercises, and then play the game. As salespeople, we should do the same– the importance of a routine to start your day is critical to establish the foundation of a successful and productive day.
Sales is like a game of golf. If you don’t warm up and take enough practice swings, you’ll start your game cold and will most likely have a poor-scoring game.
So, what do you need to do to have a successful day in sales?
1. Plan ahead. Never plan your day the day-of. Plan the night before and calendar time to actually plan. Know ahead of time who you plan to cold call and when, what deals need to be worked on, what leads do you need to follow up with, and whatever else you plan to accomplish. If you write it down and plan on it the day before, you are more likely to follow-through.
2. Clear your inbox and return calls before you get to the office. The first thing you should do when you wake up in the morning is check all your emails that may have compiled from the night before and return any phone calls ahead of getting to your office.
3. Get it in the calendar. The night before, schedule activities in your calendar. It seems like a no-brainer but rarely do I see salespeople do this. You need to calendar time for new business, time for current business, time to deal with any office issues, and time to deal with any personal issues. If you don’t calendar it in and stick to it like an appointment, you will find your day to be fractured. More than likely, you will see cold calling and new business development suffer the most. It’s always last on the list.
4. Prioritize. It’s very important to prioritize your tasks that need to be accomplished during the day. For instance, during the calendared time for new business development, prioritize your calls making sure you call your best prospects first and work your way down the list before calling your “long shot” leads. Do the same thing when working on existing business. Prioritizing is critical to ensure that the most important tasks get done.
5. Remove the tasks that never get done. At the end of the day, if there are any tasks that remain on the list that you didn’t have time to get done, reprioritize those tasks for the next day. If you consistently are not able to get those tasks done, just remove them from your list. Clearly, you keep passing it up so it’s not that important to you.
Establishing a disciplined approach to your day will keep you focused and make you more productive.
—Hans Hansson, Starboard Commercial/TCN Worldwide