Sales & Sales Management Expertise

What We Get a Chance to Do

Tags: time management, performance management, have to versus get to, to do list

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My wife and I just came back from Minong, Wisconsin where we visited with our friends, Barb and Gerald O’Dell.  Gerald, Barb and I go back a long way, over 30 years. We all met and worked together at Iowa State University.  We parted ways for awhile until Gerald became the athletic director at the University of Cincinnati.  Later, Gerald, a man of great integrity, decided it was time to leave UC and leave athletics for good. That was over 20 years ago.

After a day of catching up and retelling old stories (Linda, of course, heard many of the stories for the first time), we settled into a routine talking about our current lives.  In one of those conversations Gerald shared with me a practice management approach to his “to do” list.  Gerald told me that, a while ago, he consciously changed his thinking from, “Things I have to do” to “Things I get to do”.

Wow.

If you think about it, there is a huge difference between what I have to do and what I get to do.

  • I have to pay taxes.
    I get to go on vacation.
  • I have to take out the trash.
    I get to eat great meals and live in a cool home.
  • I have to go to work.
    I get to help people fulfill their potential.

The other night, I set the alarm on my iPhone.  If you’ve done this, you know that you have a chance to set the time, a chance to select a sound (the song I wake up to is “Isle of Hope, Isle of Tears” sung by the Irish Tenors – a must hear) and, if you can, an opportunity to title the alarm.  Until then, I had simply titled that alarm, “Wake up.”  It now reads, “What I get to do tomorrow.”

What’s interesting to me, though it might be boring as heck to you, is that when I see the title in the evening, it sets the tone for my night’s rest as well as the entire next day.  Instead of thinking and stressing over what I have to do, I have a smile on my face thinking about the things I get to do.

  • I get to talk to people and find out about their business.
  • I get to work with people in my company that are dedicated to our mission.
  • I get to coach sales managers and observe them improve as their skills change and confidence grows.
  • I get to talk to executives about business solutions for finding sales talent and growing sales.
  • I get to convert really cool ideas into client-focused solutions.

I’m not generally one to put forth challenges in these articles, but today I’m making an exception.  I challenge you to think differently about what you do and what your role is.  I challenge you to take some time to write down the things you have been thinking of as “have” to do.  Then, take the time to translate the “I have to” list to an “I get to” list.

But, don’t just do this as an exercise.  Invest in the process and let yourself get excited about all the things you get to do both professionally and personally.

Change Your Habits, Change Your Outcomes

Tags: time management, sales goals, sales habits

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A guest post by Jack Kasel, Sales Development Expert, Anthony Cole Training Group

The Greek philosopher Aristotle said, “We are what we repeatedly do.  Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” I don’t remember reading any accounts of Aristotle conducting sales training, but I believe he would have been pretty good at it.

I have a statement and a question that tie into Aristotle’s quote on habits:

  • The systems you have in place are perfectly designed to produce the results you are getting.
  • Do you own, and do you like, the outcome you produced?

Habits + Systems = Outcomes.  I think I can get agreement that, if both habits and systems are excellent and well thought-out, the outcome will be what it needs to be.  The problem is this: if either habits or systems are bad, the outcome will never be what it could be.  Here’s the good news though – you are in control of both the habits you create and the systems you follow.

Let’s take a look at habits.  There are many you can create.  One of the best habits you can develop is setting aside an appointment, each week, to meet with your most important customer.  That most important customer is you and the habit you must form is to never… under any circumstances… break that appointment.  During that appointment with yourself, plan and set goals for your week, read things to improve your skills and craft or just spend time organizing yourself.  You will be shocked how much better you can be by investing 30 minutes each week.

What systems do you have in place that will help you succeed? What are key factor you need to achieve to succeed in sales?  Are they introductions?  Cold Calls?  Appointments? Presentations, etc.?  What’s your conversion ratio?  How many calls turn into appointments?  How many appointments turn into presentations?  Have a system, measure the activity, find the gaps, do the things necessary to fix them.

Finally, let’s look at outcomes.  Do you own the outcome you’ve created?  Another way to look at it is, when something doesn’t happen the way you wanted or needed it to, do you look out the window for the reason or do you look in the mirror for the reason?

So, there you go.  A simple formula . . . Habits (good or bad) + Systems (good or bad) = Outcome. If you own the outcome and don’t like it, fix the things on the left side of the equal sign.  Finally, always remember this: Someone needs what you do; go find them.

SUMMARY:
So, change your habits and you will change your outcomes. Remember: schedule a 30-minute weekly appointment with yourself to…

  • Spend time organizing yourself
  • Plan and set goals for the week
  • Read to improve your skills
  • Develop a system and measure the activity
  • Find the gaps and decide how to fix them