Steps to take to Stay on Your Mission. Hey everyone, I hope you are well. In today’s post, I will be sharing five steps to take to stay on your mission. You believe you’re on the right track. You have defined a career mission, set up goals in line with your mission, and you’ve even set up a daily priority plan. Now effective time management should kick in and take care of itself, right?
Not so fast!
As you become more productive, you may find that you’ll be forced to make choices. Some of these choices, if made correctly, will lead you to even greater heights, or if made poorly, will lead you to a career disappointment.
Let’s use Ted as an example.
Ted is a composite character made up of thousands of salespeople from around the country. Let’s look at Ted’s career:
Ted has recently made some significant changes in his career.
These changes have expanded his prospecting skills and his presentation skills – so now, several things are happening to him that has never happened before:
- First, he’s got too many customers, so he feels pulled into many directions at once.
- Second, he can feel himself slipping on service with his customers. He’s not returning phone calls promptly, not following up, and dropping the ball.
- Third, he’s beginning to spend more time away from home, his children are starting to become distant, and his spouse is becoming resentful of the business!
Are these challenges you’ve faced?
Unfortunately, when faced with these dilemmas, many salespeople resort to something we have all done at some point in our careers. They take steps to sabotage their success.
Consider this quote from Dr Joyce Brothers – “We cannot consistently perform at a level inconsistent with our self-image.”
Is this true of you? Many salespeople view their newfound success with suspicion.
Because they have rarely experienced it and may have difficulty adjusting to a new self-image, so instead of embracing success, many salespeople will reverse course and begin to swim back to their old lives.
How do they do this?
Most salespeople don’t wake up one morning and say, “Well, today I’m going to start failing!” Instead, most salespeople begin making bad decisions. These poor decisions can lead to a bad case of self-sabotage and a career crash.
So you may ask yourself, how can I succeed in my business but also not feel overwhelmed?
How can I continue giving excellent service to my customers?
And most important, how can I stop working 80 hour weeks and still be productive?
Steps to take to Stay on Your Mission
Let’s look at these ways to Stay on your Mission:
When studying your daily to-do list (you have one right), you may find that you have way too many items on the list to accomplish possibly. So what can you do? Apply the simple but effective RDT method.
- Relegate – First, decide which of the items on the list must be done to accomplish your long term goals. These, of course, are your priorities. It would be best if you relegated yourself that these items must be done and, most importantly, done first.
- Delegate – Next, when reviewing your to-do list, ask yourself if anyone could be doing these items instead of me? Can you outsource it, hire it done, or could some else be doing this work? Wise salespeople attempt to delegate as much as possible.
- Terminate – What is on your to-do list that does not have to be done? Are there items that are nothing more than busywork? If you can’t terminate them, at least put them on the very bottom of the list.
Cut the Dead Wood
As your career begins to pick up steam, you may find that you cannot merely work with every customer. You may need to start choosing your customers. How? Qualify them harder. This may seem harsh at first. After all, you want to work with everyone, but you will not work with everyone in the end. This is one of the most challenging aspects of time management: Knowing which priority takes priority. All customers are right, but the fact is some are better than others. Here is a quick way to qualify your customers:
- Motivation Level – Do they want to buy?
- Timing – Are they ready to act now! Or are they stalling?
- Ability – Can they close the deal?
Deal with Paper Once
How many times do you move one piece of paper around on your desk? Come on, and it’s more than just once! We all know we should do something about the piece of paper, but we decide that for now, it will look good in a new corner until next week (or the week after). So we keep shuffling, and shuffling, and shuffling. Sometimes one piece of paper becomes two pieces of paper or more.
So what can we do about it?
Use the one-touch rule.
Only touch paper once before you do something with it. There are three uses for every piece of paper you have on your desk – Here they are:
- File It – Put it where it needs to go – Which is off your desk!
- Toss it – 90% of what comes across your desk is garbage!
- Deal With it – If it requires your attention, do something with it!
When it comes to item number three, let me give you a tip: Deal with paper once a day! Set aside just one time during the day to deal with paper, deal with it and move on!
How long does it take to make ten phone calls? Believe me, and it takes some time. You have to look up the phone number, dial it, wait for it to ring, and then you have to talk to someone on the other end. What’s makes it time-consuming is that if you beat around the bush awhile until you get to the topic, you called about.
So what is the solution?
Force yourself to focus on the reason for your call, and in a polite, diplomatic way, cut to the chase. Your contact at the other end will appreciate you not wasting their time as well.
Email is another simple solution.
How long does it take to email those same ten people? Not long, especially if your message is the same to each one.
Superstars learn to condition their customers because they will be communicating with them primarily by email, with a few sporadic calls mixed in. The truth is most of them will be relieved. Why? Because they don’t have the time to talk to you either!
Can you remember what you did five days ago?
Hey, I can’t remember what I did five hours ago! But when you are trying to improve your time management skills, you must have the ability to measure your actions against your results. Within the investment world, we call this the ROI or return on investment.
What is your return on investment for your time?
The only way to measure your business’s key aspect is to take periodic stock of your business.
Do this with a time log.
A time log is a simple notebook in which you record all of your business activities for a week and then compare your success with your actions.
If you find that your actions did not equal success, it may be time to reevaluate your time investments.
I hope you enjoyed that.