“Predictability and consistency are the unsexy keys to overall improvement.”
Jason VanCamp and the Mission Six Zero Team
Fellow sales professionals and entrepreneurs, I wish there were a magic pill. I wish there were some programs you could enroll in, some conferences you could attend, some hot new tactics you could adopt…
As Jason VanCamp says above, it’s the boring things that get you where you want to go.
High performing sales professionals are predictable and consistent in these five areas:
Fanatical Prospecting author, Jeb Blount puts it very plainly: “The number one reason for empty pipelines is failure to prospect.” There are simply no excuses here. Block the time. Make it a priority each day. Hit your number without cheating. Do it.
2. Client Engagement
Hang out with me for a few minutes and you’ll discover I’m passionate about the low-hanging fruit of cross-sell revenue. You need to engage with your top 20% of clients on a consistent basis. Make a commitment to reach out to them regularly. Commit to quarterly meetings with your top clients to learn about their business goals and challenges. In the process, you’ll sell more to them and develop a consistent stream of referrals. (Larry Levine our team of coaches at Selling From the Heart are having fun coaching reps on this in the Client Management course in Trust-Building INTENSIVE.) Do it.
3. Pipeline Management
For my B2B friends, we know that there are multiple decision-makers and influencers in a buying process. Nurturing deals through the pipeline requires understanding the outcomes each of these decision-makers wants. Block time to engage with people in your pipeline. Engagement does not mean annoying calls and emails saying, “Have you made up your mind yet.” Instead, engage with meaningful value, demonstrating that working with you will be a total win for them. Put this on your calendar. Do it.
4. Personal Development
You must invest in your personal development. If your company provides training, that’s awesome! Dive in. However, if you happen to work for a backward, short-sighted company that does not invest in developing its salespeople (and you don’t want to change jobs) you need to invest in yourself. Even if your company invests in you, consider that the bare minimum. Create your own learning plan. Enroll in courses. Hire a coach. Put this on your calendar. Do it!
“I’m too busy to exercise.” Actually, you’re too busy not to exercise. Energy is the currency of success. You get energy by building capacity. You do this by exercising. I’m not talking about some fad diet to lose weight. I’m talking about a boring, relentless commitment to schedule exercise and make it happen. (My trick for exercise is to double up using that time for personal development, listening to courses, books, and podcasts.) Put it on your calendar. Do it!
How To Create Consistency
1. Use Your Calendar
I once heard someone say that next to the Bible your calendar is the most sacred book in your life. This is where you allocate your most precious asset: time. Block time for each of these critical activities. Plan your day each morning. Plan your week during the weekend, reflecting on what went well the previous week and making corrections for the following week. (I’m excited about the next edition of the Authentic Sales Planner System I’m developing!)
2. Get an Assistant
“But Darrell, I don’t have time for all of this.” If that’s actually true, it may be time to get an assistant. We call top salespeople “account executives.” What do executives have? An assistant. The executive assistant schedules meetings prepares documents, manages the database, and takes care of details so the executive can focus on their core competency. If you are in the six figures as a sales professional and stuck, what if an investment in an assistant could get you to the next level? Are you serious about your success? Do you want to be paid like an executive? Maybe you need an assistant.
3. Do Your 20 Mile March Every Day
Jim Collins, author of Great by Choice: Uncertainty, Chaos, and Luck–Why Some Thrive Despite Them All, shares the story of two teams heading to the South Pole in 1911. The members of one team died. The other team, led by Robert Amundsen, made it out.
What was the difference? The team that died decided how far they would go every day based on the weather. If conditions were good, they hiked a long way. If conditions turned bad, they hunkered down. Amundsen’s team committed to march 20 miles every day regardless of sunshine or blizzard. Some days were harder than others. That’s just how it is.
The 20-mile march team won the prize. They made history, arriving at the South Pole and making out safely.
What’s Your 20 Mile March?
Right now I’m training to trek to Mount Everest Base Camp in late April. I’ve never done anything like this before. However, something in my heart said, “You are going to do this.”
Training for this mission basically involves long hikes up and down hills and boring sessions on a stair climber.
On Monday of this week, I kicked it up a notch by joining The Deliberate Discomfort Challenge with Jason VanCamp’s team at Mission Six Zero. Each day I’ve committed to do a 20-mile march, working on six key areas of my life.
The hardest area for me is the workouts: one hour of cardio and one hour of gym work each day. Monday went well. Yesterday, I started developing cold symptoms including headache and fatigue. However, remembering the 20-mile march, I pressed in. Yesterday evening’s workout was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done in my life.
But It Sucks
Yes, it does. It’s hard. It’s even painful at times. You will want to quit.
In his book, Surf the Woods, entrepreneur and trailblazer, Holt Condren states it plainly: “It is very important that you normalize the inevitability of pain.”
Pain is part of the process. The reward is not only the life you want but also the character required to sustain it.
Predictability and consistency are the keys to success. Will you be willing to be boring in some key areas so you can become exceptional in your impact?
Originally published on Darrell Amy’s LinkedIn.