As the new year rolls in, we embark on goal setting with good intentions and enthusiasm. We might attend a goal setting workshop. We create a vision board. All good tactics and strategies EXCEPT they won’t work unless you do one thing:
Make a decision.
Get rid of wishy-washy words and phrases such as “I am going to try” or “I should” or ”I think.” Stop with the trying, the should-ing and the thinking. Make a decision!
Let me suggest a few areas where decision making will help you achieve goals.
Here are a few to consider.
#1. Make a decision with whom you are going to spend time with in the upcoming year. Your mom was right. Tell me who your friends are and I will tell you what you are like. Are you spending time with people that are yea-sayers or naysayers? The yea-sayers of the world are optimistic and look for ways to succeed. And as you already guessed, the naysayers are the professional blamers and excuse makers. They blame their lack of success on everyone and everything but themselves.
In the EQ world, this is referred to as emotional contagion. Research shows that people “catch” the emotions of others, both positive and negative. If you want to enjoy more fun and success in life, spend your time with can-do people rather than can’t-do and won’t-do ones.
#2. Make a decision to get out of denial. One of the easiest—and hardest ways to accomplish this is to seek out and embrace feedback. Ask yourself, a manager or trusted peer to assess your soft skills (EQ skills) and hard skills, sales and sales management skills. This ask requires the emotional intelligence skills of reality testing and self-regard.
It takes confidence and courage to examine your strengths and weaknesses.
Moving out of the land of denial means you have to look at things for what they are rather than what you’d like them to be. We’d all like to be sales and sales management rock stars. But rock-star status in any profession takes time, patience, perseverance and work.
Ask for feedback around your blind spots. Don’t respond with “Yeah, but statements.” Take time to reflect, absorb and apply the well-intended advice. Remind yourself that when people really care, they will share.
#3. Make a decision to get your out-of-control calendar in control. I’ve shared this advice with more than one sales manager. Poor time management is one of the hidden reasons a lot of salespeople don’t achieve sales activity metrics and sales results.
Lack of priority management is becoming worse. The pandemic created the bad habit of scheduling “back-to-back meetings.” Salespeople and sales managers are over committed and over scheduled.
It’s important to remember that you can be committed without being over committed.
Over commitment leads to superficial conversations not deep, authentic conversations. Sales managers conduct coaching sessions that are not productive because they didn’t invest enough time in preparing for the conversation. Their over scheduled calendar creates an underwhelming coaching session.
The same thing happens in sales. Over commitment produces shallow work, not value work. Your sales team is running appointments, however, not demonstrating value to the prospect. Value creation takes time, thinking and study. Over committed people don’t take the time to think and study in order to add new insights to a sales conversation.
Over commitment creates environments where people burn out and drop out. Your sales team is showing up physically but not mentally.
Stop the madness. Make a decision to schedule meetings that include “drive time” between meetings. Your brain is like any muscle in your body. It needs a break to decompress and get refreshed. A refreshed brain makes for better leadership and selling.
Examine your circle of colleagues and friends, move out of denial and refocus on priority management. Set yourself up for a fun and prosperous sales year.