"An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes that can be made in a very narrow field."

~ Physicist Niels Bohr, quoted in the Harvard Business Review ~

THE CHALLENGE OF IMPROVING RESULTS (and Simon Kenna's theory on time where salespeople are concerned)



The challenge you have when you decide to improve your results is NOT that there isn't information available to you that would help your progress—and quickly. There is more than enough information, and every resource you need to know about for sales, already well known and published many times over. If a lack of information was your obstacle, it would easily be overcome. The Internet has every sales tip known to man on it. Every single tip is within your grasp already. How to use those tips is where coaching comes in and having a good coach is important. It's important for education, for style, for content, for serious financial benefit and for the good growth of each company. Selling without a coach on board is like sailing without much of a rudder. That's where I like to think working with Simon Kenna comes in. The results you want are not out of reach because you say you don’t have time to achieve them. All you have is time. Nothing has changed in centuries. Everyone has the same amount of time, it's the one thing we share. It does not matter how wealthy or poor you are we all share the same time. Big people, small people, male or female, young or old ...we all have the same time.

Time is all anyone has, not just you. That's a very simple concept. Not having time is an attitude you may have to what needs to be done to achieve your goals. Not having time is the oldest and weakest excuse in sales. You make time and you use time effectively and it's a constant challenge. Prioritising your time, making time, having time, call it what you will.

What you do with your time is a decision that only you make. It doesn’t matter where you are now or where you want to go. You have the time to accomplish much, much more than you believe possible. Did Shakespeare have time ? Did Michelangelo have time ? All of us have time. In sales what is not acceptable is knowingly not making time to prospect, to cold call and to really get to grips with new business and new clients. Way too much focus is placed on doing 'stuff' and focusing on existing clients ... all too easy. Researching leads should be a criminal offence when it takes all day and doing this instead of mainly making calls in that time. Researching people to call is homework. When you are at work you need to be making money. That means making calls. Do a stack of homework, don't overdo it but cut out one hour an evening or early morning instead of some other activity. That behaviour separates out the winners from the pack.

The distance between where you are now and the results that you want are also not likely the result of your inability to do what is necessary. It is almost a certainty that you can do what you would need to do to have what you want, if only you had the time ! What prevents you from having what you want ? What's the real answer ? Is it really time or is it this :

The comfort zone :

The answer is an unwillingness to do what is necessary to have what you want out of your sales funnel. That unwillingness often comes from the strong desire to seek comfort over discomfort. Even if you have the information, the time, and the ability, the pull of what is comfortable drags you right back to doing what you’ve always done. It’s familiar, it’s easy, and it requires little effort—and all without the discomfort that goes hand in hand with growth. Stop right here and re-read this three times. It is the truest thing you will read about salespeople. It is also the truest observation I know of people in general where lack of achievement is concerned.

What should make you uncomfortable is being comfortable. The real danger isn’t in failing, losing, or taking more time than you expected to produce the result you want. The real danger is slipping back into what is familiar, and in doing so, producing a result that is far less than you are capable of and living with the regret of not becoming the person who comes after the one that is reading this article. I defy anyone who knows sales and salesmen to tell me there is any single word in this synopsis that is not 100% correct. I meet a lot of comfortable people, I really do. Successful sales people are edgy , always looking for the advantage but maintaining an excellent status quo with clients, prospects, and those they work with.

My pet theory on time. : The most common excuse for everyone in the 21st Century is not having enough time. But time is here and it is here now. We all have plenty of time but how we use it is the issue. Claiming not to have time is something all your clients will be telling you, you will be telling your boss, your boss will be telling me and I will be telling my dog, Dennis, when he wants a good long walk. Time and lack of it is simply turned into an excuse. Please see it as that when people say this to you. It means you are not important enough, that is all it means in the 21st Century. So you have to make a strong enough case for people to give you some of their precious time. There are a host of reasons there is no time in an office. It's too dull and meaningless to list them. What you need to do though is prioritise phone time. Get off the computer inbox for 90 minute bursts of undistracted phone time and watch your results grow. For a telephone conversation you do not need three screens open in front of you. To focus properly on the call you need none. You need to focus. Be prepared with several calls to make. Making calls is about rhythm. You build a rhythm by allocating solid blocks of time.

I have said it before but lack of time and saying you don't have time for certain aspects of work is a reworking of the school story when homework was not done. "The dog ate my homework" was a common excuse. That is what we must all conquer now with the process of getting ourselves out of our comfort zones to do what we must do to get new business from new clients and not rely on new business from existing clients. Everyone has the Hunter gene in them. Not having time to hunt means you go hungry in most situations.

Bottom line is not to use time as your excuse and not to let others off the hook with their " no time issues" I am a serious believer in the very old saying " If you want something done then ask a busy person ". Stay with the genuinely busy people over the daydreamers because they will get things done. Put my thoughts into action over just 4 weeks and you guarantee yourself more business. Just reading this blog and agreeing with me means simply nothing happens. Use your time wisely and be your own time keeper.

A rhythmical series of calls over 90 minutes is a great use of time in your prospecting. Simply no distractions, call after call and you slow down when you gain interest. Clients of mine will know my process for making these prospecting calls and recording results in a way that allows you to keep the sustained rhythm throughout a calling session. As clients know, there really is a process for doing this and making best use of your TIME.

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