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Who knew that this would turn into a series?
Part 1 and Part 2 were very popular and centered around productivity and technology, but not selling competencies. This post presents Part 3, which although having a different perspective on selling more and getting more done, stays away from selling-specific competencies like the other two entries.
Focus - While most people are fairly distractable, I am not. I don't flip to my email every time an email arrives. I don't socialize in the office. I don't answer calls if I am in the middle of something else and I am a slave to the clock. If my calendar says I'm supposed to be working on something at a particular time, when that time arrives I am working on that project. You simply cannot distract me.
Discipline - I believe that discipline can compensate for some of the gaps salespeople have with their selling strengths and skills. They say that 50% of success is showing up. Discipline is the sales version of showing up. It's doing what you don't feel like doing, saying what you don't feel like saying and asking what you don't feel like asking - always and without exception.
Energy - I know the times of day when I have the most energy and make sure that I schedule the most demanding work for my high energy times of day. For me, that means nothing that requires a lot of attention, focus, emotion or energy in the middle of the afternoon.
Commitment - You can't be somewhat pregnant and you can't be somewhat committed. Either you're all in or you're out. Whatever it takes baby.
Selection - On the selling side of things, you must determine what kind of salesperson you want to be (and your sales manager might have something to say about this too). Option 1 - schedule calls/meetings with anyone who will talk with you and close what you can. Option 2 - be selective about who you schedule calls/meetings with and close most of them. Option 1 means working hard and option 2 means working smart. Option 1 means your pipeline will always be full. Option 2 means that your win rate will be high. Option 1 means working hard but there won't be much pressure because you will always have closable opportunities. Option 2 means working smart, but there will be tremendous pressure to close everything that is in your limited pipeline.
Pressure - Speaking of pressure, you should know how effective you are at handling pressure and lots of it. Ideally, you must be at your best under pressure but if you aren't, you must find a way to avoid putting yourself in pressure situations. That means you must always be ahead of where you need to be.
Outlook - This is about your attitude and how you feel about yourself. When your outlook is poor, it has a negative impact on bravery, tactics and work ethic. It can happen to anyone. For most salespeople, certain people, events or words can trigger a negative change in outlook that instantly shifts your focused, energized, committed and disciplined self to someone who suddenly isn't able to act that way. You must be able to identify those things or people that can trigger you. What triggers you? How can you prevent those triggers from occurring? How can you prevent those triggers from affecting you? At best, you are rarely triggered and recover quickly. At worst, this can cause a daily interruption and consistently take you off of your game. If there is one thing that you must absolutely learn to control, it is Outlook. This 2-minute video clip from Game of Thrones is a great example of what happens when outlook goes south.