2013 is here and I have heard New Year’s resolutions from so many, I just don’t know who can really deliver on them. An unknown author said “Many people look forward to the New Year for a new start on old habits.”
Human beings in any line of work could double their productive capacity overnight if they began right now to do all the things they know they should do and stop doing all the things they know they should not do. Most of us are standing in our own way on the road to success. What holds us back is that we all love to improvise instead of rely on processes that faciliated the right course of action.
Things salespeople should have on their daily not-to-do list:
- Don’t waste time chasing unprofitable leads.
- Don’t show up late for the call.
- Don’t make a call without a plan and preparation.
- Don’t pretend to listen; stay focused.
- Don’t talk about politics, religion or sex.
- Don’t talk about what you like, talk about what the prospect likes.
- Don’t talk about features without explaining the benefits.
- Don’t quote price before establishing value.
- Don’t skip steps in the sales process, stay on track.
- Don’t forget to up-sell and cross-sell.
- Don’t over-promise and under-deliver.
- Don’t lie; build trust. Don’t under-dress or over-dress.
- Don’t drink prior to a call; look your best.
- Don’t flirt with the staff; be charming.
Things sales managers should have on their daily not-to-do list:
- Don’t make hiring decisions based on your gut instincts alone.
- Don’t slip back into the role of the super-salesperson.
- Don’t claim you made a sale that you helped create.
- Don’t play favorites; be fair to everyone.
- Don’t accept incompetence; set the bar high.
- Don’t resist change, embrace it and lead the change
- Don’t reject technology because you don’t understand it.
- Don’t mistake sales increases with profitability.
- Don’t think that sales training is unnecessary.
- Don’t allow salespeople to put their monkeys on your back.
- Don’t criticize in public; offer performance feedback in a private setting.
- Don’t assign a $10-an-hour job to a $120,000-a-year sales executive.
- Don’t push your salespeople to success; lead them by example.
- Don’t think that your sales process is perfect; it needs to be renovated all the time.
- Don’t hide in your office, crunching numbers; delegate and invigorate yourself.
The magic of the not-to-do list
Think of your to-do list. It takes a lot of work to get things done. Chances are that you are starting the day with 7-10 major action items, and you are lucky if you are able to cross off the first three items by the end of the day. Start a fresh to-do list every day. Don’t agonize, prioritize.
The not-to-do list doesn’t change every day. This list doesn’t take more work on your part; it creates less work for you. It helps you recognize new patterns. It helps you prevent self-defeating actions. Like Michelangelo chipped away all the unnecessary marble from a gigantic block to create a masterpiece, your not-to-do list will bring out the best in you.