I am a massive Tony Robbins fan, have been for years. He was just here in Chicago and although I couldn’t attend, a number of my friends went and said it was amazing. I did not doubt that for a moment! For those who are not followers, I strongly recommend becoming one!
One of his outcome-focused methods is MAP which is Massive Action Plan. What most interests me and aligns with my coaching is when he tells you to always be thinking about results or outcome with everything you do. I call it Making Time Count, the 7th principle of my Mindful Selling: 7 Core Principles of Accelerated Sales NOW!
Many salespeople get caught up in what he calls an addiction to movement or what I call the addiction to busyness to predict your success. How many times have you been up until midnight returning emails? And we feel so accomplished that we have so much work, and we are up until all hours returning emails. I get it!
Let me draw you a clear picture of what I used to do before I learned better and that I still experience hundreds of times when I am traveling with and coaching sales people. Just be honest and see if this resonates. If it doesn’t, well you can stop reading when it comes to the solution.
I would have as many as 4-5 appointments a day…I had to fulfill that 4×5 plan I was required to do. I knew my job was to see as many people as I could and show as many lines as I could get in front of them, just seed the territory. I remember using that exact term. That was my strategy to feel a sense of accomplishment.
Since I had a new collection ( or 5 or 6 depending on how many lines I am carrying and feel obligated and asked by management to show them all) I needed to hustle to show everything and get to the next appointment. I could be meeting with someone I have a strong relationship with or the librarian of the week. And part of the time I would focus on how fast I thought I could pack everything up to get to the next appointment. (cue..look at the watch!)
Sound familiar yet? Keep reading.
I started off with obligatory small talk, usually ending with, “Are you busy?” or “What are you working on?” The client gives some very generic answers like, “Oh yes we are really busy” or “Oh we’re working on a lot of big projects, one in Chicago one in Canada and one is France.”
WOW, I hit the jackpot! They’re not only busy, they have at least three projects..three! Then I go into a full fledged stop and drop presentation. DONE! The client takes lots of samples and off we go! I have even been known to give a ‘Tiger Woods” arm pump” thinking it went so well. They loved everything, their busy, they have three projects, they took lots of samples..my job is complete! Now I wait for the…dum dum dum magical call.
Back in the car, and if I don’t have at least 5 new email messages to return and 3 voice mail messages, I felt like I was failing at my job. (I am not kidding..a colleague and I would compare how many voice mail messages we had..who won!)
OK, now is the time, if none of that resonated with you, you are in full denial because I see this all the time but you can be excused to go watch cat videos.
If this feels way too close to the truth, here is the answer.
We are addicted to being busy and busyness does not equal business. It’s just a mindset we have been fooling ourselves to believe.
What Tony Robbins and I would ask is (and I know I can speak for Tony Robbins), do you slow down enough to even know what the results all those many actions produce? Not what you think, but hardcore data. Are you more than 90% sure that the results will be what YOU want, not just the happy, yet overwrought with stress client? Because they are in the driver’s seat yet left to follow up with you IF and I do say IF they chose that product you sell?
Are the results you want sales and making money? Or are you just thinking the busier I am, the more projects they have, the more product I show will end up in successful sales RESULTS? If that’s the case, stop watching those videos!
Any very successful business person will tell you the real key to successful sales results is making time count and measuring the effort vs. the results
Most salespeople, if they are good, are very service oriented. We service our clients until those proverbial cows come home. Do you know how many times I have been told “We have to bend over backward for our clients? They EXPECT that!”
I say if the results you want is to become an Olympic gymnast then, by gosh, you’re on the right path. If the results are sales then whoa, maybe it’s time to rethink what you’re doing.
The first step to better outcomes is to have better information!
As they say with computers, garbage in, garbage out! It’s the same with sales. If we do not have enough information or have bad, incomplete or even erroneous information it will provide us with busy work and less than optimal results. Follow up, quoting, email, phone calls, running back and forth, you know all that stuff that is addictive and many times is not producing the outcome we want.
If we don’t begin by qualifying a lot more than we already do, the results will be the same; lots of busy work. I mean starting BEFORE we make that appointment!
You are not in the business of making appointments, you’re in the business of making sales.
Ask yourself, at the end of the day, if you feel good that you bent over backward or if you actually KNEW you were going to end up with three actual sales, which would you choose? Flexibility or money?
Instead of being addicted to busy, why don’t we become addicted to the outcome?