Earlier this month, the 4th of July fell smack-dab in the middle of the week, wreaking havoc on sales schedules everywhere. If you followed my advice, you planned for some non-standard weeks. Whether it’s a holiday, vacation, or traveling week, there will be work weeks that aren’t “normal”.
These are the times when it’s hard to buckle down and get things done. It’s tempting to just blow off the whole week, but it’s possible to sow productivity into these weeks without sacrificing your personal time. How do you remain productive even on those weeks when it doesn’t feel like you need to?
I was 35 years old when I started exercising. That’s not to say I never exercised at all before then, but I wasn’t in any way what I would consider an “athlete” either.
A friend of ours came to Nashville to run a marathon and stayed with us. It was the process of watching him prepare the night before that made me realize, “That looks fun!”—not the running part necessarily, but preparing to do something you really love that will challenge you. What came next truly changed my life.
Business naturally ebbs and flows. It’s vital, therefore, to recognize the harvest periods in your career and understand their importance. When you think about a farmer, they’re sowing their seeds in the spring and harvesting their crop in the fall, right?
During that harvest season, they’re working long days and investing more energy because they only have a small window of time to get things done. It’s the same in your business; we all have harvest periods where we simply have to put more of ourselves into our work to get everything done.
There are a few natural harvest times in any person’s career trajectory. Let’s break down the most common three.
Email is so ubiquitous now that it’s hard to remember exactly when it first became popular. Yet I can vividly recall how I felt in those early days of “you’ve got mail.” It was such a big deal! And as email rose in prominence, “snail mail” seemed to vanish.
In the last five years or so, I’ve seen a shift towards people embracing letters and notes again. Receiving physical mail is something that makes people feel really special. Therefore, I’m declaring the days of simply sending an email “thank you” to be over! And I believe sending heartfelt, handwritten thank-you notes can help you grow your business.
If you’re like most people, you probably plan out your morning by doing backwards math. If you have to be to work at 8 am, you’ll figure that it takes you 15 minutes to drive,15 minutes to shower, 5 minutes to get dressed, and 10 minutes to eat and you tell yourself that you have to get up at 7:15 in order to get it all done.
What you’re doing when you do this, though, is giving yourself the very barest minimum of time. It’s ineffective, not to mention a horrible way to start your day. You’ll never achieve the level of success you’re after if you keep it up. But I’ve got a trick to fix it.
After college, I had zero intention of ever picking up a book again. Reading simply wasn’t something I enjoyed, and when I thought about how my life would be as an adult, I never pictured myself being one of those people.
So how is it that I went from swearing off books entirely to reading 50+ books every year for the past several years? Well, there are three things I get from reading that I can’t get from anything else.
I get asked regularly what the most important skill or attribute is for being a successful sales professional. Most people are expecting my answer to be something along the lines of “being a great closer.” Or perhaps “being the kind of person who can talk to anybody.” Or maybe “being someone who can have tough conversations.” Or even “having amazing negotiation skills.”
But the #1 thing I have found that all top producers possess is good listening skills.
This might come as a surprise to you, but you must realize that perfecting your listening skills goes beyond merely hearing what your customers are saying.