Procrastination is the silent killer of dreams. I’ve seen too many talented sales people fall victim to procrastination.
They sit at their desk in the morning. They put on their headset. And just when they’re about to make the first call of the day (which is ALWAYS the hardest call), they chicken out and open Facebook or doom-scroll on their phones for 20 minutes.
Finally, they snap to it and make a few cold calls. But after the first rejection, they fall back into the procrastination pit once again. And the cycle continues like this throughout the day. What could have been eight hours of productive sales activities is cut down to three hours, four if you’re lucky.
Look – you’re better than that. So today I’m going to help you overcome the urge to procrastinate. With these tools and principles in mind, you can triumph over this weakness of yours. And in doing so, you can double or triple your sales numbers. After all, if you add three to four hours back into your day, that’s a half day of prime time calling.
Without further ado, let’s get to it. Here are several ways to stop procrastinating in sales, followed by my #1 secret to kick procrastination to the curb once and for all.
8. Organize Your Desk!
You won’t have the self-confidence to speak to c-suite executives if you can’t keep your immediate environment clean. It’s true. You’ll feel sloppy on the inside, which makes you slouch in your seat, probably eat fast food for lunch, and procrastinate.
There’s a reason why Jordan Peterson says “Clean your room, bucko” to our youth who want to change the world. They can’t change the world until they get their own matters in order. So first and foremost, tidy up your desk and organize your computer desktop. You’ll feel better, look better, and sell better.
7. Set Micro Goals
If I said you have to make 100 calls today, would that motivate you? Maybe not. What if I said you only have to make ten calls today? That’s easy enough, right? Anybody can make ten calls. So that’s where you start. You hack down your massive goals into bite-sized pieces, and you start dialing. Once you make 10 calls, you’ll be in the zone and you’ll keep dialing.
Micro goals are one of the best ways to stop procrastinating. So next time you’re distracted, just say “10 calls is all I need to make today,” and the 10 calls will turn into 50, 100, or more. Overcoming the mistress of procrastination requires that you use psychology to your advantage.
6. Know Your Leads
When you wrap up for the evening (you are the last to leave the office, right?), be sure to pull up tomorrow’s lead list before leaving. This is critical. You don’t necessarily have to do anything with the list, but you must have it at-the-ready. It’s like laying out your weapons the night before going into battle. The last thing you want to do is scramble for your sword or ax as the day breaks and your clansmen are charging the enemy. Ok – I digress. But just remember, not knowing your leads is a surefire way to die by procrastination.
5. Eliminate Distractions
If you have the attention span of a goldfish — which sadly, most people do these days — you have to eliminate distractions at your workspace. This could mean anything from hiding your personal smartphone to kindly asking your colleagues to pipe down. Here are some other ways salespeople can eliminate distractions before distractions eliminate them:
- Block social media platforms
- Purchase noise-canceling headphones
- Stop and breathe to get rid of mental distractions
- Avoid multitasking (which is a huge distraction)
- Work in time blocks or “sprints”
4. Get The Blood Flowing
Want a sudden rush of motivation? Do 20 burpees and some Wim Hoff breathing. Well, maybe do one or the other. But the idea is to get air oxygenating through your lungs and blood pumping through your body. This will immediately make you more alert, inspired, and hungry for dialing prospects. SDRs/BDRs procrastinate because they feel like garbage. So adopt the habit of movement and you’ll find yourself reaching for the dialer more often than distractions. It’s a beautiful thing.
3. Read Inspiring Books
Notice how I said “read” instead of “watch.” You can watch inspiring videos, which aren’t all bad, but books are infinitely better for your brain. Studies have shown that reading helps with problem solving, critical thinking skills, and even has survival/longevity benefits. Also notice that I said “inspiring” books and not “motivational” books. Motivational books are great and all, but inspirational books tend to have a longer-lasting impact on readers.
There are some contemporary writers who are worth digging into. But I highly recommend starting with these classics: As a Man Thinketh; How to Win Friends and Influence People; and The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Now, you may have already read one or more of these titles. That’s great. It’s time to read them again. These books will help tremendously with your habit of procrastination.
2. Remember Your Legacy
Your legacy is now. That’s right, I said your legacy is NOW. It’s not something for the future — rather it’s the story your actions are writing at this very moment. So what kind of legacy are you leaving for yourself and your family? Be honest. Is it a legacy to hang your hat on, or a legacy of laziness?
Here’s a pro tip: Stop reading this right now, pick up the phone, and make one call. That’s it, just one call. And let that one call lead to another. By the day’s end, I can almost guarantee you’ll have meetings booked. (If you’re not booking meetings, be sure to read about how to master your tonality and controlling the pace in sales.)
And My #1 Secret to Kill Procrastination Once and For All…
1. Cut Out the Root of Your Procrastination: Your FEAR.
Dig it out. Cut it out. And burn it. It has no business in your life. Your fear — whether it’s the fear of failure or the fear of success — is the biggest thing holding you back. Chances are you aren’t picking up the phones because you’re afraid of another rejection. And this is completely subconscious by the way. There’s a high chance you don’t even know that you’re afraid of rejection. A study cited by Harvard Business Review found that nearly 50% of B2B salespeople have a fear of cold calling!
So what can you do about it? How can you eliminate the fear of cold calling? First, you have to reframe rejection to be a positive thing in your mind. This takes time, but you must condition your mind to believe that rejection is a necessary waypoint on the path to “Yes.” It’s part of the process! Then, other quick tips include:
- Lower your heart rate
- Know how to overcome objections
- Remember that a cold call is just a simple conversation
- Know your prospect (do your homework)
- Build momentum!
Once you finally eradicate the fear of cold calling from your life, you’ll be free to enjoy sales for what it is. It’s a fast-paced, high-octane, high-stakes career of relationship building and negotiations that will keep you engaged for decades to come.
And the best part of it all… you get to write your own ticket to success.
Until next time…