Written by Sean McPheat |
It’s only normal and human for family problems, health concerns, financial issues and even the state of the ozone layer to sometimes flood your brain and distract you from optimum performance. You may have also found that simply to, “Put such thoughts out of your mind…” is much easier said than done!
One way to deal with distractions that hamper sales success is to work. That is, to increase those sales tasks that require less thought. Some may call these actions “busy work,” but they are essential and will help you get focused. Here is a practical way to help you put distractions in their place and re-focus.
Just remember to F.O.C.U.S!
F – Future
To set the stage properly, think of the future…your future. I’m not just referring to your long-term goals here, but to your long-term dreams and aspirations. When the trials of everyday life besiege you, look to the big dreams: Take that picture of your dream car off the fridge and actually check it out! Visualise you and your family in that dream home or going on that dream holiday. Dream and dream big. Remind yourself of why you are doing all of this and what the end game is.
O – Operations
Now go over your checklist of sales planning and operations. You should have a checklist to ensure you are prepared for selling. Go over your sales interaction, and then go over it again. Do you know the three possible objections that may arise? Do you have a plan to overcome them before they arise? What planning and preparation steps do you put in place for each call or visit. Go over these again and refocus.
C – Competition and Customer
Do you know all there is to know about your competition? Are you up-to-date on their latest developments and improvements? What are your competitors’ selling advantages? How will you handle it if the prospect says they are satisfied with your competition? What are the three main selling advantages you offer above the competition?
Do you know all there is to know about the prospect? Have you investigated their web site? Are you aware of their goals? Does your offer align with their goals? Are you certain you are in contact with the main decision maker (DM)? Are there other DMs involved, a committee?
Do you have a list of questions to ask the prospect to unearth their problems and challenges? What are they? Can you name three ways the prospect is hurting or losing right now because they are not doing business with you? Do you know if and how the prospect’s problems are costing them more than the price of what you sell?
S – Systems and Science
Have you double-checked everything that you will use in your sales interactions? Is your laptop and presentation set up and ready? Do you have all of the necessary attachments, cords and plug-ins, including some extras?
Do you know the science behind what is going to happen today? That is, do you know exactly how much you will earn when you complete the next sales interaction or telephone call? I am not referring to if you make the sale, but do you know what you earn if you do not close the sale? Do you know exactly how many prospects you talked to this week? How many emails did you send out? How many calls did you actually make?
When outside issues cloud mental clarity, sometimes you need to turn to the mechanical, routine actions that lead you back. Just as the professional golfer will go to the practice range to hit a few hundred golf balls to get re-focused, you also may need to practice those activities that distract you from the distractions.
Originally published: 11 January, 2012