Gardening takes hard work and lots of effort

The latest issue of A Chip off the Block is The Garden Edition and talks about  The Top 10 Things Sales Taught Me About Gardening here is my TeleSales Twist on Point #6.

Gardening is takes hard work and lots of effort

Daily effort is what makes salespeople successful – not that it is effort in the same areas or behaviors. Rather showing up and moving forward are daily ways to reach success. Gardening seems to be the same way. You may not have to weed every day (ok maybe you do), but there is something to do to keep it looking beautiful; adding new plants, evaluating placement, pondering what’s next, etc.

Mojo, the kitty gardener, prefers to roll in the dirt and sun herself on the garden rocks – occasionally digging and always pouncing on bugs.  Although she is a wonderful companion in the garden; her efforts don’t lean toward what is necessary to keep the garden beautiful.

Where does the time go?

Most people (including me) have no idea where what happens to time – in the past week I would guess:

  • you said ‘give me 5 min’ and then realized 15 had passed
  • a task that you allotted 30 min to complete, took 2 hrs
  • a quick internet search, turned into a tangent, that turned into 1 hr

I truly believe the only 2 things we can control are how we spend our time and choosing our attitude. Which is why my suggestion is one of the most painful activities I participate in a few times a year (thanks to Debbie Mrazek, author of The Field Guide to Sales):

How Will You Spend the Next 168 Hours?

Her book (starting on pg 34 if you’re interested) goes into “time management is about choices.” Then the painful part, keeping an hour-by-hour log for seven days of how you spend your time. Not the minutia – but in big buckets, here are mine:

  • sleeping
  • morning prep (shower, breakfast, commute, etc)
  • learning
  • teaching
  • coaching
  • on the phone with prospects/customers
  • researching suspects/prospects/customers
  • working on proposals/quotes (including crafting email follow through)
  • creating content
  • administrivia
  • updating my forecast
  • never ending meetings
  • friends & family time
  • vegging (tv, fiction, staring off into space, ect)
  • exercise

For the next week keep track – from personal experience this is PAINFUL. In TeleSales we don’t do any one thing for an hour; it is more like 3-7 minute increments. I found it is easiest if I have an hour “block” on a piece of paper (so I’ve attached my version for you) and then jot down everything in that block – remembering that some activies have multiple functions.

My taijiquan class = exercise, learning, along with friend time.

Once  you’re done (thanks again to Debbie);

  1. acknowledge that you actually enjoy wasting time
  2. evaluate how you’re spending it (one of my coaching clients even went as far as to figure out what his time was worth in dollars – to reinforce that ‘spending’ idea)
  3. decide what you can change
  4. decide what you want to change

and yes #3 and #4 are different questions!

Once you have your change list;

  • what activities would NO ONE NOTICE if I stopped doing them?
  • do I have the opportunity to delegate this?
  • would it cost me LESS to pay someone to do this activity for me?
  • how does this task increase my value to  my customers?
  • what does each work day activity do to make me successful?
  • when I _________ am I moving forward in the sales process?

….. ACTION – now you know what you can do to change what you’re doing; take it! Then watch out for falling back into your old habits.

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