The art of preparation is learning how to not think. That’s right, you heard me… do not think! The number one “time-waster” is over thinking. The reason mid-level producers don’t reach the next level is that they over analyze. They get analysis paralysis. Our goal should be to become so prepared before we’re on the battle field that we have already won the fight for the day before the day even begins.
Here are some steps on how to win the battle before you fight the war.
Step 1: Identify your income producing activities and the times during which you should be focused on them. For example from 9am-5pm is your IPA time. Discipline yourself and resign yourself to the fact that setting appointments or going on appointments is the only thing you should being during your IPA time.
Step 2: Schedule preparation time before and after your IPA time. For example, schedule your prep time from 7am-9am, or 5pm-7pm, or 8pm-10pm. Preparation time should be adjacent to IPA time.
Areas of Preparation:
Belief in your product and service
Spend time with your product and service. Be an expert in your field. Knowledge breeds confidence, so make sure you have an immense knowledge of your product or service!
Sales is an emotional job. It becomes emotion when events happen that get you off track and you allow those events to become a distraction. Being emotionally prepared for distraction will take anyone’s game to the next level!
Every year: Complete a check list of things that might go wrong. Prepare yourself for anything that might happen.
Daily: Create physical reminders to help keep you focused. Create a 3×5 positive affirmation card and read it before every presentation, have a prospecting call-list to call while you travel, put your activity goals in a place where you can see them all day long. For example, put them on your cell phone and screen saver.
Prepare to be on schedule
Know your numbers for success; Critical Success Factors. Know what daily activity you need complete to hit your goals. Commit to the controllable factors – hours, calls, and presentations. Set activity goals…NOT result goals. Review your numbers every day and track them. Play games with your numbers. For example, if you need to talk to 10 people every day, draw 10 boxes on a piece of paper and spend the day checking off the boxes. Create high expectations by pre-filling the date on your order forms. Keeping an up to date prospecting list and always knowing who your next prospect is will allow you to create a buying atmosphere with that prospect and will help keep you on schedule!
Create a script to follow for every step of your sales cycle. The key with using a script is to know it so well that you don’t sound scripted! You should have a script for each the following: Prospecting, setting appointments, finding a need, presentations, answering objections, closing, and asking for referrals. Create a list of all your satisfied customers for use in your prospecting and presentations, make a testimonial book with stories of why people bought from you, and have a referral pad to record 5 referrals after every demonstration. Organize your names list, testimonial book, and referral list every morning! Plan every hour of your day before you ever start! Know what stories you’re going to use before you do your presentations.
You want to be so ready for the day that you know exactly what to do all the time! This will cause you to be on schedule, be present when you’re with a prospect, and make sure you do everything you must do every day. Remember, during your IPA timeframe “be smart” and do not think!