Tag Archive | "self improvement"

You Are Three Weeks Away From Improvements

I want to share a technique you can use to change and improve anything in your life. If you are unhappy with your sales, your attitude, your skills, your work habits, your weight or anything else you can think of, you can change it in just three short weeks. Successful people in every walk of life have learned to use this technique to achieve positive changes in themselves and their careers.

Don’t we dry off after a shower the same way, shave in the same routine, comb our hair the same way, brush our teeth the same way, get dressed the same way, eat the same meal for breakfast and drive to work the same route each time – simply because that’s what we always do it? And aren’t our lives just a summary of all the habits we’ve picked up through the years?

Some habits aren’t good for us though, like eating a pound of bacon for breakfast, or adding a little coffee to our cup of sugar, or just waiting around for something to happen in sales. All of us do things we know we shouldn’t do, and all of us wish we did some things better. Because that’s true, let’s look at how we develop habits, and then talk about how to use the same techniques to develop more productive habits that will be to our benefit.

Developing Habits
The dictionary says a habit is a pattern of action that has become so automatic that it’s difficult to break. I hope you noticed the dictionary said a habit is difficult to break. It didn’t say it was impossible to break.

Everything we do repeatedly will normally become a habit. Greeting people again and again with, “Can I help you?” pre-qualifying them before we build value, not really listening, trying to close based on price, not getting names and numbers before people leave so we can follow up – these are just some of the things sales people do that can become habits that cost sales every month.

In sales, prospecting is a good habit; waiting for an “up” is a bad habit. Giving a great presentation to every prospect is a good habit; pre-qualifying prospects first is a bad habit. My first five years as an eight-car guy, almost every habit I had developed was a ‘cost me sales’ habit.

Psychologists tell us that it takes about 21–28 days of repetitive action to create a habit. Get up at 5:45 in the morning for about 3 weeks straight, and you can just about throw the alarm clock out the window. You’ll have created a habit and your mind and your body will make the adjustments to keep it going – as long as you cooperate and get out of bed once you wake up at 5:45.

Problem: Good habits are challenged daily. Why? Because in sales, (and life) bad habits are usually easier than good habits (and bad foods taste better) so we tend to fall back to our old bad habits, especially when we’re under stress.

Example: It’s the last day of the month and you need two units to hit your next bonus level. You’ve been doing things right, staying off price, following the basics, but now under pressure, you fall back to rushing, pre-qualifying, skipping steps and trying to close on price, and in real life you cost yourself even more sales.

Breaking A Habit
The easiest way to break a habit is to replace it with a new one. You see ex-smokers chewing gum instead of smoking, and dieters switching to bottled water instead of 90-ounce sodas. Want to develop better sales habits? Start by making a list of the things you’re doing now that you know you could be doing better. Then set a clear goal.

Tired of hearing, “Just looking?” Then switch to, “Welcome to ABC Motors, I’m __ and you’re __?” Three weeks later, that will become your regular greeting. Not asking enough closing questions? 80% of the sales in our business are closed after the 5th try, so carry at least five pennies in your right pocket and move one at a time to your left pocket each time you ask a closing question. Move more pennies to make more sales. Do this for 30 days and you’ll develop the habit of closing five times or more with every prospect.

Tracking is critical to changing your habits. Most salespeople don’t know how many times they ask for the sale or how many prospects they really talk to. They don’t know how many calls and Internet leads they get, or demos and write ups they do. In fact, most salespeople can’t even tell you how many units they currently sell or how much money they currently earn – they can guess, because they don’t take the one minute each day it takes to track everything they do and keep up with their rolling 90-day averages.

So the first critical habit to develop is tracking. It makes you aware of everything you’re actually doing in sales. Track every opportunity, every activity and every result so you know what selling skills and habits you need to develop or improve.

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