As sales professionals with quotas, prospects, clients, meetings, administrative work, and follow up activities, we rarely get a chance — or take the chance — to stop and think about what we’re doing. If we did we might see the ways in which our approach could improve or might recognize when it’s time to move on.
We need to pick our heads up every once in a while and make an effort to not get caught up “doing” so much. When we do stop to think, it’s amazing what we can come up with. Why do you think some of the best ideas come to us in the shower or when lying in bed? It’s because we’ve stopped “doing” and our brain is finally getting a chance to catch up.
So what should we think about? Anything. As long as it’s for a designated amount of time and you’re focused. Pick an issue you’re having related to a certain aspect of the sales process like cold calling, gatekeepers, negotiations, or one, specific objective. Write down the problem and the desired result or goal. Then lock yourself in a quiet room with a white board, or put some ear plugs in and grab a blank piece of paper, and start brainstorming. Watch what happens.
Don’t leave this quiet thinking time to chance or try to remember to do this when it’s convenient. Make the time. As VP of Sales for a previous company I set a recurring block of fifteen minutes on my and my team’s calendars at the end of every day that simply said “think” in the subject line. It was a visual reminder to stop what we were doing and to assess: What did we get done today? How could we do that better tomorrow? I was always amazed at what the takeaways were from this exercise. Big or small, they drove results.
Give “time to think” a try. Make it a priority. You can’t afford not to.