Don’t Put Off Your “Must-Dos”

As a seller, each day you have a set of tasks that need to be completed. Don’t put off your “must-dos.”

It’s common. A seller shows up to work in the morning, with the best intentions to get some “needed” tasks done, only to get thrown into the craziness of the day which results in several unexpected tasks getting done (or not), but not the one(s) that were vital for the day!

These must-do tasks by the way, often have something to do with prospecting.

Let’s face it. While every part of the sales process is important, consistently filling your pipeline with qualified leads is among the most critical to ensure your ongoing success.

Never Let Your Pipeline Run Dry

Too many sellers get bogged down by “other workload” or “time-wasters” and put off their prospecting for the next day. Only to show up in the morning, with the same, best intentions, ready to jump into those vital, must-do tasks, and once again get sidetracked by other parts of their day.

Before you know it, a week has gone by, then two, and before you can say “no prospects” three times fast, you’re a month behind with a dry pipeline.

Sellers often get seduced by a full pipeline and the ensuing “feast.” When sales are flying in, it’s easy to think we can take our foot off the pedal with our prospecting or other vital tasks. It only takes one “famine” to realize how wrong this thinking is!

If you find you’re often getting sidetracked, bogged down, or downright engulfed by things that take you away from your primary goals, you need to identify why this is happening.

Here are some common steps you can take to open up your schedule to make time for your must-dos:

  • Don’t let your email inbox run you. Set periodic “check-in” times to review and respond to emails, otherwise, stay out of it.
  • Set “do not disturb” times in your schedule, where you turn off any medium that could serve as a distraction and focus only at the task at hand.
  • Start your work day early. You’ll likely find yourself more productive during times where the workplace isn’t buzzing. These days, your “workplace” might be your home office due to the pandemic, but this rule still applies. You’ve heard before which bird gets the worm, right?
  • Get your “must-dos” out of the way first. Don’t put it off to later in your day, which can push it to the next day, which can push it to the next, which lands you in the cycle/scenario I described above.
  • Plan your day the day before. It’s a great practice to review what you need to accomplish the next day before “signing off” for the evening. That way, you can prepare yourself ahead of time to ensure you’re as efficient as possible the next day.
  • Request unimportant meetings be moved to email coordination. As we all know, some meetings are simply time-zaps in our schedule. When appropriate, reach out to your colleagues or clients and ask if a meeting can be summarized via email. Again, use your judgment here. There are scenarios where such a request is completely appropriate and valid, and others where it’s not!

Here’s what it comes down to.

Don’t negotiate with yourself on your must-do tasks. You need to identify what they are, first of all, and then ensure they get complete on the frequency that is appropriate and keeps you “ahead of the game” rather than “behind” it.

And, if you find you are constantly putting important things off, you need to identify why, and take the steps necessary to ensure your schedule is making them a priority.

I’m willing to bet that this alone will eliminate a massive chunk of the “sales problems” you, your team, or your organization may be experiencing.