You Must Own Your Profession

“Follow every step of this bulletproof routine every day and you’re sure to become a high performer in sales.”

That, my friend, is terrible advice. And yet that kind of guidance keeps getting spread around as though it’s the plain truth—when, in fact, it’s just…well…bull-sourced fertilizer!

Would you follow the exact same diet as someone else and expect precisely the same results? Would you wear the same shoe size as they do? Pick the same car? Read the same books? Of course not. We’re not all made the same way.

So, why in the world would you want to adopt someone else’s daily routine? 

When someone creates a routine for themselves, they can only do so based on what works for them…not you. It’s not fully transferable. We don’t all thrive from having rigidity in our schedule. To illustrate: some wake up (or go to bed) daily at a set time and it serves them well. It gives them the discipline they need. Others (myself included) see that as a major hindrance because variability is their key to top performance.

Beyond just a matter of comfort, there’s also a real danger in sticking too closely to someone else’s tightly scripted routine. When the unexpected occurs (and it does) everything falls apart the moment you no longer adhere to that schedule. Suddenly, you’re more fragile in all the places where you wanted to be robust and resilient.

Sales leaders must always be on their game whether or not they’re ready…and that includes whether or not they’ve fulfilled some daily routine. This is a dynamic profession, and you need a framework that fits that fact. Just as important: this is your profession. Not someone else’s. Yours. You must build it with steps and habits that meet your needs. No one else can do that for you. Here’s how you get started…

Focus on your short-term needs.

There’s no point in burdening yourself with arbitrary goals and deadlines that someone else set for themselves if they don’t serve your needs. When building your schedule, focus on the present and the near future. What does your upcoming week look like? Are there certain days that are busier than others? Build your activities around that. Not for the next month; just the next week. Then reassess.

Think micro.

A routine is a sequence that’s deliberately followed. It consumes mental energy. So, if you need to have a routine, keep yours small and manageable. Micro gives you more. Identify a task or a procedure that you choose to follow every day. The key here is that it’s something that makes sense to you and serves your goal of being a better performer. And it’s small enough that you’re safeguarding against the negative consequences of breaking from that schedule. 

Challenge yourself.

Force yourself regularly to do new things. Explore ways to push yourself to be uncomfortable. If you’re someone who tends to put off exercise until later in the day, try running in the morning once in a while or give yourself a tighter than usual deadline. What this does is channel your energies into a single burst, giving you resiliency in place of fragility.

Adopt an athlete’s mindset. 

Athletes don’t perform on a 9-to-5 schedule. They work according to a three-step cycle: train, perform, and recover. That applies to sales, too, even if you think your work is highly scheduled. Let’s face it: most of us in sales have to work unusual hours. There are customers in different time zones to accommodate, Zoom calls, and other gatherings to attend outside of the standard 9-to-5 schedule. Build your habits around this fact. Give yourself the space you need to recover so that you’re ready for that next burst of high-performance energy that your clients (and your boss) are counting on. 

Don’t let someone else’s routine serve as a flimsy replacement for the work you must do in defining your needs as a sales performer. Be willing to own your profession! That’s how you gain even greater confidence and achieve the performance level that you crave.


4 responses to “You Must Own Your Profession

  1. […] Call a customer that you know who is happy with your services. You can call just to say hello, you can share with them a business related tip, a link to a great news article, or you can even take the opportunity to ask for a referral or a testimonial. Satisfied customers—especially those that you have recently started to work with—have already seen the benefits of the product you sell or the service you provide. Staying in touch and maintaining your relationships is vital to your success. […]

  2. Not everything works 100% of the time for 100% of salesman. The Challenger Program has been a real eye opener for me. I’ve been doing some of the aspects of Challenger for 30 years, but I didn’t have a specific name for the process.
    Seeing the program from start to finish has given me a process to follow for myself. I try to keep the “order” of the system to give me a step by step approach. I also believe it gives the buyer a process. It’s the selling / buying experience that is important. Another salesperson may approach it differently, but using the same context.
    I’ve actually suggested that other salespeople buy the book, read it, and implement the process. Younger salesman actually call me and we discuss. Thanks for all you insight.

  3. […] the example above reminded you of a member of your team or perhaps even yourself, it’s time to make sure this idea in […]

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