How much more effective would you be if you could focus on your sales tasks for extended periods of time? This means no distractions, no evasions, and no more time spent getting ready to get ready; Just hours of focusing on prospecting, promoting, and following – all the things that move the needle, none of the things that don’t.
It seems that sustained focus is becoming a rarity these days, as distractions (usually in the form of smartphones) have rewired our brains to constantly crave stimulation, rather than the prolonged focus required to achieve anything worthwhile. Those with the ability to focus succeed, while the rest of us struggle to overcome our own impulses, seeking a few hours of productivity whenever possible.
So, can the average salesperson regain his focus even when the idea of doing so seems impossible? The answer is yes; Anyone willing to put in the effort can increase their focus and develop significantly better habits. Here are five tried-and-true ways salespeople can stay more focused on sales:
1. Work off the to-do list
Creating a daily (or weekly) to-do list can be very effective because it organizes disparate activities and allows you to keep track of where you stand (Spiro Assistant automatically creates priority daily to-do lists for users). If you start to feel overwhelmed or your mind starts to wander, you can simply go back to your list and start checking things off the list. Another benefit of a to-do list is the dopamine boost you feel after you’ve completed a task and crossed something off the list. It may not be the same as a strong cup of coffee, but getting used to working on a to-do list can make you feel more productive while helping you get things done.
2. Time limit
Blocking time is another very effective way to maintain focus and is used by some of the world’s most successful business leaders. Time is blocked when you pre-schedule your activities, mark them in the calendar, and then allocate the time for the pre-scheduled activity. For example, you might take three hours each morning to focus on finding new business. These three hours are for prospecting only, and anything else that has to be dealt with before or after. By getting used to the time constraint, you will ensure that you focus your energies on specific and important tasks, rather than trying to improve during the day.
3. (Literally) get rid of the things that distract you
The biggest source of distraction for most people these days are smartphones, or perhaps screens in general. Experts have long recommended that if you want to be productive, you should literally put your phone in your drawer or leave it in another room when you’re working on something else. For salespeople, of course, this can get complicated, because we use our phones to do our jobs. Having said that, you don’t need your phone everyone time, and most of your phone uses aren’t actually productive. So if you want to increase your focus, put your phone away when you’re not using it, and close all non-work browser windows when you are. If a distraction is not physically accessible, there is less chance that it will take time away from purposeful work.
Meditation has been shown to increase focus and general well-being. Although salespeople aren’t the first group of people that come to mind when you think of meditation, they can have the most to gain, such as focus, the ability to be present, and a positive mindset, all of which can be beneficial to salespeople. Even meditating for 15 minutes a day can have a measurable effect, so don’t assume you need to travel abroad on a retreat to reap the benefits. Learn the basics of meditation, and before you start practicing meditation, put them into practice.
5. Eat the frog
Eating a frog may sound disgusting, but it’s the sales tip that has helped countless reps over the years. Eating a frog basically takes on the hardest task of the day, and finishes it up first. For example, if you have to turn down a potential job and it stresses you out, do it first thing in the morning so you can get on with your day. Likewise, if research is something that you find difficult, make sure you dig around when you’re most active, make the most of your productive time and free yourself up for easier tasks. Instead of walking all day under the weight of things stressing you out, get rid of them early – eat that frog!