Are they spending long hours on motorways way after 7pm driving to and from meetings? Are they burning the midnight oil draped over a laptop with a strong coffee trying to get everything done? Maybe both? Not good for them. Not good for your company.
How can they be brilliant at selling and managing in this state?
When it comes to being fabulous at selling, take note of Stephen Covey’s 'Habit 7' (from his book 'The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People'). Here he invites his readers to 'Sharpen the Saw' - he sees this as 'The habit that makes all the other habits possible'. Basically his 'Habit 7' revolves around the suggestion that, to be truly successful you should preserve the greatest asset you have... YOU!
Clearly, not enough of us are taking notice of Mr Covey. According to a survey of 1000 business owners 14% had no plans to take any holiday this year, and 59% said they were afraid of burning out. And 20% said they found it impossible to switch off from work. Even when away from the office, many business owners, bosses and sales people constantly check their emails on their smart phones even if they have people back at the office looking after things.
That’s not helpful and it’s not healthy
Your sales people could be quite entitled to think 'I agree, Leigh, but I am where I am and it’s just the way it is'. My suggestion to your sales person would be to do this exercise...
Let’s assume you go on as you are and do nothing to change things.
Close your eyes and imagine it’s July 2017 i.e. two years on from today. And you’ve made no changes to your life. Imagine, how's your job? How's your life? How happy are you? How many hours a week are you working?
That should concentrate the mind!
Time to change?
If you really want your sales people to 'Sharpen the Saw' and achieve more sales and business success, consider my suggestions below. Maybe you should too if you're feeling over-stretched. Here's what you could do...
- Be realistic about what you can take on. When you’re planning your month, week, day, it’s no good scheduling 14 hours work in hoping that you’ll have one of those ‘miracle days’ when everything takes half as long as usual. It rarely does. Plan a challenging day by all means but keep it realistic.
- Think 'Delegate or Ditch'. Ask yourself - Does this task REALLY need doing? If yes, ask who else could do it? Trust others. A task that is a real chore to you might be a nice opportunity for someone else to show what they can do.
- It’s a 5000 meters race, not a 100m sprint. Pace yourself.
- Have a sense of perspective. Think family, partner, friends. They’d benefit from your company too.
- Don’t fight those battles that you know you can’t win.
- Work out what’s causing you the most pressure - and work out where you can get help to ease that pressure.
- Drop the guilt. You are a key part of the company, so make sure you invest in yourself and your health.
- If and when you do manage a break, don’t try to do too much in it!
- Book your 2015/16 holidays now, don’t wait to see if you ‘get around to it’. You won’t. At least book time off in advance and organise your work schedule around these breaks, not the other way round.
- Think - if your business/role still needs your personal input every waking hour after several years in it then ask yourself if this really the right business to be in?
To have a great sales team, you need to make sure every member of that team is in great condition.
By Leigh Ashton, author of iSell, a speaker, trainer and coach. She helps people incorporate psychology alongside technical selling skills – leading to positive changes in attitude, approach and sales results. Leigh’s mantra is to leave people feeling inspired to take action!