16 June 2017

I mentioned in a past note to you that successful salespeople exhibit a range of desirable skills and habits, yet there is one that stands head and shoulders above the rest and I would share this with you the next time we talk.

Well here it is.

What’s the secret to being a successful salesperson? Or, one of the Greats — like Joe Girard

It’s not the product or service you sell. It’s not your competition, the market environment, your price structure, evolving technology, or any such thing.

It’s YOU.

Your ability to manage yourself, to exert self-discipline, spells the difference between success and failure in sales.

Let me rephrase that.

Self-discipline is the difference between success and failure.

Yes there are a lot of other components of the salesperson’s mind-set, skill set and tool set, but without strong self-discipline , nothing else matters — you’ll never go beyond ‘base camp.’

Most people don’t fail because they can’t do something. They fail because they aren’t willing to do what it takes to succeed. This means they aren’t willing to discipline themselves.

That’s why self-discipline (or me-management) is the cornerstone element of sales success.

Unless you are willing to take the actions that lead to success, in sales or anything else, it will always elude you.

This applies to your health, your wealth, your relationships, your personal growth and your time.

Self — discipline enables you to take action even when you don’t want to or don’t feel like it.

It makes it possible for you to focus your time and energy on what must be done now, without procrastination. It gives you the strength to pass up a little pleasure now in exchange for what you really want later.

In sales, I have no doubts; self-discipline is what separates the great from the mediocre.

Selling is about making commitments and the most important commitment you can make is the one to yourself.

Here are my tips for improved Self- discipline and let me say it’s still a ‘work-in-progress.’

1. Make the commitment.

If you really want to achieve your goals, then you must make the commitment to be disciplined. It’s that simple. Being disciplined isn’t something you have — it is something you do. Discipline every habit you have. Be disciplined with your physical health and nutrition, put responsibilities before leisure, control your reactive emotions, watch what you say and keep a positive mindset.

2. Stay focused.

Review your goals each morning before you start your day, or set and review your goals for the next day before you go to sleep. Make sure to pick a quiet time and / or place where you can focus and visualise on what you want to achieve in the short and long term. This will help you to set the most important goals on your list for the next day. As you visualise, see yourself achieving your goals and imagine the feelings of success which will come with this. In this way you start your day in a productive and positive mindset.

3. Prioritise tasks.

As you plan your day discipline yourself to accomplish the tasks which require the most effort and discipline from you. Get your big stressors out of the way. When you accomplish your more stressful tasks first, not only will you begin to do this with more consistency, but you will be less stressed throughout the rest of your day, allowing you to be more productive on your other, less important activities. In this way, you learn to turn a mess to greatness.

4. Rest

An important key to success is to have your mind and body ready and prepared for each day. There is nothing better for concentration and the ability to be patient then getting enough rest. Create a bedtime routine which helps you wind down and shut the day off. Whatever is stressing you before bed, make an agreement with yourself to let it go. Whatever is stressing you can be handled the next day as your number one priority.

It’s a great practice to write about your day in a journal before you sleep, where you mentally and emotionally wrap the day up and put it away. Writing also helps you to find solutions which decrease your stress before bed. This type of writing is a great way to release any negative energy you are still carrying from the day. (This point contributed by my partner and JOURNAL writer extraordinaire — Eve Dallas)

5. Eat for energy.

Easier said than done at times. However we all know it’s true and what I’ve learnt after many years of experimentation — is that this too is very individual.

There is a strong argument for the ‘big breakfast’- medium lunch and small dinner.

For me it’s the reverse…something called the WARRIOR diet…this seems to serve me best.

6. Do the little things.

A great way to cultivate the habit of being disciplined is to focus on doing the little things you know you should do such as keeping your environment clean, keep your car clean, take the garbage out and pick up after yourself. As you discipline yourself to do the little things, you will become more disciplined in doing the bigger, more important things.

7. Follow through.

Make decisions ahead of time. If you decide to exercise each morning before work, then don’t allow yourself to talk yourself out of it, no matter how much you want to. If you are going to take on an important project in the morning don’t second-guess your decision in the morning. The decision is made — so follow through with it.

Without follow through you have no discipline. Your mind is often your greatest enemy when it comes to following through, it will try and talk you into laziness and doing things later. You must win this battle and keep up on all that you have planned to do.

8. Reward yourself.

When you accomplish the things which require your discipline, your success will be what rewards your effort. When you see the success you have created exploding right in front of your eyes, reward yourself when you are done. Be happy and proud of yourself. Share with your loved ones what you have achieved and take everyone out to dinner and drinks with you to celebrate your hard work and subsequent achievements.

Feel good about what you are doing. Each time you witness your own success, you see your discipline habit paying off. It is this payoff which motivates you to stay disciplined.

To stay disciplined, you must adopt the mindset of ‘Just do it.’ Do not allow your mind to talk you out of doing what you need to do to achieve what you have committed to achieving.

Attack each day with the commitment to being disciplined, healthy, maintaining good energy and keeping your mindset motivated and positive.

Attack your stressors first thing in the morning, so you can focus on your longer term goals for the remainder of your day. When you are disciplined, you are less stressed, which turns you into a greater success.

Good Luck and (always) Good Selling


PS. UPYOURS by the way…UP your Self-Discipline and UP your Sales results.

“Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude.” -Zig Ziglar
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