Authors have been writing books to help others with their sales performance for seemingly forever. There are literally countless amounts of “self-help” titles out there to help you boost your productivity in the sales workplace. But honestly, a majority of them seem oblivious to the biggest productivity detractor of them all: technology. There isn’t anything out there that has fully addressed the modern salesperson’s digital attachment issue. Until now.
Jill Konrath, a decorated leader in modern sales strategies and prolific author, just released her newest title, More Sales Less Time: Surprisingly Simple Strategies for Today’s Crazy-Busy Sellers, and it’s the first book of its kind to tackle the problem of digital attachment that is ubiquitous in our jobs today. You might think this obsession with technology is a necessity in the world of selling today–your buyers are mobile so, therefore, you must be too. But this constant state of connection is destroying your work productivity, and Konrath thinks it’s time we own up to our addiction. Frankly, after having read the book… she is right!
Today your daily tasks are being hindered by technology. Konrath has been there, and she has pinpointed a few key problem areas in her book that can help you get your productivity back on track. To get the full benefit of fixing our mobile attached, digitally engaged, social enabled and video hungry addiction I highly recommend that you go out and purchase the book, as what I highlight below is just scratching the surface. You might also listen in to our podcast we recently completed.
Problem #1: The notification high
Our bodies are inherently designed to pay attention to the external world. It just so happens that instead of having to look to the horizon for new information, we now look down at the endless array of information coming from our devices. We constantly want and love to find new information, and our brain knows it. Every time you discover something new, your brain rewards you with a little surge of dopamine. That dose of dopamine feels good, so we go back out to find more information.
As you can probably imagine, that cycle can be a little distracting to your sales performance and productivity throughout the day. We don’t just get this feeling of accomplishment from searching for information however. We also get it from those rings and bings that constantly emit from our devices throughout the day. Every time you get a notification, it’s like a little alert for your incremental dose of dopamine. You check the notification, swipe and scroll around for a bit, and then you get back to work. Or at least you try to. The reality is each one of those little notification distractions you receive throughout the day can tank your productivity by as much as 30 percent.
“We have oozed (technology) into our lives,” Konrath said. “I don’t mean eased–we literally ooze technology from every pore on our body!”
The solution: Find a way to minimize your distractions. You have to ask yourself: “How can I prevent myself from getting caught in it?” Most of the time the answer is to create a different work environment. Turn off those notifications! Your emails will still be there even if you don’t check it right away. Trying to take in all of this information all at once seems productive, but really it’s just sapping your attention from any one task. You can pick up 1 to 2 hours a day just from avoiding this attention switching and increase your sales performance.
Problem #2: Constant connection
Technology has created a fast-paced world of selling. Not only are we instantly connected, but we are also constantly connected. They say you shouldn’t bring your work home with you, but it seems that is being encouraged with our interconnectivity. Working longer hours has become easier and easier thanks to technology but that doesn’t mean other responsibilities go away. You have a home life, you want to stay fit, and you want to maintain a healthy work-life balance. But if you’re always working, you compensate by parsing out time from your personal life.
Living in this state of chaos is not conducive to your sales performance or becoming more successful. The stress itself is a burden–under this stress, our brain shuts down and we go into the same old patterns that don’t allow for self-betterment. In order to stay competitive, you need to figure out new strategies and new ways to connect with your customers–and you simply don’t have the drive or the ability to do that when you’re bogged down.
“The constant need to go is destroying our productivity, and we are not able to use our God-given talents to the best of our ability,” Konrath said. “The stress is always eating away at us.”
The solution: Make time to breathe! A salesperson needs time to plan what they can do to better sell to the buyer, and it needs to be in normal realm of thinking for us to be able to do that, not just mindlessly doing the same thing over and over. There’s is always learning to be done, and being less frazzled allows for more time to do that.
Problem #3: Leaving your calendar wide open
With the way we are connected these days, stuff is constantly popping up in your inbox or on your phone that needs to be done. Sure, these things may be important, and you will probably want to address them. But if your day is at the whim of whatever is plopped into your lap at that given moment, you’ll find yourself in a constant game of catch-up, and that is not a way to improve your sales performance or be successful in the day-to-day.
The solution: Implement time blocking into your schedule. Every day when you go into the office, allocate some time to stop and think: “What is the best use of my time today?” Put everything that you need to get done on your calendar and stick to it. Don’t leave any blank spaces–this opens you up to unexpected tasks that may throw your day off. Another tactic you can implement is to stop checking your email first thing in the morning. Checking your mail at the beginning of the day puts other people’s priorities in your hands. This way events and tasks can’t just pop up and evolve into something that you haven’t planned for. Your job is hard enough–you need to get your day in line before you start worrying about others!
“Really stop and think strategically about your day before you move forward,” Konrath said. “This in itself is a very powerful and calming tactic that will make your days more productive.”
Technology has interwoven itself into our daily and professional lives to the point where we may think there is no going back. It will take some work, but you can develop good habits just as you have developed bad ones. Just be cognizant of the effect that your devices are having on your life, and you are sure to see a huge uptick in your sales performance and productivity.
To hear my full interview with Jill Konrath on this topic, listen to this #SellingWithSocial podcast!
Source: Business 2 Community