July 27, 2013

Back with Better Perspective and Fresh Ideas

It’s good to be back!

This was the longest break I’ve taken from blogging since launching the site three years ago. It was great to get away, but I am excited to be back – with a fresh perspective and renewed energy.

It’s been quite a summer and a great six weeks since I’ve published anything. And while I don’t typically make myself or my activities the focus of these posts, it seems fitting to share what I’ve been up to because I think there may be application for all of us in sales and leadership roles.

Here are a few highlights and some corresponding challenge questions for you:

  • We took a couple family trips including  a great vacation during which I unplugged from email and social media. The picture above is a favorite. It was 7:30 am when my youngest son and I headed out on the wave runners. The lake was calm, and there was even a bit of fog adding to the ambience. Question: When was the last time your truly disconnected from your email and smartphone to focus on those around you or an important project?
  • I found new resources for personal development and have begun listening to more podcasts. One in particular from Michael Hyatt was so helpful that I not only began redesigning my own early morning ritual, but decided to create some coaching content on the topic to help salespeople. Questions: How are you investing in your personal development to improve performance both personally and professionally? What are you reading or listening to?
  • We’ve got friends and family struggling with big things like cancer or a child having serious surgery. While those have taken time and energy , they’ve also provided opportunity to take our eyes and focus off of ourselves to pray regularly for others, and to appreciate how easy our lives are. I’ve tweeted a few times that sales is not hard; cancer is hard.  Question: Have you allowed yourself to fall into a victim-mentality, or possibly lost sight of the fact that prospecting and hard work are really not hard at all compared to what some people are facing?
  • I stubbornly came to the realization that I can no longer handle the administrative burden of my current pace without help. I’m not bragging and certainly not complaining. It’s just reality resulting from my larger platform and the success of the book. I turned to EA Help for, well, help, and couldn’t be more pleased. I am in the process of delegating all kinds of tasks to my new EA, Patty, so I can focus my attention where it should be — on consulting, coaching and content development. Questions: which activities are you doing that you shouldn’t be? What can you offload to someone else in order to focus on high-payoff activities that only you can do?
  • Invested more hours than I’d like to admit upgrading the look, feel and flow of the content/materials used for sales team meetings, workshops, coaching sessions. It was not fun, but turned out to be incredibly rewarding. Huge props to my creative friend and assistant, Krissy, who put up with my madness and designed practical, exquisite content. Just this week, I used the freshened material while leading a full-day session for a large client’s team of sales hunters and couldn’t be more pleased (so was the client). Questions: What in your arsenal needs refreshing? When was the last time you revisited your sales story, approach to telephone prospecting, or how you’re structuring sales calls and presentations?
  • And finally, I’ve been planning for the future. My publisher and I have begun serious conversations about the next book, and I am exploring some other potential avenues that would allow me to  help more salespeople and sales managers than I can under my current model. Questions: Is now a good time for you to step back and step away in order to see the big picture and adjust your plans for the future? Has your current model of selling, managing your time or leading others become stale?

That’s what I’ve been up to the past six weeks. What about you?

Thanks for reading. I promise a return to regular posting of sales and sales leadership content this coming week. Feel free to send in requests for topics you’d like me to tackle.