Just Do It!
Remember that iconic ad campaign? Sounds great, just do it. Why is it so hard to “just do it” then.
I am a procrastinator. I can tell myself all kinds of reasons to putt off doing something I don’t want to do.
The weird thing is that I like to do things that I hear many sales people say they don’t. Like cold calling. I love it. Cold calling is a rush for me. But, making a follow up call with someone I met while cold calling, now that’s where I struggle. Or, following up on a proposal in a very competitive situation. As many time as I have heard “NO”, I still hate to hear “NO!” Sometimes the fear of no stops me from pursuing the yes. So, what do I do? I just do it. I prepare, make the appointment, and make the call. I’m comfortable once I’m in front of the customer.
I don’t have to be prepared to make cold calls, there really isn’t an expectation on the other end. In fact, some will argue cold calling is the most inefficient way to prospect. I do it because I like the rush of the unexpected. After the initial call, that is when the expectations start. You have to be prepared from then on. Cold calling is the easy way for me to feel productive for the day. It is not really that productive if I am honest with myself. It is busy work. Keeps me from facing the real work that requires more skin in the game. It is necessary busy work though.
I had to have a very difficult personal conversation a few years ago. It involved a close family member that was going way over the boundaries. This family member could also be a hot head and would usually take things personally. I was dreading the conversation. I had an appointment with my barber on the way to meet her. My barber is a very wise good friend and mentor, and I shared the situation with him. He thought for a bit, and then asked me this question. “Mike, have you considered that she might not have the negative reaction you are dreading? Have you considered that she might be understanding to your needs and concerns, and thankful that you discussed the problem?” The real problem is that I had not even considered a positive outcome. Never crossed my mind. I had been putting off a very important conversation and allowed a problem to worsen because I only worried about the negative.
Usually we sell our selves on the negative outcome, and never consider the positive. Even if we are normally positive thinkers. Yes, we are going to hear no, a lot, if you are in sales. You have to know your percentages, every no is a step closer to yes. The negative response will happen, and we have to be prepared to handle it. But, we have to also consider and prepare for the positive response. In fact, we should expect the positive response.
There are also the day to day items I want to procrastinate about. You know, the fun stuff that most sale people don’t like to do. Like call reports and paperwork. This is where I really have to “just do it.” Knock it out ASAP and move on. If not, I’ll end up with a mountain of work that will make it even easier to procrastinate about.
Problems are the worst thing you can procrastinate about. Problems do not go away on their own. Problems have to be dealt with. The sooner the better. Problems happen. We all know they happen. Including that upset client. So take the call, let them vent, and then work together to resolve it. I have found that the solution the client wants is usually far easier to make happen than the solution I imagine they want.
So, Just do it!
Make the call.
Take the call.
Have the conversation you dread.
Handle the problem.
What kind of stuff do you procrastinate about? How do you, or how will you handle procrastination in your life?