5 Tried and True Ways to Stay More Focused in Sales
How much more effective would you be if you could focus on your sales tasks for prolonged periods of time? This means no distractions, no prevaricating, and no more time spent getting ready to get ready; just hours of focus on prospecting, pitching, and following-up — all the things that move the needle, and none of the things that don’t.
Sustained focus seems to be a rarity these days, as distractions (usually in the form of smartphones) have rewired our brains to constantly crave stimulation, rather than the prolonged concentration required to achieve anything worthwhile. Those who possess the ability to focus succeed, while the rest of us struggle to overcome our own urges, seeking out a few hours of productivity whenever possible.
So, can the average salesperson regain their focus even when the very thought of it seems impossible? The answer is yes; anyone willing to put in the effort can increase their focus and develop significantly better habits. Here are five tried and true ways salespeople can stay more focused in sales:
1. Work off a to-do list
Creating a daily (or weekly) to-do list can be extremely effective because it organizes disparate activities and allows you to keep track of where you stand (The Spiro Assistant automatically generates a prioritized daily to-do lists for users). If you start feeling overwhelmed or your mind begins to wander, you can simply refer back to your list and start checking things off the list. Another benefit of a to-do list is the dopamine boost you feel after you’ve completed a task and crossed something off the list. It might not be the same as a strong cup of coffee, but getting in the habit of working off a to-do list can make you feel more productive while helping you get things done.
Time-blocking is another highly effective way to stay focused and is used by some of the most successful business leaders in the world. Time-blocking is when you schedule your activities ahead of time, marking them on a calendar, then dedicating the allotted time to the pre-scheduled activity. For instance, you might block off three hours every morning to focus on prospecting for new business. Those three hours are only for prospecting, and anything else needs to be handled before or after. By getting in the habit of time-blocking, you’ll ensure that you focus your energies on specific, important tasks, rather than trying to wing it through the day.
3. (Literally) put your distractions away
The biggest source of most people’s distractions these days are smartphones, or, perhaps, screens in general. Experts have long recommended that if you want to be productive, you should literally put your phone in your drawer or leave it in another room when you’re working on something else. For salespeople, of course, this can get complicated, because we use our phones to do our jobs. That being said, you don’t need your phone all the time, and the majority of your phone use is not actually productive. So if you want to increase your focus, put your phone away when you’re not using it, and close out of all non-work browser windows when you are. If a distraction isn’t physically accessible, then there’s less of a chance of it taking time away from meaningful work.
Meditation has been proven to increase focus and overall well-being. While salespeople aren’t the first bunch of people that come to mind when you think of meditating, they could very well have the most to gain, as focus, the ability to be present, and a positive mindset can all be beneficial to sales reps. Even meditating for as little as fifteen minutes a day can have measurable impact, so don’t assume that you need to fly overseas on a retreat to reap the benefits. Learn the basics of meditation, and before your next cold-calling sprint, put it into practice.
5. Eat the frog
Eating the frog might sound gross, but it’s sales advice that has helped countless reps over the years. Eating the frog is basically taking your most difficult task of the day, and getting it over with first. For instance, if you have to turn a prospect down and it’s stressing you out, do it first thing in the morning so you can get on with your day. Similarly, if prospecting is something you find difficult, make sure to prospect when you’re at your freshest, getting the most out of your productive time and freeing yourself up for easier tasks. Rather than walking around all day being weighed down by the things that stress you out, get them over with early — eat that frog!