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Carpe Diem To Improve Sales Performance

“Seize the day” must be one of most used Latin phrases since its popularisation in the Robin Williams film The Dead Poets Society.  But why can this profound saying have such a dramatic, potential positive impact for sales people and their sales performance?

Do you find those hours, days, weeks, months and years tend to morph into each other? And all those well made plans lie dormant covered in metaphorical dust in a computer file somewhere on your hard drive?   Somehow, events seem to have overtaken desire.   This blog encourages you, the reader, to push the metaphorical pause button on your life and evaluate your ways of working.   To ‘challenge the assumptions and evaluate the alternatives’.   As Robin Sharma said in his book ‘The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari‘, “if you don’t act on life, life will act on you.”   So the aim of this blog is to introduce a number of tools, techniques and the odd metaphor to put you back in control of your own life, using carpe diem as the strap-line.

Wake 30 mins earlier than normal and take this as ‘me time’. Use this time to be still in order to seize the day before it runs away from you.  Maybe use this time for 5-10 minutes meditation, reading, quiet contemplation, journaling thoughts.  This is your time and your decision.  However, spend 5-10 mins asking yourself the key question. “What are the 3-5 key things that if I did really well today would have the greatest impact in my ability to plan and execute the key tasks in my job that in turn would deliver ‘success’? Question: What tasks make success happen?  Make sure these then have priority in your schedule or task list for that day.  Ensure that this plan –do –review exercise forms part of this ‘me time’ each morning.

Take time to reflect on the following story:

 2,000 years ago there was a Buddhist Zen master who had a protégé who was a naturally gifted archer.  This archer was so good that he was tipped to win the Tibetan championship.  However come the day of the competition the protégé flunks the competition.  A competing Zen master walked over to our own Zen master and playfully thumped him on the side of the arm, and whispered in his gnarled old ear, ‘Your man is not doing so well today”.  Our master quickly retorted, “Its obvious, he is so concerned about winning he has forgotten to focus on how to use the bow and shoot the arrows!”

This story helps us to evaluate the way our mind works.  So often, when we have pressing and proximate targets, our mental energy can be total diverted onto the outcome.  In the sales environment these are weekly/monthly/quarterly targets.  Therefore sales people have the propensity to be obsessed, worried and concerned about whether they are going to hit their number or not, instead of spending their time and energy on the key tasks that make success happen.   The overriding philosophy here is to give one’s very, very best to these key tasks and relax!   If one is self aware enough life will give you something back that you can review as self-coaching.   Ask yourself:

  •  What worked well?
  • What didn’t work so well?
  • What should I do more of?
  • What should I do less of?
  • What should start doing?
  • What should I stop doing?

This whole process obviously can be applied to facets of one’s life outside the work place:  Hobbies, roles (partner, spouse, son, daughter etc.).  Thinking of the 3-5 key things I can do today that would make life better for……. Depositing something good in that relationship.

Give it a go remember and what Einstein said about doing the same things and expecting different results being the definition of insanity!

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