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Today I was writing a new section of my book about habits. I got to thinking about the most important habits when it comes to sales. Follow up, outreach, documentation, CRM, personal reflections…they’ll all improve your sales outcomes.
I’ll be honest: I’m not 100% with any of them.
Sometimes I don’t follow up as much as I should. My documentation is never completely up to date. I should spend more time doing outreach. My CRM isn’t perfect.
But of course there’s more to my business than selling. I also write a lot. I don’t like to skip a day of writing – it’s just too important.
I’ve leaned on routine, and that allows me to be a strict creature of habit.
Every morning I wake up at 5am. Then I do exactly the same thing every morning:
- I go to the kitchen and start the hot water kettle
- I get dressed and stay quiet enough not to disturb my wife
- I make a pour-over coffee, freshly ground the night before
- By 5:15am I’m in my upstairs office, pre-heated, and turn on a daylight to improve my mood, and a desk lamp over my computer
- I meditate for 10 minutes (I’ve meditated 76 consecutive days)
- By 5:30am I write in my journal and say my daily affirmations
- I write for an hour and a half
- Then I go downstairs to make breakfast and hang out with my wife at 7am
It’s exactly the same every day. Having that routine helps reinforce the writing habit. Today is the 49th consecutive weekday I’ve sent a freshly-minted email newsletter.
Some are better than others.
Meanwhile I’ve published 115 podcast episodes since July 2018.
The key isn’t so much consistent effort as it is habit. Habits are easier to sustain than using willpower, because sometimes things don’t go well.
Sometimes my writing feels like it doesn’t come together. But I’ll write again tomorrow. Sometimes my podcasts are just meh. I’ll publish another one next week. Sometimes my days aren’t that productive. I’ll wake up and try again tomorrow.
But what I can tell you definitively is that I’m more focused, a better writer, and produce more interesting podcasts after all of the effort.
Sales habits function the same way. You have to do the work, and the only possible outcome is improvement.
You probably already know what to do. It’s the habits that make the difference.
MARCH 12, 2020
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