How to Eliminate Chaos in Your Sales Life. Create Positive Habits
Your time is your own. You can use it any way you want. I appreciate the time you spend by being a part of the Savvy Sales Community. And today I'm asking that you take 3 minutes of your time to read this post. You'll learn one small step you can take to improve the next 24 hours of your sales day. PLUS I'm announcing a new way to help you.
Create Positive Habits.
Did you know research shows poor habits lead to depression, reduce performance and creates chaos in your life? At the end of the workday do you feel a sense of accomplishment or do you wonder where the time went because you didn't get much done!
One day...time will catch up to you. And you'll wake up and realize your accomplishments are still in the distant future. This happened to me. And I can tell you it's not a pleasant realization. I don't want it to happen to you.
Habits are practices or tendencies. They can be created on purpose or as an unconscious practice. Brushing your teeth is probably an unconscious habit of yours. However, in the early 1900s brushing teeth wasn't a priority let alone an unconscious habit. It took an advertiser by the name of Claude C. Hopkins to make brushing teeth with "Pepsodent" an everyday habit. There had been many other advertisers trying to sell many different toothpaste concoctions, but it was Mr. Hopkins that found the key to creating a positive habit of brushing teeth a worldwide phenomenon.
Claude Hopkins was best known for a series of rules explaining how to create new habits among consumers. Call it consumers, buyers or prospects, you need your set of rules too.
Most people recoil over creating habits because they feel something is being taken away from them like spontaneity or their freedom to choose. The truth is positive habits keep us on track. They move us forward without thinking about it. We all need positive habits in our life if we desire success.
In order to create positive habits in your selling world, it's necessary for you to understand how your mind creates habits, especially bad habits.
Habit Rules get you through the day.
What did Claude Hopkins know that you need to know? He created a craving. The consumers of Pepsodent craved brushing their teeth!
Keep in mind...this works for you personally and for your prospects too.
Mr. Hopkins used simple triggers to persuade consumers to use the products he represented such as Quaker Oats..."A breakfast cereal that provides energy for 24 hours if you eat a bowl every morning!"
Messaging is powerful....the messages you tell yourself and the messages you give your prospects. Psychological research proves how messaging can create new habits both negative and positive. That's why it's imperative that you pay attention to your habitual behaviors.
By creating your own habit rules during the day, the routine of the habits will more easily keep you moving forward. Getting derailed will not be as much of an issue, because the routine that's been set-up will eventually become an automatic habit.
Here's a couple of rules you can set up for yourself right now.
Rule 1 Positive Habits -Get up when the alarm goes off.
Stop the morning chaos by getting up right when the alarm goes off. If you're hitting the snooze 3 or 4 times, chances are you'll get up and rush around because you've made yourself late. Do you even know why you hit that snooze 3 or 4 times? It could be habit. It could be you didn't get enough sleep because you don't have an evening routine for bedtime or a consistent bedtime hour. It could be you are avoiding the day because you wake up overwhelmed. I know what that feels like.
You see most of my sales career I was a single mother, raising my son alone. So I not only struggled with an impossible workload but I was coming home to an impossible household. Those of you that are single parents you know what I mean.
There was no one waiting for me when I came home from a long day of work with dinner on the table all the laundry done and the house cleaned. There was no one to help my son with his schoolwork. There was no one to do the yard work. No one to help with the finances. I felt overwhelmed from the moment I got up in the morning until I went to bed at night in every area of my life. It was time to take a hard look at my life. I needed to stop the chaos. Because it was chaos that held me back. I had to make changes.
Rule 2 Positive Habits-Start with one small step each week
My acronym for chaos is
Certain Habits Acting Out Sabotage
Consider this...you're sabotaging the day first thing in the morning when you repeatedly hit the snooze button. Getting up later than planned causes a chain of negative consequences. You're rushing around in a chaotic state trying to get the kids off to school and you to work on time. Then you wonder why everything seems to go wrong and your in such a foul mood! Improve the next 24 hours by getting up on time! This is a simple and small step that has the power to change the course of your day, and yet, you just hit that snooze button!
So start small with something that can have a big impact on your sales day. Get up when the alarm goes off! Do this every day for the next 30 days. If the automatic habit hasn't formed in 30 days, then do it until the sound of the alarm gets you up and out of bed without a second thought!
How can you start purposefully creating positive habits?
Take Back Control
Here's how your brain works to create a habit. It's called the habit loop: Cue - Routine - Reward
Charles Duhigg wrote an incredible book called "The Power of Habit". It's an easy read that Mr. Duhigg relates in simple terms back up by studies and research. If you want more information beyond this short article, I highly recommend his book.
But here's the good news..if you're feeling overwhelmed, overextended and living each day in chaos, you can start today by taking small steps to take back control. So it's important to understand how a habit is developed.
Let's use the alarm again as in the example above.
The cue is the alarm going off. The routine is hitting the snooze. The reward is staying comfy and cozy in bed sleeping for 20 more minutes. Each time you hit the snooze, you're reinforcing the bad habit of not getting up immediately when the alarm first goes off. Every day you do this, hitting the snooze button becomes more ingrained as a habit. I have to admit..this was one of the hardest habits for me to replace.
New Positive Habits
In order to change the habit of hitting the snooze button, think of a reward to reinforce the new behavior. It's got to be something that is worthwhile for you to want to get up. I'll share mine. My new reward for getting up at the first alarm ring was a coffee at Starbucks on the way to work. After all..getting up on time, I actually had time to get a coffee at Starbucks! It became such a consistent habit of mine, that the barista at the local Starbucks prepared my coffee anticipating my arrival! He said he remembered my order because it was so simple..plain coffee with cream. I guess no one buys plain coffee at Starbucks!
What reward will get you up at the first alarm?
Research shows that in order to form a new habit, the reward must bring pleasure. Remember, Mr. Hopkins at the beginning of this article? He created a habit through a craving. This is how cues and rewards work. The craving powers the habit loop...cue-routine-reward. So cultivate a craving to drive the loop.
As Charles Duhigg states
This explains why habits are powerful: They create neurological cravings. Most of the time cravings emerge so gradually that we're not really aware they exist, so we're often blind to their influences.
Let's take exercise. Some people get in the habit of exercise because the reward is it makes them feel good. So they grow to expect and crave the chemical reaction exercise provides. Other people like the sense of accomplishment working out provides. So they "crave" regular exercise as their sense of triumph through tracking their activities.
For lasting change, cue and reward aren't enough. Lasting change happens when your brain begins to expect the craving, the reward. The cue, in addition to triggering a routine, must also trigger a craving that the reward is coming. Now, when my alarm goes off, my brain anticipates having time to enjoy a cup of coffee from Starbucks.
What habit rules do you need to establish to make your sales days more productive and successful? Start working on your own positive habits by taking one small step each week.
Let me suggest starting with the alarm each morning and use a prompt to help you. Before going to bed think of a positive thought to wake up too. Write it on a post-a-note, and display it on your alarm clock so when you roll over to turn off the alarm clock you'll see the new positive thought to start your day off with an improved vision over the next 24 hours. And don't forget to reward yourself in a way that will create a craving to want to get up when that alarm goes off the next day. If you happen to relapse, just start over, think of a better reward and begin again.
If you already get up when the alarm first rings, then add the "positive thought" post-a-note habit to improve your day.
One of the reasons I began this series is because way too often I hear in my coaching sessions, "I don't have enough time to sell." This is the biggest complaint I hear from salespeople. Yet, the same salespeople, when asked, tell me they hit the snooze button many times before getting up. They start their day...behind. You may think this is just too simple of an idea to get up on the alarm's first ring...but it's often the simple things that have the biggest impact. All I'm asking you to do is try it tomorrow. Then try it again the next day and the next day until you're convinced that your day does run smoother when you get up on time!
To consider more small positive habits you can add into your sales day, check out a new section on my website under the Resource Tab called Sales Intelligence Rules. These rules will help you eliminate the chaos in your sales day. Actually, I've called the rules "Chaos Eliminators". You'll find simple positive habits that can easily help manage your day so you can focus on selling more. Check back often because I'll be adding to the Chaos Eliminators every day!
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