There’s comfort in routine. From rituals like your drive-thru coffee to habitually hitting the gym, routines anchor us in the moment. For many sales professionals, routines are essential for success. There’s something relaxing about the repetition that prepares us for the day, and we all know how “off” we feel when our routines get disrupted. That’s why people resist change. After all, if a routine works, there’s no sense fixing it—until it stops working. Sometimes, even our most-trusted routines stall, get stale, or need an upgrade. Whether you’re in a slump or just stuck, a new routine could do the trick. Here are a few ways to recharge your sales routines to stay primed for success:
We all need something to aim for. Setting goals provides us a target to stay motivated and continually push forward. Each morning, get in the habit of identifying specific things you want to accomplish or achieve that day such as a certain number of calls and emails. Do the same thing for the week and even the month ahead. Make sure you keep these measurable, realistic, and achievable. The objective is not just to continually reach. You also want to use these benchmarks to boost confidence.
Once you set a target number of clients or prospects to reach out to, craft a series of questions just for them. Lead with specific information such as “I saw your post about issues with longer sales cycles, and I have a few ideas you might find helpful.” Next, have your target questions ready to probe for additional information, “How far into the process are you seeing a fall off? What kind of a time frame would be most advantageous?” Making specific questions part of your regular routine can help sales pros control the conversation and get to the heart of the client’s issues faster.
It’s important to cultivate genuineness to ensure you always look out for your client’s best interest. Check in regularly. Before calling, think about their unique situations. Ask about their families. Express empathy. If a family member has been ill, make that your primary concern. As busy professionals, we can’t forget the human side of selling. Exhibit integrity and always keep your promises, including that one to yourself about being a trusted advisor before a salesperson.
Maintain an Online Presence
A vigorous online presence is essential. Like you, your clients and prospects check social media throughout the day. They’re not looking for anything specific, just something that stands out. Let that be you. Post news that impacts their industries, in both the short and long term. Keep your posts strategic, with purpose. Don’t overshare. Reach out to five new contacts each morning and ask for five referrals from friends, colleagues, current and past clients. Remember, a successful online presence provides more than instant gratification. Done right, it’s a long-term, brand-building reputation setter.
It can be tempting to cut corners. These traps give the illusion of achievement when we’re merely keeping busy. One of these is email templates. Of course, they serve an important function, and when something works, don’t reinvent the wheel. However, make refreshing these a part of your routine. Maybe it’s every two weeks, but never forget the value of a personal touch. Same with phone calls. Regularly rehearse and record calls, and look for ways to keep these fresh, friendly, and always of value.
Never Stop Learning
Whether your manager is great or ineffective at best, there is no substitute for keeping an open mind and learning something new every day. Ultimately, we are responsible for our success, and a big part of that is seeking opportunities for growth. As the selling industry continues to evolve and expand, sales media proliferates as well. Today, there is no shortage of books, blogs, and podcasts featuring influential and successful sales leaders eager to share their insights and knowledge. These are often quick, lively, and entertaining, and they provide great value. Incorporate these into your routine like a daily meditation.
Study Performance Metrics
Data is one of the most important tools for salespeople to gauge performance. It is also one that constantly changes. Make evaluating and interpreting data part of your routine. Begin and end each day with a review of your performance metrics, and look for ways to improve. The more this becomes second nature, the less likely you are to be surprised by anything, either positive or negative. Of course, you probably won’t see much radical change in a daily review of your metrics, but that is precisely the point. Use this to stay informed and seek subtle ways to increase performance.
If you think it about it, a routine itself can become so ingrained—so routine—that it’s easy to miss when we need a new one. Successful sales professionals should get in the habit of updating their routines before they start to sputter. Rather than wait for this, change one thing at a time. Maybe wake up an hour earlier and sit down to breakfast instead of grabbing something to go. Cold call on Thursday afternoons instead of Tuesday mornings. Whatever it is, do it for as long as it works. Then rise, rinse, and repeat.