Benchmark Business Group

Intentional Imbalance

November 14, 2017

This insight is Part II in a four part series that will be released through the month of November.  At the end of the article there are additional links to the remaining insights.

Putting Intentional Imbalance into Action
Previously, we discussed that a successful salesperson knows what a win looks like each and every day. They know what activities they need to have throughout a month, a week, and every single day in order to hit their personal goals. They don't leave closings up to chance. And they know that not every day will be the same.

 
In an ideal world maybe you can achieve balance, where every day is mapped out with X hours of prospecting calls, X hours of sales meetings, etc. In many ways though, balance is a myth. You always have to adjust to things that you can't control such as conferences, when clients are available to meet, trainings, networking events, and even personal time off. This constant adjustment leads to a freedom and flexibility of scheduling that often comes with having a sales position. Many even enjoy the freedom and flexibility of their schedule, but when that flexibility is not properly managed it is a curse that causes you to get behind in wins. Managing your schedule can be done with "intentional imbalance." 

For instance, if you know that tomorrow you have a mandatory training meeting that will take up your morning and two client meetings in the afternoon, you have to change the pace of your week and days. Taking a whole morning for training means you probably won't have the same amount of activity tomorrow. And that's okay, IF you have a plan for it. The worst thing you can do as a salesperson is get behind in "wins" without a plan for catching up. The best thing that you can do is plan for imbalance. It's okay for your day to be imbalanced, if your week is balanced to reach your personal wins. In this case, if your training morning was on Monday and you know that you won't reach your wins for Monday, you will increase the amount of time you dedicate to wins Tuesday-Friday. This way you have your wins for the week. And if you're going to have an imbalanced week then by all means balance it out within the month.

Intentional Imbalance doesn't happen by accident. It happens by planning your time. It's not glamorous. It may not sound fun, but it should be a fundamental part of your position. Not many people LIKE to talk about time management. It's a topic that's been beaten to death, but only because it is foundational to success. 
 
How you spend your time is a direct indicator of how successful you will be. It's easy to be busy; it's more difficult to ensure that you are investing your time in what truly matters, the wins. Yet it remains a topic that many like to avoid, which is why we want to keep this simple.
A simple approach for time management is:
  • Schedule a recurring planning time each week. The day of the week doesn't matter, because you'll be looking a few weeks ahead each week. What does matter is that it becomes a recurring event on your schedule. It has to become a habit; it has to be intentional. 
  • Plan for and only use 20-30 minutes at the most. Don't make this into a long drawn out ordeal. 
  • Focus on what a "win" looks like for that time period
  • The window of time you'll be planning depends on your sales cycle, but 4 weeks is a good starting point.
  • Use the following agenda for your planning. 

Your Agenda for Planning Intentional Imbalance

  • Pull up a rolling 4 week view of your calendar. Make note of anything that would throw off your wins:
    • Conferences, Vacations, Holidays, Training, etc.
  • Plan out your wins for the month by working backwards. Know:
    • Your personal goal (number of closings)
    • How many appointments you need to reach those closings
    • How many leads you need to talk to in order to set that many appointments
    • How many people you need on your list to get that many leads
  • Look at each week and start to plan your path.
    • Is there a week that will be limited due to other activities?
      • If so, does your sales activity need to increase before or after?
    • For closings, appointments, leads, and people to contact
      • What do you already have in the pipeline or scheduled?
      • Where are the gaps? - these are the wins you need to plan out

Next week we'll take a look at planning your schedule, but first let's address one of the biggest myths and reasons salespeople start to get jumpy when it comes to scheduling.

The myth is, "I can't control..."
 

  • When leads will say yes
  • When clients want to meet
  • When people will get back to me
  • When....

There is a lot of truth to this. It's why the words, "Intentional Imbalance" becomes vital to your mentality as a sales person. There are a lot of elements that you can't control, but you are always in control of your activity (wins). When we discuss scheduling, we're not asking you to set something in stone. Things can and most definitely will come up throughout the week or even during the day that will disrupt the schedule, join us next week to see how to manage intentional imbalance in your calendar.

 

Creating Sales Wins Series

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