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   ARTICLE   |   From Scotsman Guide Residential Edition   |   February 2005

Keep Your Eye on the Ball

Congratulations! If you are reading this article, you have made it through the first month of this year. Four or five weeks ago, 2005 was going to be your “Best Year Ever.” Now, the excitement and optimism that each new year brings have worn off. How are you progressing? Are you on track to produce results like never before? The excitement only lasts so long before reality begins to set in. Which reality will it be? “I think I can really get over the top this year,” or “Here I go again, one step forward and two steps back.”

As your coach, I am calling a time-out to ask you some questions and offer some advice in critical areas in order to keep your momentum going and rekindle the flame of enthusiasm and hope for what is truly possible this year. I don’t want you to become complacent about the promises you made to yourself. Progress and potential are attacked every day by a silent killer—complacency. It will poison your best intentions and will take the life out of your best-laid plans. It is easy to find yourself back in last year’s ruts, which I call “the habits of failure.”

One way to know that you are “keeping your eye on the ball” is using a system of constant refocusing. Keep yourself on course by refocusing on the most critical areas.

Area One—the Plan

This is a good time to be certain that what you wrote down as your goals and action plan for 2005 are really what you want. Did they just sound good at the time to you or your boss? Are you still passionate about your goals?

Every day, passionate salespeople do things that move them closer to achieving their goals. If you have set high personal and business goals, you do not have the luxury of letting up. Your goals and action plan must stretch you until you feel a bit nervous or uncomfortable. Of course, I assume that you have gotten your goal planning done by now. If not, stop planning. It’s time to get busy!

Area Two—the Review

Take time to evaluate and review the results you are getting for your investment of time, energy and effort. The term return-on-investment applies here. Don’t get trapped into doing things that are not producing positive results for you. Be clear. What’s working? What’s not working? What are you learning or relearning about yourself or your commitment? You aren’t slipping back into those unproductive habits that are a dead end, are you? If so, why?

Take a minute to review your daily routine. Is it rigorous enough to get you what you want? Positive income-producing habits are the key to consistency and to a predictable income.

Area Three—the Adjustments

What did your review reveal to you? Were you honest? (If you can’t be honest with yourself, get a coach!) Some of the following areas of your business may need adjustment:

  • Prospecting: Are you matching your strengths and personality style to your prospecting? Are you putting in a full-time effort? Do you promote yourself to new people every day? Are you working with more prospects and less suspects?
  • Better presentations: Are you creating memorable experiences for your customers? Are you giving your customers a compelling reason to choose you?
  • Selling: Are you doing more telling or more selling? It’s time to close more sales. Ask for the order and keep asking.
  • Persistence: Following up can eliminate 40 percent of your competition. Make more unreasonable requests; don’t give up. Stop being so casual about losing.

Make changes in your actions. Once you discover the changes that are necessary, make the adjustments quickly. Don’t wait until the two-minute warning to figure out what you want. When you are no longer tolerant of not having what you want in your life, you will become more persistent in its pursuit.

Area Four—Gratitude

Don’t forget to contribute along the way. Be thankful for the opportunities that you have every day and give back. Your life and your business are unimportant, except for their impact on others. Success without fulfillment is meaningless.

All right, enough now! Get back out there and play the game. Start risking more in the next 30 days. Be willing to fail more often. Your lack of failure often indicates a lack of effort or a personal policy of playing it safe. Stop playing it safe; stop settling for less. Keep your eye on the ball and keep winning!


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