Like so many serendipitous events, the book showed up at just the right time for me. As a small business owner, I wear lots of hats and feel pressure to put in the hours. After all, my mortgage doesn’t pay itself.
Very often, I find myself pondering if striving to change the face of sales is truly making a difference in the world, and that causes me some degree of angst.
Helping salespeople to improve their capabilities and leverage a social selling approach can lead to greater sales achievement. If your traditional view of success is like most people’s – anything that leads to more money and power is a good thing. Sell more, make more money, earn more awards. What could be better?
And at what cost…
That’s the gist of Arianna’s book. Life, in her view, and I agree, is like a 3-legged stool. Money and power may be two indicators of living a successful life, but thriving not just surviving in your life is the 3rd critical element that most people focus little, if any, time on at all.
No stranger to technology, I believe that digital platforms, apps and devices have transformed our lives. Whether that transformation is for the better or not is debatable. What I’m struggling with is that using technology for social selling (or any aspect of business) should make life easier – not harder.
I’ve been following Keith Rosen’s blog post series “Your Sales Culture is Killing You”. In today’s email, Keith talked about a client who had to take a sabbatical from her sales management position because her job is literally stressing her into an early grave. Good for her that she recognized it now and took steps to do something about it.
Sellers today are stressed trying to:
- Be there 24/7
- Make quota
- Find new business
- Keep their boss off their back
- Manage their CRM reporting
- Deal with office politics
- Educate themselves on company products and services
- Learn about trends in their industry
- Listen to customer complaints
- Keep tabs on the competitors
- Work social networking into their sales activities
- Stay on top of hundreds of emails
- Adapt to last minute requests for their time
- Keep their sales skills sharp
Have a life. Well, hopefully, that’s the case. To have a life, you have to be there and be “present”, which means not digitally distracted, for the sports games, school plays, family vacations, concerts, art shows, weddings, birthday’s, holiday’s, funerals, meet-ups with friends, spouses or life partners.
A friend of mine on Facebook admitted today that she almost blew off the funerals of two cousins, to do work for clients who couldn’t be bothered to get their tax work done before now. Does anyone NOT know that in the US, we must file by April 15? Same date every year. I’m happy to report that she decided supporting family members during this difficult time was the better decision to make!
Make time for you. Exercise, meditation, yoga, music, reading a book (the old fashioned way), sitting outside feeling the wind on your face – whatever it takes for you to refresh and re-engage. For me, I love sitting on the deck listening to wind chimes, communing with nature, hearing the birds chatter with each other, watching Lily (my almost 6-month old puppy) play and just get quiet. I also do some of my best thinking outside in the fresh air. My daily walk with Lily is one of my most precious times, and I can’t tell you how often I see folks walking their dogs while yakking on cell phones.
Yes, hitting sales quota is important but not if it literally makes your life a living hell.
To thrive means making different choices, because guess what, waking up in the middle of the night feverishly answering emails won’t get you closer to quota. It is highly unlikely that the buyer you want to hear from is going to email you at 2 AM with a yes (international exceptions aside), so what the heck are you doing? It shocks me to know that some 35% of people actually admit to waking up, picking up the mobile device off their nightstand and begin doing email before they’ve even rolled out of bed in the morning.
My cell phone is far out of reach after 6:30 pm, and I don’t waste time even looking at it for – at minimum – the first two hours of my day.
Do you really want to be that guy or gal who gets to the end of their life and realizes how badly they screwed it all up? If you don’t learn to thrive, you flat out won’t survive. All people will end up saying about you is that you worked really hard. Is that really the legacy you want to leave?