“When you have a task, pick a deadline for yourself and when you’re going to accomplish it, map out a plan in a fairly quick fashion and then just grit it out and just do it and just get it done.” – David Weiss in today’s Tip 294
How about you? How are things getting done? Do you have a plan?
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Scott Ingram: You’re listening to the Daily Sales Tips podcast and I’m your host, Scott Ingram. Today I’ve got another great tip from David Weiss. I’ll let David share his thought and then I’ll add a bit of my own commentary at the end. Here he is:
David Weiss: Hello Sales Success Community, David Weiss here with a tip of the day. So my tip of the day is all about getting things done and executing on a plan. So I want to do this through a couple stories. The first is one around the book that I just wrote with my friend Andy; Your Definitive Sales Career Guide. And the book is solely designed for a entry level, recently graduated from school, folks that are thinking about a career in sales and they just want to learn more about is sales right for them and how to get the job and then how to be successful in their early stages of their career. So one of our audiences for this is college students and then also deans and professors of colleges that if they liked the book and are willing to recommend it, they can help us as influencers to our target audience. So I found a publication online that had all 150 schools in the United States that have major or minor programs tied to their business school in sales and had a conversation with Andy on Friday afternoon. And we committed to splitting this list of a 150 schools and doing our profiling of each school and each professor. And essentially what we were trying to do is figure out who led the sales program, what was their email address, what was their phone number, what was their physical address to mail them stuff, and what was their LinkedIn profile. So we agreed to do this I created an Excel spreadsheet and I was done with my 75-ish accounts by a Saturday morning. So I spent a significant amount of time. I mean, we’re talking, 70 hours worth of work going through, going to each single website, identifying each individual information on every single school, and then moving to the next one. And then it’s Saturday morning and I’m thinking to myself, I wonder what Andy’s up to. And I kind of knew what he was up to and I said, well, knowing my friend, it’s probably gonna take at least another week to get this done. And in my usual, highly impatient and sense of urgency self, I said “I just want it done now”. So I took some ownership of that and I didn’t want to put it on, Andy. It’s not his fault, it’s mine. And I said, “Okay, I just got to go get it done.” So then by about 7:00 AM Sunday morning, I had finished and I took some breaks to, of course, do other things in between, but I got it done. And I sent it to Andy and he comes over the top and says, “David, this was a superhuman effort. I don’t know how you do these things. No one else can work at your pace.” And he inflated my ego. But then I thought to myself, you know what? I just don’t agree with him. I don’t agree that I’m special or that what I achieved was was anything that anyone else couldn’t. And I think that’s one of the points I’m trying to make is that what I did was I looked at a task. I identified what needed to go into that task to be successful. I figured out how to accomplish it and then I just went and did it. I didn’t go out drinking. I didn’t decide to watch a movie. I didn’t decide to do some other things that trust me would have been way more fun. I set a goal and a target and I just sacrificed what needed to be sacrificed. I did what needed to be done to accomplish that goal. And yeah, it was a day or two of my time. But the outcome is I now know every single person I want to target for this book. And so I thought to myself. Man, I bet other people are struggling with this where they identify a task and, or they want to accomplish something and they get paralyzed in fear or doubt or just the sheer, struggle that is the thing they’re trying to accomplish and they shut down or do other things or get distracted or what have you. And my thoughts, everyone is set a goal and just do it. Just commit to it and just get it done. And you’ll feel so good when you do.
And I want to give another example of this. I’m super proud of my wife. She is in the process of expanding her offices. She is in private practice. She’s opening a new office and we needed to get the furniture to furnish it. And we’ve been through this task multiple times before as she’s grown her practice. And what we typically do is drive around every furniture store in Houston and look for good deals and look for things that make sense and order them and they get piecemealed and delivered and all these different times. And it’s a multi-week process and some of it gets ordered on Amazon and Wayfair and other places and it’s a huge pain. And my wife told me we didn’t have enough time to do this because she needed to move offices because they were being painted and this needed to be ready in about a week. So we really had that weekend to accomplish it. So I said, “Okay, how are we going to do this?” And the first thing was we made a list of everything we needed. So we needed two end tables, a cabinet, a bookshelf, a couple of lamps, a couch, three different chairs, a play table, an office chair for her to sit in a rug. And I’m probably missing some stuff, but it was a lot. So we made a list of all of that. We kind of started looking online for color schemes or one on, we kind of chose something that we wanted to color scheme and style we wanted to go with. And then I went to Wayfair and we narrowed it down. We found 300,000 plus items in all these different categories. But he said, all right, let’s use their filters. And we narrowed it and it turned out to be about 700 to a thousand items in each of the categories I listed. So we just went through all of them and 700 here, 700 there, 700 there, so on and so forth. Found the top three to five we liked in each category and then narrowed it down from there and then just committed to it and bought them. And they’re being delivered in another week and I’m to spend the next weekend probably putting things together. So, which is super fun and I can’t wait. But the point is, and I think this is what I’m trying to say to you all, is these tasks for not fun they were not enjoyable but accomplish something them we’re not superhuman efforts they’re not things that many of us can’t do. But again, most people when they look at things like this that I’ve found, it’s tough. So they overthink it or they plan too much on the front end or they delay starting it where they, or because it’s not enjoyable. They allow themselves to get distracted. So my recommendation to the group, when you have a task, pick a deadline for yourself and when you’re going to accomplish it, map out a plan in a fairly quick fashion and the just grit it out and just do it and just get it done. And you may realize like I’ve realized at times when I’ve done these things. That I probably set a very unrealistic and ridiculous, insane task and deadline date. But I’ve said to myself when I’ve done that, “Okay David, well, you’re just gonna pull in all night or night and you’re going to get it done.” Because that’s what I committed to myself to do and I’m not going to let myself down. And then next time I have to do that task, I’m going to set for a realistic, instead of maybe one night or one day to do it, maybe I’m gonna give myself two or three or four days because I now know what it will take. But I didn’t give up. I didn’t let myself down. I committed to it, I executed on it and I got it done. And I just recommend everyone else when they’re running into tasks like this, just do the work. Just grit it out. Just go do it. You’ll feel so much better and you’ll be way ahead of your peers and of other people that do allow themselves to not accomplish it in the deadlines that they set. So I hope this was helpful. If I can answer any questions on how I approach these things, or if anyone’s running into troubles with tasks, feel free to use me as a resource. And thank you all for listening.
Scott Ingram: So first and foremost I want you to click over to DailySales.Tips/294 where you’ll find links to all things David Weiss including his new book: Your Sales Career Guide, which he’s currently offering at cost. So I hope you’ll help support him and grab a copy of the book, but I also wanted to pile on with my own quick story. I laughed when David sent me this tip earlier this week because I did something very similar on a late-night flight on Monday. I had a complex task that needed to be done to inform some next steps on a project that I’m working on and it likely won’t be until later next week that I’m able to get the expertise that I really need to complete that task correctly, but it was a critical path type of item and I was at a complete standstill until it got done. So even though the way I accomplished it was ugly and imperfect. I was able to keep the process going. At the end of the day it all comes down to this bias towards action. Do you have it? Do you act? One action I hope you’ll take right now is to join the listener list. You’ll also find that at DailySales.Tips/294, and when you do I’d be glad to send you the video of your choice from the Sales Success Summit. Maybe you’d like to see David’s presentation on Building Business Cases and Closing the Gaps in your Sales Process. Just let me know.
Then come back tomorrow for another great sales tip. Thanks for listening!