Tennessean Column- Sunday, February 7th
Creating an Atmosphere of Greatness
If you and I bought a young colt from the bloodlines of the greatest race horses in history, we’d hope to have a winner when the colt turns 3.
However, if I kept the colt at my house, if my vet friend checked on the colt periodically and if I let my friends ride the colt on the weekends, then when the colt was 3, I guarantee we wouldn’t have a winner.
Why? We didn’t create an “Atmosphere of Greatness.” We created an atmosphere of failure. Without training, proper medical care, proper diet and proper conditions, our horse would fail.
The same is true for salespeople. I see so many salespeople who do not find or create for themselves an Atmosphere of Greatness. When I interview salespeople, I look for a good jockey on a bad horse. It’s amazing what happens when you take a salesperson that is ambitious and coachable and put them in an atmosphere focused on their success. They become winners!
So what are a few elements of this elusive Atmosphere of Greatness? Some elements are in the salesperson’s control and some are dependent upon the company where the salesperson works. Here are some thoughts on the ones we can control:
Get off to a good start
First, set up your morning to make your day more productive.
The University of Nottingham recently reviewed 83 studies on personal energy and self-control. These two elements determine our productivity. They found that self-control and energy were limited (finite). We run out of both. When we run out of energy and self-control, we become unproductive.
Our productivity is highest in the morning. By changing our morning routine, we can both be more productive and extend the time we have before we run low on energy and self-control.
Steve Jobs said, “For the past 33 years, I’ve looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?”
It doesn’t matter whether you are a morning or a night person. Whether you wake up ready to go or sleepy, these things will improve your Atmosphere of Greatness.
Everyone and every study says to start with exercise. Even 10 minutes of exercise releases neurotransmitters that improve your energy and your attitude about the day.
Furthermore, eat a real breakfast. A real breakfast leads to more stable blood levels, less obesity and it reduces hunger during the day.
Next, get enough sleep. It isn’t a morning adjustment but you get the point. It makes your morning better.
So, now you’ve gotten enough sleep, you’ve exercised and you’ve eaten. You have already set yourself up for a great day.
Set daily goals
Second, set your day up by writing down your goals for the day. Keep these in front of you all day. Take them in the car with you.
Put goals in order of importance. Put things you might get done or of lower priority at the bottom. Mark the items on your to do list off as you complete them. This action gives you a sense of accomplishment.
The point of this is to get the most important things done when you are most productive and have the most self-control and energy. You could go so far as to assign times to your to do’s. Assigning times puts your 8-12 hour day into perspective.
Finally, clean your work space. Princeton University conducted a study that found that people who worked in a clean workspace were more productive than those who worked in a mess. It was found that a cluttered workspace was distracting and created unproductive stress. A clean work space was motivational and created feelings of pride.
The same goes for your car. I hate to go for a ride-along with a salesperson whose car is a mess. I am sure they feel disorganized and stressed out.
Take time to clean up your workspace at home, too. Remember “Pigpen” was never a top salesperson. You cannot look at a messy workspace and say proudly, “This is my Atmosphere of Greatness!”
Try these three tips and see what happens. If you’re like most salespeople, your results will go up. As your career progresses, fight every day to create your own Atmosphere of Greatness.