The human mind is the greatest enemy when trying to focus on the hard work required to be successful at sales.
It is easy for us to persuade ourselves not to do the problematic hard work, especially around activities associated with prospecting and business development.
Procrastination, Perfection and Paralysis can define the three main barriers:
‘Procrastination is the grave in which opportunity is buried.’ – Anon
Procrastination is a challenge we have all faced at one point or another. As human beings, we struggle with delaying, avoiding, and procrastinating on issues that matter to us.
Procrastination is a factor that we all need to address. No one is immune.
A lack of self-discipline to do the tough tasks is attributable to those aspects of life in which we fail most, and this can lead, adding insult to injury to an embarrassing crescendo of desperate, hurried and wasted activity in an attempt to catch up and meet deadlines?
There is no upside to Procrastination. The failure to do the tough things will cripple our efforts to achieve goals.
Procrastination is very closely linked to displacement activities in that we procrastinate onto displacement activities rather than the tasks that constitute our ‘drilling for oil’.
Both Perfectionism and Paralysis are causes of Procrastination.
The great irony of perfection is that while it is characterised by an intense drive to succeed, it can be the very thing that prevents success from happening.
There is a high correlation between perfectionism and a fear of failure ( driven by our chimp), which can lead to tasks becoming displacement activities. Messy success trumps perfect mediocrity every time. As always, there is a balance to be had.
We are not recommending being underprepared neither over prepared but optimally prepared how preparation is fit for purpose. Perfectionism can verge on the obsessional as a shield from perceived rejection. A lot of the problem with perfectionism is the chimp self-talk telling us it is essential to get al the ducks in a perfect row; this is especially right with the necessary tasks like prospecting. This chimp self-talk manifests itself in behaviours that tend to have us working hard getting everything ready and perfect, but doing nothing.
Paralysis by analysis is a subset of perfectionism manifest by evaluating all of the what-if scenarios;
- What if they say no?
- What if they say this or that?
- How will I know if?
- What should I do if?
Rather than just deep-diving into the difficult task and dealing with what comes up, we can go on a ‘what-if binge’.
The mere fact that we can become more self-aware can help us make informed and calculated decisions on how we spend the precious resource, which is our time.