No matter how long you’ve been in sales,
every so often you need to recharge your sales approach, otherwise burnout may
set in. I’ve long been a believer that everyone should take time off, go on a
vacation or stay-cation, and simply unplug to recharge their personal
batteries. Sales people oftentimes get the bad rap for having flexible
schedules, client entertainment, etc. The truth is though, sales people rarely
ever turn off. Heck, I once sat on a beach in Florida, struck up a conversation
with the guy sitting next to me over some frozen drinks, and a month later
signed a contract for my firm to provide marketing services to his company.
Sales people, like anyone else in the
company, do not have an endless supply of vacation days. Between driving all
over the place to meet with clients, juggle personal schedules with networking
events, and oh yeah, making dozens of phone calls every day, a sales person’s
business life can become hectic. Taking a break without actually taking a break
may be just what is needed for a quick battery recharge.
Every so often I will plan an entire
week of work from home. When planning ahead I make sure my wife and children
have their regularly scheduled routines in place so that any time spent in the
house is for me and the dog. My kitchen table becomes my office. Calls to
the office forward to my cell. I schedule one or two client meetings, maybe a
client breakfast or lunch, but otherwise leave the calendar somewhat open. And
I’ve found the alone time, except for
the dog, therapeutic. I am more relaxed and when I am more relaxed I tend to
feel less stress and tension. I plan ahead for the next few months and
documents my plans. I read, write, rewrite, and send hundreds of emails in one
week that I’ve been trying to do for over a month or two. I make more phone
calls in two days than I can typically make from the office in one week. Unless
I am seeing a client, I wear shorts and t-shirt, I take time to go for a walk
with the dog, I go out of my way to make myself an awesome (healthy) lunch, and
I set time aside to reflect on the past few months and what is ahead.
What I don’t do is take this time for
granted. I do not waste this time. I do not watch television or surf the internet.
I take business as serious as if I were in the office, but I do it from my
kitchen table. I still go to bed and wake up at the same times. But, I am not
worried about traffic. I recharge while getting work done.
This approach to managing myself and my
sales teams requires trust. I must trust that work will get done. I must trust
the person is mature enough to handle this autonomy. I must trust that when the
person returns to the office that we move forward without having skipped a