Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Stress-Buster Strategies

Here are four steps for organizing non-routine selling tasks:

Bob was thrilled when a new prospect asked him for a proposal on a new service. He assumed it would take him about two hours to complete. Because Bob underestimated the amount of time, he didn't start until 3 p.m. on the day before the proposal was due.

Five o'clock rolled around, and Bob was still working. Worry plucked at his nerves. What if he couldn't finish the proposal in time for the 10 a.m. meeting? That would be a disaster! He would look disorganized and unprofessional.

Anxiety increased and Bob's output slowed to a crawl. At 7 p.m., he stared at what he had written. Three pages finished and two more sections to go. What if he was taking the wrong approach? What if he had the customer's buying criteria wrong? What if the price was too high?

He slogged onward, finally finishing at ten. Exhausted, he gave the final product one final read-through. "This will have to do," he said.

Bob turned off his computer and headed for home, vowing the next time he got a big opportunity he would not procrastinate.


Salespeople are optimists by nature. Usually, this trait benefits us, but occasionally, our sunny view of life causes us to underestimate the amount of time a non-routine task like a proposal will take. To avoid anxiety and late nights, follow these steps:
  • Make a complete list of everything that must be done.
  • Prioritize the steps.
  • Estimate how much time each step involves.
  • Total the time and develop a realistic schedule.
One last tip . . . when you take on new tasks, get started sooner! It's the smartest way to avoid stressing out over the possibility of missed deadlines. 

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