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The power of self-discipline in selling must never be underestimated because it is probably the most important quality you will find in any successful sales professional. Nobody likes the boring or difficult tasks in selling but they are normally the only way for us to reach the bigger prize at the end of the hard work.
Self-discipline in sales is more about doing what you don’t want to do rather than doing what you like doing. Everybody prefers to call the eager clients who are ready and waiting with their credit cards rather than cold calling complete strangers. The secret to successful selling is to form the habit of getting the hard stuff out of the way first and if you are able to do this successfully two things will happen as a consequence:
1. You will be so much more successful in your career or business
2. You will feel so much better about yourself and your self-esteem will grow
In my opinion, one of the biggest reasons why people fail in selling would be due to a lack of emotional discipline or emotional intelligence. The ability to control your emotions in selling can really make the difference between being in the top 5% and being in the bottom 20% so it’s well worth doing a bit of work in this area. Some people may think that you can’t change your emotions but I would really disagree with this theory. In fact I don’t even think we need to change our emotions; it’s much more a case of “managing” them. We need to know when to stop ourselves from being too opinionated with the customer and to try and give them as much space to express their ideas as possible. It can be hard to swallow at times but it will definitely bring rewards in the long term.
It’s not so much what you do; it’s when you do it. There will always be tasks of greater importance that are revenue generators and other tasks that can be delayed or delegated. Brian Tracy has a wonderful book about eating a frog or something along those lines. Eating the frog symbolizes the idea of getting rid of difficult tasks first thing in the day instead of constantly postponing them to a point where they will probably never get done at all.
Building Blocks of Self-Control
I don’t think it’s realistic for a person to develop super powers of self-discipline overnight and therefore the best solution is to implement it gradually over a period of time. Research often states that it takes between 21 and 30 days to develop a new habit. I personally believe that this will vary from person to person. Some people have already been brought up by their parents with a stronger element of self-discipline, whereas others have been allowed much more flexibility. Setting achievable goals is one great way of reaching higher levels of discipline because each step of the way is like a victory in itself.
Raise Your Expectations
Sometimes it’s a good idea to raise your expectations if you want increase your level of self-discipline. They are two elements that fit nicely together as one should trigger the other. If you want to increase your income level in sales it will almost certainly involve an increased level of self-discipline in order to achieve this.