3 “life-changing” questions to prompt guidance, increase sales, and get your time back in 2022
Six at night, and sales motions still course through our household.
My wife runs an enterprise team for a recently-acquired, fast-moving, industry-disrupting tech startup. She’s proven she can deliver millions of dollars of SaaS revenue and appears more focused than ever.
I’m starting my 15th year in tech and my 4th as a consultant for early-stage companies. Our house rides the wave of each passing quarter like the surfers in front of Blackies beachside bar.
Like you, she and I want clarity around our personal and professional aspirations. We want more consistent sales performance. We want more freedom, autonomy, and control of our time.
As sellers, we often get measured by the questions we ask, not the answers we provide.
Keeping to that dynamic, I’ve gathered three questions you might consider as you seek guidance, sales, and time in 2022.
Who do I want to be?
I devour everything written by Ryan Holiday.
I read Stillness is the Key and Obstacle is the Way twice (giving Stillness the slight edge FWIW).
Last year, I stumbled on a Thrive article where he posed the question above and it’s seared itself into my brain.
I want to be a writer. I want to be healthy. I want to be helpful, positive, and thoughtful.
But answering this question inevitably leads to another question:
What actions represent who I want to be?
As sellers, we get focused on quotas, commissions, and promotions. We focus on the outcomes of our actions. Holiday’s question draws attention to our actions themselves.
I write to be a writer.
I exercise and mind my diet to be healthy.
I meditate to be thoughtful.
If it’s clarity you seek, spend time shedding light on how you spend your time.
Your actions, not your ideas, thoughts, or perspectives, shape the person you become.
What is my one thing?
A friend handed me Gary Keller’s book last year. It takes simplicity and depth to new levels. All 200 pages revolve around this single, cut-to-the-chase question.
The tension I feel running a business stems from the fact that I can do anything I want and know there is so much I shouldn’t. The same goes for any seller, founder, and sales leader.
You can spend hours improving your messaging, tweaking price plans, narrowing your target, fostering collaboration, and expanding your network.
But exhausting one of them serves as your most effective sales strategy.
Consider mastering your product.
Learn every use case, feature, integration, shortcoming, and potential. Think of how valuable you become knowing your product better than your product managers and engineers.
Or maybe you dominate social selling.
You share valuable industry insights each week. You connect with partners, peers, and customers to scale your efforts. You gain trust and attention across the web.
For me, it’s writing.
When I focus on publishing my ideas, I cruise toward my goals.
Writing serves as my direct path toward consistency and fulfillment in my work.
Identifying your one thing will prove just as valuable.
What doesn’t need my attention?
The year is just getting started. You have plenty of time.
But time slips through our fingers the further into the year we get.
This question returns our grip.
No matter how hard you try, you cannot create more hours in the day. And adding more people to see and more things to do only slice up those sacred twenty-four.
Confronting this limitation, not ignoring it, produces feelings of freedom and autonomy.
What meetings can you cancel?
What events should you skip?
What will you clear from your life?
Minimalism isn’t a practice exclusive to clothes and home goods. You can apply it to emails, messaging apps, notifications, social media, podcasts, and television. It works with relationships too.
Oliver Burkeman, author of my favorite read from last year summarizes this idea well:
“The more you confront the facts of finitude — and work with them, rather than against them — the more productive, meaningful, and joyful life becomes. I’m aware of no other time management technique that’s half as effective as just facing the way things truly are.”
Identify what doesn’t deserve your attention and you’ll be amazed at how much attention frees for the things that do.
What do you think? I’d love to hear. Please comment or DM.
I help software sales professionals sell (and live) with intention. When you embrace practice, develop awareness, and align your efforts, you can rise above the deal.
You can live #quotaless