Procrastination on the sales floor, how to overcome it?
Brought to you by Toby Fellows, Sales Director, Lead Forensics
Hello! Welcome to Lead Forensics Focus: Elevating your Marketing and Sales Success. Bringing you sales and marketing insight from the experts.
In this video, I’m going to cover how you can overcome procrastination on the sales floor.
We all do it. In fact 95% of the population spend an average of 2 hours of their working day procrastinating.
In a study of which occupations procrastinate most, sales came in at 5th! You need to understand how to stop this behaviour affecting the success of your sales floor.
1.Start by forgiving procrastinating behaviours.
A big part of procrastination is linked to fear and negativity, and when your team blame themselves for procrastinating- this just gets worse.
Make sure your team understand that it’s ok. Procrastination is a natural thing- but now it’s time to move on!
The sooner you can encourage your team to forgive this behaviour instead of dwelling on it, the sooner they’ll clear their minds and get back to the task at hand.
This can be a difficult mentality to adopt, especially for compulsive procrastinators. So, encourage them to come forward and confess procrastination, and feed them with positivity in forgiveness.
For example, saying “I forgive you because you’re an awesome team player!” helps them remember why they love their job and eliminates the negative thoughts fuelling procrastination.
2.Is it personal
If you notice a team member procrastinates regularly, it’s possible that they’re bringing this behaviour into work because they’re putting something off in their home life.
It could be making a family visit, telling their partner some bad news or just doing the Christmas shopping.
Check-in with procrastinating team members on an individual basis to understand what’s driving this behaviour.
Though it may be something removed from the workplace, you could still offer some indirect support that helps them overcome this procrastination at home, so they perform better at work.
Additionally confidence plays a big part in procrastination. If someone fears something they are less likely to want to do it. For example making a cold call. Practice and training to improve their skill set will give them confidence and as such take away the fear factor reducing the likely hood of procrastination.
3.Break up the working day
Many salespeople procrastinate because they struggle to prioritize and delegate their time, or because some tasks seem unmanageable.
Encourage your team to plan their day out into small sections of no more than 1 hour.
If they’re faced with a large task like constructing a business proposal, break it into steps such as research, first draft, edit, proof and so on and you do this using outlook as an example.
This makes every task look bitesize and easy to complete, mentally removing the key reasons behind procrastination.
This task also promotes a mentality of “quick wins”. We often avoid long-winded tasks because it will take time for us to achieve satisfaction, but by breaking everything up into short bursts, your team continually feel a sense of success.
4.Change how you set goals
Your team might procrastinate because they feel their input isn’t going to have an impact to the bigger business picture.
This can continue to spark negative thoughts and feelings towards working and cause procrastination- especially around month or quarter end if they don’t see a route to delivering their targets.
Overcome this by changing how you target a procrastinating team member, by setting them short term mini-goals, closely related to their daily processes.
As they achieve these mini-goals their confidence will build, and they’ll feel ready to take on bigger tasks whilst understanding how their mini-goals feed the overall business.
This approach can take some time and perseverance, but as procrastination can cost $10,000 per employee, per year, your business will benefit in the long run.
Everyone has a list of tasks they’ve been putting aside for a “rainy day”.
Productive procrastination does a kind of swap, helping ensure time not spent doing the tasks at hand is still spent working towards the common goal.
Let’s say, for example, one of your team members is procrastinating because they don’t want to make a difficult call. If you notice they’ve also got a large number of follow-up emails they’ve avoided sending, encourage them to swap one for the other.
This is a win-win situation. Your team member instantly feels more positive as they don’t have to tackle a difficult call, but they’re still working productively on another essential task.
The key is to make sure they’re not trading for a task they like and enjoy; the trade must be between two tasks that are going to add value or they have been actively postponing or ignoring.
This can be especially effective when looking to build an enjoyable working environment. Try offering your team two productive procrastination trade-offs.
Overcoming procrastination is about taking control through positive power, helping your team optimistically approach the tasks they dislike.
Remain flexible and keep discussions open to ensure your sales results aren’t hindered by compulsive procrastination.
I hope you have found this video helpful, and that I’ve given you some new ideas to help motivate your team.
If you have any questions, please feel free to comment below. Our expert team love hearing your thoughts and answering your queries.
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See you next time