How to Defeat Procrastination in a Telesales Environment

When it comes to motivation (or the lack of it) on a daily and recurrent basis, I am sure that every one of us would agree that mornings quite frequently are not the best of times. Speaking for myself, even after many years of doing the job of selling over the phone, my first three or four pitches on any given day are mediocre in comparison to my overall performance. I learned over time to live with that and not to be too hard on myself. This is a pattern that somehow seems to work for me. I consider it my “warm-up” stage, almost like a prerequisite for all the professional and successful calls I make thereafter.

Procrastination is the biggest enemy of motivation and by just getting on with things I instantly feel in control again and therefore start feeling better in myself. Beat procrastination instantly as and when it crops up.

Albeit by “just doing it” I don’t refer to blind action in order to kill time and to get through my day as quick as possible, but to refer back to my plan and my goals.

You want to make 20 fresh calls each morning? Now is a good time to start.

I promise you that if you stick to your few core principles it will help tremendously to motivate you on a n ongoing basis.

Another big enemy of self-motivation is the constant need to improvise all the time.

Improvisation is a syndrome where people only react to their surrounding circumstances and their workload in order to get things done. It is the opposite of control and strategic planning.

Prime candidates for this behaviour are small business owners who feel the need to slog it out at all times, as well as many salespeople in small organisations.

Quiet often they are not only responsible for sales but also involved in marketing, client liaison and customer service. If needed they do the stock ordering too (or any other task that requires urgent attention). These people must be driven in order to get through their workload on a daily basis. Driven to the brink of exhaustion quite often. As a result, the individual error quota rises and even more manpower is needed to keep all balls up in the air.

If you can relate to this scenario you would agree that it dampens your spirit and probably does not bring out the best in you. If you are the business owner and you feel that your most demanding customers consume too much of your valuable time you have to address this. Go through your client book and you might find that 20% of your customers bring in 80% of your business. Perhaps the ratio is only 70% to 30% but its unlikely that its lower than that. Quite often the customers who bring in good business are also nice and easy to deal with. The next logical step is to concentrate on these ones in order to do more future business with them and to find new customers who are equally easy to deal with and nice.

But you can only free your time for these tasks when you firstly identify your most troublesome customers (who are often at the bottom of the pile when it comes to turnover) and eliminate them. Yes, get rid of them, tell them to buy somewhere else if they are not happy with you and your services.

If you are a salesman in such an organisation and you feel obliged to take on what your boss or colleagues throw at you, you equally have to address this. Organise a meeting with the relevant parties and let them know what your core duties as a salesperson are (sales, sales, sales) and explain to them how much time you spend on other tasks. Prepare a detailed list to illustrate how much time you spend on each task, therefore demonstrating how much time is taken away from you that you could spend on sales.

Sales is a priority for each business. Without selling there is no turnover, no cash flow and no profit. Good telesales people are usually treated with respect, and such a meeting is a great opportunity to get respect for you back on board.

If in the long run you still cannot concentrate on your telesales in order to bring in new business you will probably feel frustrated even more so. In such a case it is simply better to look out for a new job with an employer that sees and values your abilities.

Another self-motivation killer is boredom. On the one hand, it is certainly beneficial to have a routine in your daily tasks as it might make you feel more centred and secure. But with all routines there will be sooner or later the point of saturation where your secure routine becomes boring. If you let this happen your negative feelings will fester and over time you might get so bored and disinterested that you even might dread the thought of showing up to work each morning in the first place!

Don’t let that happen and do everything to make your work life happier and easier. Most salespeople I know have a quick mind and love being challenged and these versatile characteristics come often with a lack of patience. If you get bored, vary your task as much as you can. Try pitching a new product or continue to use the same old product but pitch new markets or use a new product and pitch a new market segment. I’m sure you will see what I’m trying to do and I believe the possibilities for variations are endless once you start thinking about it.