If Not Now...When?

Most sales reps focus on the month. Which means that at the beginning of the month there is plenty of time. No hurry. Week 1 passes by leisurely. Week 2 the pressure starts to build. The weekly meeting was a little tense. The manager has noticed the lack of sales, and the lack of activity as the causal factor. But then there is still 3 weeks to go. Week 3 the manager is getting pissed. Warnings are murmured. Time to get serious. Dial all week. Lots of calls but no fast deals. Week 4 starting to sweat. Can’t sleep. Getting in early and staying late. Just like final exams in college. Waste 15 weeks and cram the last week. Finally a few deals happen. Maybe some more – if so another decent month. Often it’s too little, too late.

A month consists of about 4 weeks. If you lose a week, you are down 25% on your target. A week is made up of 5 days. If you blow off Monday, you are down 20%. If you do this every week you lose a fifth of your month, and your income. Days are made of hours. If you squander one hour with a long lunch, then you are down 12 1/2% for the day. Instead of 40 calls, you made only 35. Hours are made of minutes. If you screw around surfing the web for 20 minutes, you lost 33% of that hour. Minutes are made of seconds. If you don’t perfect your opening statements, so as to hook the prospect in the first 10 seconds, they will hang up. Each second is precious.

There is no yesterday. Prove that it existed. You can show me newspapers, videos, personal memories. That’s not proof. Even if it was possible to prove, yesterday is history and irrelevant today. Tomorrow does not exist yet. We can safely assume that it will magically become tomorrow, but we can’t see it now. If it’s 10:00am now, 9:59 is a memory. It gets stored with all the other memories. Same with 9:59:59. That 1/100th of a second is more than ample to separate the now from the then. For example, a bullet zips a fraction of an inch from your ear. It is moving at 1,000 feet per second. In that 1/100th of a second the bullet could have traveled from 5 feet in front of your face to 5 feet behind. A fraction of a second earlier, if you were moving into the path of the bullet, you would look like Van Gogh just after he decided that asymmetry was in vogue.

Light travels 1 foot in a billionth of a second. The smallest unit of time is called a “time quanta” calculated to be 3.3 X 10-44 second. If you squander even one of these, you will no doubt squander another. And another. And so on until you are plant food.

Applying this to sales: Be here now. Pick up the phone now. Close a sale now. Sell like there is no tomorrow. Forget yesterday it no longer matters. Tomorrow will take care of itself.

Your paycheck this month depends on this moment, this call. Your year is determined by the months. Your career by the years, and your life as well.

Take care of now, and you’ve taken care of infinity.

Now get back to work!