What is the biggest distraction that keeps you from selling?

Up Your Sales Pitch Forums Question of the Week What is the biggest distraction that keeps you from selling?

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    Bill FarquharsonBill Farquharson

    In this week’s blog “How to stop chasing squirrels” I talk about how eliminating distractions or “squirrels and shiny objects” that invade our day can ensure we are spending our selling time effectively. Do you tend to let distractions derail your day? What/who are the biggest offenders impeding your ability to focus 100% on selling?

    Join Chill with Bill January 15, 2021 for a review of the results.


    Hi Bill,

    I have 2.

    Distractions are everywhere today as you know. With remote working more of what I do now, the lines are more blurred than ever between home and work. So balancing the increase in interruptions from kids, pets and the misses with those from work is a challenge some days. Not all, but some.

    The other is getting stuck. When trying to connect with new prospects or following up with existing prospects, sometimes, it’s a challenge to find out where they are or if they even still have jobs. It’s not really a distraction but when I get in a groove and run up against this, it opens the door for other things to get my attention.

    Hope this helps

    Bill FarquharsonBill Farquharson

    That first one is true for us all, Scott. Just this morning, Allison sent a house-text (aka FarkaBerry Manor) begging for uninterrupted time to work. She has signs on the door but they are ineffective.
    The second is new to COVID. It’s like everyone is suddenly in the Witness Protection Program.
    I will address both in this Friday’s Chill with Bill. They are on the official agenda!
    Thanks for the input.

    AvatarJoseph Kern

    I agree with Scott on his first point. Everyday life in working remotely has always been a challenge. The other distraction is myself. Getting myself to stay confident, focused on on-point can be a challenge. I tend to get in my own way at times.

    AvatarJoe Diana

    The best way I found to fight off the distractions is to make sure I have my todo list created before the end of the day for all the important things I need to get accomplished the next day. Yes, things come up and squirrels run across your path but when they do just look at your list to get back on track.

    Bill FarquharsonBill Farquharson

    I’m going to write a blog on this (or maybe a tip), but are you influenced by the “guilt of your upbringing” when it comes to doing non-work activities during the week? I worked all day Saturday and all day Sunday on The Sales Vault. But I spent 2 hours this morning (a Tuesday) shampooing carpets and it was SOOOOOO hard. Growing up, dad left at daybreak and returned at dinnertime. That is my model. To do otherwise seems…wrong.

    Bill FarquharsonBill Farquharson

    And, Joe, that is spot-on advice!!!


    I enjoyed the “Chasing Squirrels”. Reminded me of watching my son years ago playing t-ball. Chasing butterflies, throwing rocks, picking clovers and flowers. Those kids had their eye on everything but the ball! Fun times.

    Since working from home the past week or so, I find being able to focus on the task at hand much easier; virtually, no interruptions. Now I work more!! I miss working at the office and cannot wait to return on the 18th.

    My biggest distraction are emails. Quote this, quote that. Did my order ship? I didn’t get a proof, when’s it coming? So on and so forth. And I am sure nobody gets this request. Need a quote today, ready to make a decision. Then crickets! My biggest time bandit are the smaller orders that are so complicated and consume a ton of ton. Like many, I try and take care of my clients quickly and as efficiently as possible, and cringe when I cannot return an email the same day.

    Bill FarquharsonBill Farquharson

    People think working from home involves a lot of TV watching and eating bon bons, but I agree: You actually work HARDER when home-based. It burns me when I will head to the post office, hat on backwards and wearing gym clothes because that’s what was available when I got up at 5 AM to start working. You see a friend or acquaintance who looks you up and down and says something akin to, “Must be nice!”

    Regarding the email distractions, I read something years ago and wonder if it applies here: The telephone is there for your convenience, not for others’. As such, you are not obligated to pick it up.

    Similar to the phone, emails have a sense of urgency. It’s been my experience that while an immediate response is ideal, it is by no means mandatory. We are not nearly as important as we think we are! With few exceptions, emails can wait a few hours.

    I have also found it to be a good practice to email back something like, “Bob, I got your email and will reply later today. If you need an immediate response, let me know and I will get right to it.” People appreciate that level of communication.

    We’ll talk more about this on Friday during the Chill with Bill episode.

    AvatarJohn Caricato

    I feel the same was as Bob, I feel like Pavlov’s Dog went I hear that ding from my e-mail.
    I also have to admit I know people are less accessible while working from home and I use that as an excuse to not make calls. I also have been busy for several months now and really should be making calls because my confidence level is high. I think I will pick up the “5 elements of effective thinking” but I will actually read it, not use it as a coaster.

    Bill FarquharsonBill Farquharson

    True, John, it does make a lovely coaster. I can’t blame you there.

    I am going to talk more about this in this week’s Chill, but I am of the opinion that emails can wait. If someone wants you now, they’ll call. Otherwise, same day reply to an email is typically acceptable.

    And by the way, it is good to see the Tampa Bay Patriots doing so well.

    AvatarSteve Naylor

    I would say my biggest distraction is being stuck and trying to figure out what I need to do. I think someone else said that was a distraction. What I mean is trying to look at a prospect and come up with the right message and should I email, call, or what to try to create a conversation. It is so difficult now in trying to get people to respond to communications if it is email, phone, social media, etc.

    Bill FarquharsonBill Farquharson

    Steve, this is very common. I think the best you can do to find something to say is to research their company or their industry. Let’s say you are calling on a bank. Google, “Marketing mistakes banks make” and you will come up with ideas for a sales pitch immediately!

    As for the right medium to use, try them all. My experience has been what matters is the redundancy.

    AvatarDan Jones

    My Job! …the day to day activities in the shop… after all, being the owner, marketing director, janitor, HR manager, oh, and the Salesman… etc.

    Bill FarquharsonBill Farquharson

    Dan, it sounds like you are good at Whack-a-Mole! I just got off of a coaching call with someone who is stepping into a job like yours. My advice to him:

    1. Put a sign on your door: “Can it wait until 10am?” (or 2pm or whatever). People who would have walked right in will stop, look, and leave UNLESS it is important. Better still, many won’t come back. They will have deemed the issue unimportant or solved it themselves!
    2. Change your outgoing VM message to: “Hi, It’s Dan. Today is Thursday. I will be unavailable until 10am. Leave your message and I will call you back. If you need immediate assistance, press ‘0’ and ask for Bill.”

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