Let’s be honest…everyone makes mistakes. The opportunity comes from the lessons we learn and actions we take as a result.

No one reaches a state of proficiency in any profession without making mistakes and correcting them. Mastery is achieved through a process of trial and error and making corrective adjustments. We have little chance of learning from our mistakes if we are critical of them. If we overlook or deny these valuable lessons, we are destined to repeat them. It requires honesty to face up to the mistakes we have made and ultimately reap great rewards if we learn from those mistakes.

Here are the three most common mistakes I see sales producers make and how you can learn and adapt to become more successful:

Mistake #1. Producers get distracted. Let’s be honest, we are easily distracted. We are subjected to an overwhelming volume of information each day. If you attempt to plan each day at its outset, do you find yourself off track by lunch or before? It is so easy to be distracted from our daily plan. If this happens enough, we’ll give up making plans altogether. We will become controlled by the daily distractions instead of the other way around. In the words of the great motivational speaker Les Brown, "We give our distractions more attention than our destination."

The question becomes: How do I develop a plan that I can stick with through the distractions of an average day?

  • First, you must develop a sense for where you want to be at the end of the day.
  • Second, write down three things you want to accomplish by day’s end.
  • Lastly, make certain they are within your ability to accomplish. It’s easier to stay focused and avoid the sea of distractions with a road map.

These three tasks will be your signposts to help keep you on course. Don’t overwhelm yourself with a long “to-do” list. Keep your day manageable, otherwise you invite self criticism that robs your confidence.
Mistake #2. Producers stop prospecting. Many producers fail to put at least one new prospect into their pipeline each day. One new prospect a day for the next 50 weeks brings 250 new prospects. Closing at least 10 percent of those prospects brings 25 new clients over the next 12 months. Staying focused on this simple, yet powerful result is a great way to establish positive patterns that build self-discipline and maintain confidence.

Mistake #3. Producers stop developing new skills. It is tragic when we fail to improve ourselves each day with one new idea or skill. Jim Rohn, one of the world's leading motivational speakers, philosophers and entrepreneurs, said, “The books that we don’t read can’t help us.” The same can be said about new skills and ideas. Exposing yourself to new ideas and skills has the potential to change your life. New skills expand how you see yourself and the world you live in. The new idea you choose today can be simple or profound. The new skill you learn can change the way you do business forever. Both have the capacity to stimulate your personal growth and change the dynamics of the relationships you have with your customers. Make adopting a new idea each day, and learning a new skill each month, the cornerstones of your success.

Years ago, the late George Harrison said profoundly, “if you don’t know where you’re going, then any road will take you there.” This statement taught me the value of preparation, planning and focus. It also made it clear how these three mistakes impacted my performance, confidence and attention. Mistakes are only fatal if we don’t learn from them and refuse to take corrective action.

John F. Kennedy said, "The time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining." So get out your ladder, climb up on your roof and make the repairs necessary to your success.

Kloyda is founder of The Prospecting Expert and The Producer’s Toolbox. He can be reached at steve@theprospectingexpert.com.


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