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Why There’s No Such Thing As PROCRASTINATION…

Antony Sammeroff is a business mindset expert who empowers people to meet their potential. His coaching helps people discover how wonderful they are, cultivate their talents, and remove psychological barriers.

In this episode of The Salesman Podcast, Antony explains why procrastination isn’t real and how we can force ourselves to get more done each day when selling.

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Featured on this episode:

Host - Will Barron
Founder of Salesman.org
Guest - Antony Sammeroff
Business Mindset Expert

Resources:

 

Transcript 

Will Barron:

Coming up on today’s episode of the Salesman Podcast.

 

Antony Sammeroff:

There’s no such thing as laziness really because everyone works hard when they’re really, really passionately engaged with something. There’s only difficulty in controlling your reaction to your emotional state, or being able to manage your emotions.

 

Will Barron:

Hello sales nation. I’m Will Barron, host of the Salesman Podcast the world most listened to B2B sales show. If you haven’t already make sure to click subscribe and with that, let’s meet today’s guest.

 

Antony Sammeroff:

Hi there, I’m Antony Sammeroff, host of the Be Yourself and Love It podcast and author of Procrastination, Annihilation, and How to Make Small Talk. You can find me at beyourselfandloveit.com.

 

Will Barron:

On this episode of the show with Anthony we’re diving into procrastination. How you can eliminate procrastination, not just from the daily things that we all go, “Ugh [inaudible [00:00:50] I’ll do that tomorrow”. Essentially prospecting seems to be the thing that gets eliminated for most people’s days as a sales professional, but we’re also getting into the world of how we can stop procrastinating on the things we want to do in the next month, the year, over the next decade. It can really have a big impact on our lives and the lives of the people around us. And so with that, let’s jump into the conversation.

 

What is Procrastination? · [01:20]

 

Will Barron:

Let’s key things up with, I guess, what is procrastination? What’s going on in our heads? And what is happening when we procrastinate?

 

“There’s no such thing as laziness really, because everyone works hard when they’re really, really passionately engaged with something. There’s only difficulty in controlling your reaction to your emotional states or being able to manage your emotions.” – Anthony Sammeroff · [01:44] 

 

Antony Sammeroff:

Well, like you, I was a chronic procrastinator. It caused me so much suffering. That’s why when I started finding some methods to become more productive, to actually help myself, I was quite keen to record them and share them with other people. I guess I’m starting from the point that there’s no such thing as laziness really, because everyone works hard when they’re really, really passionately engaged with something. There’s only difficulty in controlling your reaction to your emotional states or being able to manage your emotions. And you know, if someone can bench press their weight, we don’t call them lazy for not being able to lift it up we just re recognise that if they really want to, then they’re going to have to build up to it and be in the gym. And people don’t actually understand, people can’t see one another’s emotional and psychological environment.

 

Antony Sammeroff:

You might actually need to take your conscientiousness to the gym. So the book Procrastination Annihilation was really created for that. I got emails from people saying, “Oh my God, it was like you were reading my mind, some of this stuff”. And the other thing they said is, “I didn’t feel condemned for being a procrastinator when I read it”. So I think what’s going on in your mind it very much differs from people to people, person to person. People have different reasons why they procrastinate. But in my book, I put them into five sort of categories, which I think is what you might be alluding to with the question but I’m not sure.

 

The Difference Between Laziness, Procrastination, and Just Not Creating Time for Something · [03:15]  

 

Will Barron:

Well, we’ll run through all five, if not kind of the biggest bang for buck categories in a second. And we’ll tie up the show with that, but there’s something you mentioned which I think is particularly important and interesting to land on here and go into a bit further. And that is this idea of laziness. So I’m not lazy. I work more hours than almost anyone else that I know yet I call myself and I identify as a procrastinator as I did at the top of the show and I have done for years.

 

Will Barron:

I have trouble getting started, and when I get started I’ll crush out hours and hours of work. So are we perhaps mislabeling ourselves as procrastinators? And is this the first step to get rid of? Is that the first step of negative self talk? When we throw a label on ourselves, which has a negative connotation like that?

 

Antony Sammeroff:

Well, there’s two different ways to look at it. You could be saying you’re labelling yourself, or you could be saying you need to own your stuff to do something about it. I think that people can be very busy, but they’re still procrastinators because they’d really like to be busy writing that novel that they’ve put off for 10 years but they just keep on doing more over time at work. So they’re still a procrastinator because they’re avoiding the tasks that put them out of their comfort zone. We have this belief that we should be able to just go from not being able to do it to magically being able to do it all at once. Well, one of the things I say in the book is for example, if you did want to write a book, let’s say it’s a nonfiction book, but you’ve been putting it off for years, why don’t you start with something that’s just a little bit out of your comfort zone, like writing articles or related topics?

 

Antony Sammeroff:

Then you might actually be able to pull from them and put some of the material that you’ve already prepared in the final product. But that would be an example of trying to take a realistic assessment of what you’re capable of and using it to take your conscientiousness to the gym. It’s really to be able to identify what you value, what’s important to you. And are you dedicating at least some time in your life to pursuing that?

 

Antony Sammeroff:

In my twenties, I found it really difficult to write. Now at the minimum I do half an hour a day and I’ve got that boxed off. That’s one of my easier things. It’s other things that are difficult for me to do but what I did was I zeroed it in to something that was manageable for me. And I kept on doing just that one little thing until it became manageable. Don’t know if I exactly answered your question Will.

 

Is Procrastination a Habit Issue or a Lack of Willpower? · [05:40] 

 

Will Barron:

Well you tied into something interesting here and I’ve thought about this in the past, but I’ve never really, well I’ve never talked about it on the show. How much of not being a procrastinator, being productive with the right things, how much of that comes down to habits? And I’ll frame it up with it’s relatively well studied that when you’re trying to train people and instil habits such as flossing your teeth, people who only had to floss one tooth a day and then they scaled up did better in those studies. So how much of this is I’m a procrastinator, blah, blah, blah, blah, well I’ll just set the habits of not procrastinating every day and I’ll beat it that way. How useful is that as a strategy?

 

“It’s much more important to get in the habit of practising 10 minutes a day, let’s say, rather than trying to get really into it so that you can do an hour or two. That might make you feel amazing but then the next day, when you wake up and you can’t do it again, you’ll feel like garbage.” – Antony Sammeroff · [06:58] 

 

Antony Sammeroff:

I would narrow it down to something more specific then I’m just going to get the habit of not procrastinating every day but I think the principal’s truly excellent because we don’t procrastinate over things that we are just used to doing habitually. The thing is, it seems like you’ve got a kind of willpower allowance and people actually want to go from where they are now to stopping procrastinating on everything. Whereas I think it’s good to get a list of the things that you’d like to be less procrastinatory over and do something like your idea of just loss one tooth a day. I used to teach piano when I was at university, and for a while afterwards, and it’s much more important to get in the habit of practising 10 minutes a day, let’s say, rather than trying to get really into it so that you can do an hour or two. That might make you feel amazing but then the next day, when you wake up and you can’t do it again, you’ll feel like garbage.

 

Antony Sammeroff:

But if you establish that habit of doing that little thing, whatever it is, whatever the thing you procrastinate on, 10 minutes a day, once you’re used to doing it for 10 minutes a day, it’ll be easier to bump it up to 15,20.

 

Antony Sammeroff:

When I was writing the book, I did two hours a day, five, six days a week of writing minimum. But before that, if I hadn’t established the habit of doing half an hour a day for eight, nine months before that, there’s no way I would’ve been able to bump it up to that.

 

How to Stop Procrastinating · [09:48] 

 

Will Barron:

So other than habits then, and I guess we should get sales specific with this, and something that people struggle with, and again, I’ve struggled with in the past is for example, cold calling is something that people are putting off, even though they know they should be doing it every day, because it can be a little bit painful.

 

Will Barron:

So it’s not just, we’re procrastinating for the sake of procrastinating, we know that there’s potentially rejection on the other end of the phone. So other than just instilling habit and forcing ourself to make one call a day, then two cold calls a day, what other strategies are there to eliminate the procrastination of, for example, cold calling?

 

Antony Sammeroff:

Yeah, it’s good to put a box around it. This is the time where I do it and it’s in that time, you’ve got the permission to do it. You can also write down all the reasons in your heads while you think like, what are the reasons that you give yourself not to do it? Write them down on the left hand of the page and then on the right hand of the page give yourself a reality check because you’ll find that these thoughts are repetitious. So you might want to write down like, “Oh no one’s going to buy it anyway”. And then you go, well, what’s the reality of that? The reality is, while it’s true that many days I do calls and here aren’t any buyers, I still get better at doing cold calling by practising . And a few times I have actually successfully closed on a cold call.

 

Antony Sammeroff:

You need to become familiar with the habit pattern of your mind so when those thoughts come up again, you can go, “Oh, there it goes again”, and it creates a little distance between you and your habitual thinking. Really it’s the emotional component, which puts us off. We are anticipating, I don’t know jumping into a cold shower or whatever it is, that’s what it feels like getting started like you said. So it might sound a little bit woo woo to some people, but using one of the meditation apps regularly and things like that can be really helpful just because you learn to calm down your body. You learn to take care of your nervous system. And I’m always surprised, I thought it was a terrible meditator, but I’m always surprised by how, if I’m a bit stressed if I just take six to 10 deep breaths, I go, “Wow, I really am actually much calmer after that” because the practise adds up. All of these things, they’re there to serve you. We’ve got the tools these days so grab them with both hands.

 

Will Barron:

So meditation does not sound woo woo whatsoever. So there’s plenty of clinical studies on this that show, it can literally rewire your brain and just to kind of double down on this for the audience Antony, because I use the Headspace app and I’ve been a huge proponent of that app for a long time now. It helps me, not necessarily helps stops me from procrastinating, but it helps me when we touched on this earlier in the show, sussing out what I should be doing rather than just being reactive. It helps me be proactive. So if I know I’ve got one important thing to do each day, I’ll meditate 10 minutes, just use the app, listen to Andy talk me down into kind of a moment of less nonsense going on in my brain and immediately I go, “Okay, I need to focus on this” rather than inadvertently procrastinating by doing a load of stuff that doesn’t matter.

 

Anthony’s Thoughts on the Benefits of Meditating · [11:17]

 

Will Barron:

Is that your experience of meditation or do you have a kind of another layer to add on top of that?

 

“Who’s really running your life? Who’s in charge here? Are you actually doing the things you want to be doing with your life? And if you are finding that large periods of the day, you know that you should be doing something more important, then you’re not in control.” – Anthony Sammeroff · [11:27] 

 

Antony Sammeroff:

I love the way that you’ve put it, which is being proactive rather than reactive because you know, it’s the question like who’s really running your life? Who’s in charge here? Are you actually doing the things you want to be doing with your life? That’s what I’d like to add to what you said. And if you are finding that large periods of the day, you know that you should be doing something more important, then you’re not in control.

 

Antony Sammeroff:

It’d be nice to start with a little bit of a zone during your day, that is in your control, like meditation is one great way of just coming back to yourself and going, “Okay, I’m ready to make a decision now rather than respond to my environment”. Another thing I find really helpful and I advocate in the book is journaling. I like to write three pages a day in a jotter and that gets me clear in my head. It helps me know what my priorities are. It helps me dump out any emotions as well.

 

Antony Sammeroff:

Then I can say, “Okay, right now I’m going to make more conscious decisions”. I don’t want to be constantly reacting to my psychological and emotional material. I want to be stepping forth and doing what I want in my life. I guess Procrastination Annihilation the book was my attempt to systematically put out what I’d learned about my own psychology, the psychology of a procrastinator, as well as the tools that I was using to become more conscientious and become more of a proactive person as you put it.

 

Will Barron:

It’s funny this because we have a, well a couple of people have seen it, a couple people are testing it at the moment about 25 people I think, but the new version of, and I won’t kind of bang on about it, but our new product, The Sales School, the new version of it comes witH a daily planner. And again, we haven’t prepped this before, but it does a little bit of what we’re describing here of, it focuses you to jot down the most important task of the day and then a bold task to do something that put really pushes your comfort zone and the way that it works on the kind of timeframe that you document all this down in it, you you can’t document it down on the second part of the day. You’ve got to do it in the morning.

 

Will Barron:

Just that one shaded area of this timeline of your day, you could write over it if you wanted, it’s not completely black, it forces people. And I think it’s just in your head as opposed to, I think it happens subconsciously as opposed to consciously because you could go, “Well, I’m busy this morning, I’ll do it later on”, you know, sod this grey area of this graph that I shouldn’t be writing in, but people go, “Oh, it doesn’t compute that I can put it there. I’ll put it here”. And people have loads of benefit from it.

 

You Don’t Need Tricks and Hacks to Beat Procrastination; You Just Need a Process · [14:09] 

 

Will Barron:

Essentially. It’s time blocking the most important task of the day and time blocking something that’s bold that’s going to move your career or your life or wherever is forward. And it’s interesting the way that you’ve mentioned a couple of things there that kind of tie into this. The reason I bring all that up Antony is, [inaudible [00:14:30] procrastination, a series of secrets and hacks, or is all of this essentially like age old and people have been suffering from it and solving it for thousands of years?

 

Antony Sammeroff:

Well, I looked at a lot of the other advice that was out there in for procrastinators and I found some of it nominally helpful because they were hacks. Like the Pomodoro Technique, you’ve talked about eating that frog as it’s called, do something hard early on, and that is really helpful if you can do it. If you find it difficult, then just before that shaded area, plan something as, you need to be the scholar of yourself, so there are some things that most people probably know that once they do them, they get them going a bit, “Oh, if I do that thing”. Put that in your planner, just before eating the frog to use it as a ramp.

 

Antony Sammeroff:

To get back for your question, the reason why I didn’t find that the hacks were as helpful, as much help as I needed, is because they didn’t change me on a profound level.

 

Antony Sammeroff:

Sometimes people aren’t conscientious enough to use their hacks. So the reason why I kind of, in Procrastination and Annihilation, I help people plan a sort of three months programme for themselves because it’s relatively unscary because really actually what you really want is to just be a more conscientious person. You want to find it easier to do these things. So let’s say it’s kind of like your exercise routine, you want to be able to lift what is difficult for you today, three months from now with ease. You don’t always want to be struggling with it. You don’t always want to be bashing your head against the wall. I think if you can focus on getting a little bit better a day, every day, then you’re on a good track. So as an ancient wisdom, yeah probably, I mean the idea of being in the present moment, focusing on what you can change, stepping out of your comfort zone a little bit every day to become a little bit better every day.

 

“You need to put things into practise and find out what works for you. Try it out for a couple of weeks, just even a little thing so that it becomes part of who you are and you can embody that rather than just have to see it as ancient wisdom that you find hard to put into practise in the real world.” – Anthony Sammeroff · [17:10] 

 

Antony Sammeroff:

Spare no thought for the moral it’s in the Bible, the stoic [inaudible [00:16:49], Buddha said it, [inaudible [00:16:53] said it differently, so I guess it is ancient wisdom. The question is how can we take that into our hearts and make it part of what we are, who we are as a person, not just an ancient teaching. I think you have to have some firsthand experience. You need to put things into practise and find out what it works for. Try it out for a couple of weeks, just even a little thing so that it becomes part of who you are and you can embody that rather than just have to see it as ancient wisdom that you find hard to put into practise in the real world.

 

Will Barron:

Would another way of putting that be, rather than trying because it seems like you’re trying to nudge us away from just going I’m going to make this snap decision and now I no longer procrastinate on cold calling for example. It seems like we’re trying to nudge away from that and make it more realistic, I guess, because that’s very unless something’s happened, unless you just had a child, something’s just happened financially, whatever it is, your standards have just been raised because of something else. It’s very unlikely people make a snap decision.

 

Why You Need to Upgrade Your Level of Thinking if You Want to Become Better at What You Do · [18:11]

 

Will Barron:

I’ve made very few of them but I have made them, and it’s been more my environment that’s made me make that snap decision to change something as opposed to something that I’ve been in control of. So with all that said, is it fair to say then that we should be, rather than making a snap decision to become that individual, we should be, how to describe it, almost if we want to get this task done regularly we need to be the person who regularly does that task as opposed to trying to use hacks to convince this person that we are right now to do it, if that makes sense. Do we need to become a different person so it just becomes seamless to us like the lifting analogy?

 

“It’s not about doing the task, it’s about becoming the kind of person who does the task.” – Anthony Sammeroff · [18:46] 

 

Antony Sammeroff:

We’re getting our software upgrades Will, that’s what it is. Thank you for that. I think in the book I say it’s not about doing the task it’s about becoming in the kind of person who does the task. Because I used to get that all or nothing, I’d crush it one day I’d be like, “Yes”, and then I’d crash the next day because I’d feel like so bad that I couldn’t persist. That’s why I liked your thing of habits. I love the work you’re doing with your programme because you’re helping people build in habits. So that things become easier as they develop those habits.

 

Antony Sammeroff:

I’m always like thinking about making, finding ways to make it easier for myself and for other people because you know, in the Dow, speaking of ancient wisdom, it says be like the river. Take the lowest path down the mountain.

 

Antony Sammeroff:

There’s nothing wrong, if it comes to a rock it goes around it. If it can’t then it collects in a pool and goes over it and it’s so much less energy. I mean, if beating yourself into doing things, “Yes, I’m never going to be out procrastinate again”, if that worked there’d be no procrastinators left because we’re great at trying to flee ourselves to death with self-criticism. I’m trying to get away from that. I’m trying to find ways for people to get better at negotiating with themselves, being a good friend, mentor and encourager to themselves. I think that’s about training yourself, like you said, at the gym to be able to handle your emotional difficulties and to work with them to overcome them ,rather than just the steam roll over them because you’ll get caught in the mud and you’ll grind your gears sooner or later in my experience.

 

Will Barron:

And I agree and that’s my experience. I do exactly what you’re describing Antony of, and I still do it know, I’ll do one, two days of crushing it, I’ll feel great and then that typically leads me to go, “Oh, I’m going to celebrate. I’m going to get a pizza tonight and have a beer” or whatever it is then I feel really shitty the next day and then it all goes to rubbish.

 

Antony Sammeroff:

Sounds familiar.

 

Will Barron:

Sorry?

 

Antony Sammeroff:

Sounds familiar.

 

Will Barron:

Yeah. I go through phases of, obviously I’m skinny kind of thing I’m somewhat athletic with the sports that I do, but I go through phase of I need to put on some weight, I need to get stronger to compete with the fellows jujitsu and stuff that are, that are big and stronger than me. Then I go, “Oh, but I look, I’ve got a bit of a beer belly because I’ve been putting on weight. I’ll I’ll cut back”. And then I’m treading water on both sides and not really making any progress. And I feel like I’ve done this in the past with sales as well, and this is the perfect analogy for this, I’ll do loads of prospecting which will lead to loads of business but I spend all my time closing business, don’t do any prospecting, And then I end up back in this dip.

 

Antony Explains Why People Don’t Do the Right Things Even Though it Might Be the Easier Path · [21:56] 

 

Will Barron:

And this is a regular phenomenon for B2B salespeople of the up and down and up and down and up and down, and then it becomes stressful because you don’t know what’s coming in around the corner. Clearly the answer is in everyone’s face, which is just do an hour of prospecting every morning. All of this balances out and it becomes real simple, but why is it then, and we can go kind of off a tangent on this and talk about self talk or whatever it is, but why is it that we know something is simple, perhaps we’re doing seven hours of prospecting a week, but we’re throwing it around. Why don’t we just do it every single day? Why doesn’t that happen when we know that’s the right thing to do? It’s the easier path even.

 

Antony Sammeroff:

Well, usually it’s because people want to change everything at once in my experience, myself included. To be honest, your body, as an organism, you’re a system and it’s used to running in a certain way, which is why I recommend that you look at the kind of way that you’d like to be living and you make one of those changes at a time. Let’s say, it’s your hour prospecting. You do that on a reliably or you do it at different times and you don’t do it every day, if that’s the most important thing or it’s something you think you can do, just change that one thing for three weeks, get it locked in then change the next thing that’s annoying you because you can’t change everything at once.

 

“When you start doing anything you kind of suck at it, whether it’s writing, or painting or whatever your passion is. You have high standards because you could see how good you can be but when the rubber hits the road, you’re constantly focusing on all the ways you’re not meeting your own high standards, and that might be one of the reasons why you’re procrastinating.” – Antony Sammeroff · [23:53] 

 

Antony Sammeroff:

So that’s like all or nothing thinking and I think that’s a major obstacle for people. The second one I mention in my book is perfectionism and what I kind of like to say about perfectionism is people usually get into things because they’ve got high standards and they’d like to do them well. So you might be fascinated by sales, I am and it’s something that I have to do because I’m in personal development and I work with people, but even though I’m fascinated by it, it’s something that I can avoid a lot because it’s easy for coaches, I’m a counsellor as well, to just say, “Well, I just want to work with people”. While I am actually fascinated by it so you want to do it well but the thing is, when you start doing anything you kind of suck at it, whether it’s writing, or painting or whatever your passion is. You have high standards because you could see how good you can be but when the rubber hits the roads, you’re constantly focusing on all the ways you’re not meeting your own high standards.

 

Antony Sammeroff:

The thing is to acknowledge that you have high standards when it comes to yourself and that might be one of the reasons why you’re procrastinating. It’s tied into wanting to change everything at once and say “Well, that’s great, I’ve got high standards, but no one goes from just starting, just emerging in any area of their life, to being able to meet those high standards. It’s a great thing to have high standards so you need to kind of be patient and tenacious with yourself and step by step leading up to the point where you do meet standards regularly.

 

The Artist’s Dilemma · [24:47]

 

Will Barron:

This is called the artist dilemma, right?

 

Antony Sammeroff:

Right.

 

Will Barron:

Someone knows what good is, but they can’t get there and they give up before they get to that point. It happens with sports, it happens very literally with your painting and you suck for 10 years, but you’ve got an eye for it, you’ve got that slight advantage, you don’t get to leverage that advantage until five, 10 years of painting every day.

 

Will Barron:

But I found this also happened internally within every organisation I’ve ever worked in. Someone will ask me for some report. Consciously, I know it’s a load of nonsense. No one’s ever going to look at it. It’s my sales figures for this versus, or the other classic one would be my expenses. I was always late doing my expenses. The accounting team just want a crappy spreadsheet full of data that they’ll sort out because that’s what they do. They love looking at spreadsheets, the majority of them. I, on the other hand, would procrastinate on doing it because I wanted to make sure all the numbers were right, all the receipts were right, it was all perfect or looked appropriate. It was static, because again, I liked looking at spreadsheets and building them well as well.

 

How to Break Through Your Perfectionist Traits · [26:13] 

 

Will Barron:

I don’t like to just hand over the crap to people, but the issue was I’d procrastinate on it, It wouldn’t get done. I’d then be pulled apart with I should be dealing with customers not doing spreadsheets and I’d put it off for six months and then I’d get a [inaudible [00:26:04] on the phone for my sales manager for not just doing this stupid thing that should take 20 minutes and it’s taken me now six months to do. So with that said for any perfectionist listening, how do we break that feedback loop of not doing the work and then no matter how good it is, it’s still not good enough because it’s late, breaking that barrier of entry to being late is obviously worse than just handing in a piece of rubbish that can be refined over time.

 

Will Barron:

How do we break this feedback, and we’ll wrap up the show with this Anthony, but how do we break this feedback loop of over making things perfect, making things more perfect than what they need to be?

 

“Have a little conversation with yourself and accept that sometimes things are good enough, and if you can make them a little bit better every day then so much the better.” – Antony Sammeroff · [27:25] 

 

Antony Sammeroff:

Well it’s you need to know what’s worth being perfectionist about and what’s not don’t you? Take a realistic assessment of what you’re doing here as this it’s 80/20, isn’t it? You need to kind of look at what really, really matters. What deserves your dedication and your attention, because there’s a gift in there as well, it means that you want to do things well. So you should honour that and find a way to fully express your perfectionism, where it really counts. And where it’s not so important, then maybe you can have a little conversation with yourself and accept that sometimes things are good enough, and if you can make them a little bit better every day then so much the better, starting with yourself. 

 

Will Barron:

We’re going to come back onto 80/20 in a second. We’ll wrap up the show with this. What you just said is very close to how it was outlined to me by a very angry sales manager, which kind of made all this real to me. He said, I’ll say it’s less bluntly and with less profound language than what he used, but he essentially said, “You’re hitting your target, we’re happy, that’s all we care about you driving revenue and customers being happy, all this other stuff, just get it done. It’s other people’s jobs to support you with spreadsheets with data with marketing content, whatever it is”. I think my, it was both perfectionism and also me being a control freak and not wanting to allow other people to help me, and so there’s probably another four episodes of psychoanalysts that can go kind of underneath that but I literally had an issue with not wanting to give people, not even control over me not even anything like that, just wanting to go I’ll do it myself. 

 

Applying the 80/20 Principle to a Sales Process · [28:50] 

 

Will Barron:

Kind of saying that my dad always says of, and he still says it now, “if you want a job doing, do it yourself”. That would always kind of replay on things. So there’s multiple layers to all of this, as there always is when we’re talking about mindsets and psychology, but just to wrap up the show, Anthony explain for anyone who isn’t familiar, what the 80/20 Principle or Pareto’s Law is. We’ll kind of reflect it back on sales, which is essentially, do the revenue generating tasks and the rest of it doesn’t really matter and we’ll kind of wrap up with that.

ny Sammeroff:

 

“They say that 80% of your results come from 20% of your activities. So it’s about identifying those 20% of your activities that are the most productive, and putting more emphasis on them so that you get more out of whatever it is that you are doing.” – Antony Sammeroff · [29:08] 

 

Antony Sammeroff:

Yeah, they say that 80% of your results come from 20% of your activities. So it’s about identifying what those 20% of your activities that are the most productive, and putting more emphasis on them so that you get more out of whatever it is that you are doing. I think your words on delegation were also very valuable. I think sometimes we’ve got different personality types and it did occur to me that sometimes it might be good to leave certain things to people who’ve got the kind of personality that’s suitable. It sounded like your angry sales manager was quite wise and that you managed to attain some self knowledge and wisdom from that yourself. So it’s great to hear examples of the rubber hitting the road with this stuff and it coming to clarity in the real world.

 

Will Barron:

Essentially what we’re saying is you’re doing all the right things and this is letting you down. I think that’s probably how he phrased it to me. This is making you look bad internally, even though externally your customers love you, you’re hating your sales target, everything’s going swimmingly, there’s loads of there’s loads of stuff in the pipeline. He was just like I don’t understand why, and he was trying to suss me out, he’s just like, “I don’t understand why you’re letting yourself down for all this stuff”, which probably makes it then 10 times worse when now I’ve got him on my back and my brain going, “Oh, I don’t want to let him down either”. So probably even more pressure was piling up. But with that, just to kind of finish things off with your 80/20 clearly the 20% is revenue generation activities.

 

Will Barron:

It’s prospecting, it’s follow up, not even perhaps even closing sales, because if you do the sales process correctly, people will want to come and work with you at the back end of it anyway. So to kind of wrap things up here, I guess we’ve got time blocking, as in probably putting prospecting at the front of the day so we just get on with it, commit to doing it for what, 10-15 minutes every day so it becomes a habit, monitoring our own self talk. Is there anything else that we’ve covered that particularly dives into prospecting or fits prospecting particularly well?

 

Antony Sammeroff:

Yeah, I think that pretty much covers it.

 

Antony’s Advise to His Younger Self on How to Become Better at Selling · [31:20]

 

Will Barron:

Good man. Well look, I’ve got one final question I ask everyone that comes on the show and that is if you could go back in time and speak to your younger self, what would be the one piece of advice you’d give him to help him become better at selling,

 

Antony Sammeroff:

Identify what it is that you think that you’re weaker and avoid and you don’t have to make it the sole purpose of your life to conquer that weakness, but have it in your awareness that that is your weakness and make a conscious effort to do something about that one area that’s letting you down every day until it’s no longer the area that’s letting you down and then you can move on to the next one.

 

Parting Thoughts · [32:00]

 

Will Barron:

Good stuff. Well with that, tell us a little bit about where we can find the book for a start, and then show a bit about your podcast as well, Antony.

 

Antony Sammeroff:

Oh great, thank you so much. Well, I put Procrastination Annihilation out for free through my site. You can find it at beyourselfandloveit.com/doit. It’s also available on Amazon Kindle, I put it up there afterwards, and I am planning a second edition for paperback at the moment. Please get the free version at least because I think it’ll really help you. I’ve had really warm feedback from it now, people really, really loved it, very touching. I think that will help you. It’s beyourselfandloveit.com/doit.

 

Antony Sammeroff:

Be Yourself and Love It podcast, I really love doing the podcast. I sometimes speak to guests, I interview guests on all topics in personal development and other times I just put up my appearances on other people’s show.

 

Antony Sammeroff:

What I’m right now is a series of short podcasts on improving your communication skills around new people. It’s a series called How To Make Small Talk and I’m really, really enjoying them. They’re eight to 12 minutes long so I definitely recommend if people think that communication skills, which is extraordinarily important for sales people as something that they want to learn more about that they should check out these recent ones because I think they’re really fun and they’re really useful. I’ve tried to include something practical, a tip or a technique or an exercise that you can actually try in the real world without looking like a bit of a weirdo to help you improve your communication skills and learn to communicate in new ways. All stuff that if someone had introduced me to 10 years ago or more, would’ve saved me so much time.

 

Antony Sammeroff:

If you like listening to podcasts, which I reckon you probably do, if you listen to the Salesman’s Podcast, then don’t sacrifice any episodes of the Salesman’s Podcast, because it’s top quality, but see if you can find a little time to check out Be Yourself and Love It and you might just find that it helps you be yourself and love it.

 

Will Barron:

Good stuff. We’ll have link to all that in the show notes to this episode and everything else that we talked about as well over at salesman.org.

 

Will Barron:

Other than that Antony I want to thank you for time, your insights and all this and for joining us on the Salesman Podcast.

 

Antony Sammeroff:

Thank you so much. Will I’ve had a great conversation with you and really touched that you had me on your show.

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