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Your Most Important Sales Productivity Tool (The Power Hour…)

Mark Evans is a sales expert, speaker, and the author of Raise Your Standards: The Definitive Guide to Building Seven-Figure Sales.

In this episode of The Salesman Podcast, Mark explains what the “almighty power hour” is and how it can help sales professionals become more productive and get more done in their days.

You'll learn:

Sponsored by:
Win More Deals Or Your Money Back.
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Featured on this episode:

Host - Will Barron
Founder of Salesman.org
Guest - Mark Evans
Sales Expert and Founder of SalesKit

Resources:

Transcript 

Will Barron:

Coming up on today’s episode of the salesman podcast?

 

Mark Evans:

All right. So the almighty power hour is really… It’s the 60 minutes and I say 60 minutes, but you can take it as two hours, three hours, four hours. But I always try to start with 60 minutes. And I really think that it’s the 60 most important minutes of any salesperson’s day. I think as a sales manager, you need to be selling the vision of what a great life in sales looks like. I’m a big believer that if you look at a 40 or 45 or 50 hour work week, you’re always going to make time to follow up on quotes, you’re always going to make time for those prospects that are at the bottom end of the funnel, right. You’re never going to be like, “I’m really too busy to negotiate that six figure deal.” No, that’s the first thing you’re thinking about all the time. Right. But what does slip, like we talked about before, is this prospecting.

 

What is the Almighty Power Hour and How Can it Help Salespeople Improve Their Selling Performance? · [01:24]

 

Will Barron:

Hello sales nation, my name is Will Barron. I’m the host of the salesman podcast. The world’s most downloaded B2B sales show. On today’s episode, we have that legend that is Mark Evans. And you can find out more about Mark over at markpatrickevans.com. He’s the author of Raise Your Standards. And on today’s episode, we’re getting into what it is, how it’s going to affect you. We’re getting into the almighty power hour. Something that all salespeople, whether it’s B2B, B2C, whatever you’re selling, is what all sales people should be doing. We get into discipline, time management, the ideal sales day and a whole lot more as well. And so, let’s jump right into it. What is the almighty power hour and how can it help the tens of thousands of salespeople that are listening to this improve their selling performance?

 

“The almighty power hour is the 60 minutes and I say 60 minutes, but you can take it as two hours, three hours, four hours. But I always try to start with 60 minutes. And I really think that it’s the 60 most important minutes of any salesperson’s day. And that is the 60 minutes where all they are focused on is trying to drive revenue and looking at what are the activities that can move them towards their quota, towards their goals to actually push sales.” – Mark Evans · [01:45] 

 

Mark Evans:

That’s such a good, good question. Well, I think first you need to have sound effects when you say thee almighty power hour, right? So if you can throw some lightening or something like that, that’d be good. All right. So the almighty power hour is really, it’s the 60 minutes and I say 60 minutes, but you can take it as two hours, three hours, four hours. But I always try to start with 60 minutes. And I really think that it’s the 60 most important minutes of any salesperson’s day. And that is the 60 minutes where all they are focused on, is trying to drive revenue, right.

 

Mark Evans:

And looking at what are the activities that can move them towards their quota, towards their goals to actually push sales. Now it’s not… I get some pushback on this or I get people saying, “Well, what about following up on deals? Or what about deals that are in the middle or the bottom of the pipeline?” I say, “No, absolutely not.” Right. The all might be power hours should be reserved for only pushing and creating awareness, and trying to generate new leads. And so, that’s really the almighty power, is 60 minutes at a minimum, spend every single day trying to move those prospects into your pipeline.

 

What Happens When Salespeople Don’t Prioritize Generating New Leads in the Almighty Power Hour? · [02:24] 

 

Will Barron:

What happens, Mark? And I think the audience know where we’re going with this, but what happens when we don’t focus on this because it seems like something that obviously we should all be focused on, right, a salesperson’s job amongst other things? But as long as you’re crushing your quota, everything else is forgiven, right? So driving revenue, these calls, these activities, which we’ll get into, perhaps what activity we should be focused on in a second. But why aren’t we all doing this by default?

 

“When you don’t want to prospect, even vacuuming the floor or cleaning your kitchen seems like a good idea at the time.” – Mark Evans · [03:26] 

 

Mark Evans:

Yeah, that’s a good question. That’s a good follow-up question. And I had a really good mentor who was a boss of mine, unfortunately passed away. But this always has stuck with me. He said, “Mark, when you don’t want to do something, especially…” And he was saying it in the context of prospecting and trying to generate leads. And he basically said, “Hey Mark, when you don’t want a prospect, even vacuuming the floor or cleaning your kitchen seems like a good idea at the time.” Right. And I’ve been guilty of that too. I can’t tell you how many times, early in my sales career and even last month this propped up a little bit for me as well, where I know I’m supposed to be prospecting, I know I’m supposed to be spending a minimum of an hour trying to generate leads and get people into the pipeline.

 

Mark Evans:

But then I look at my desk, I’m like, “You know what? It’s going to be a lot easier once I clean this desk.” And then, “Well, I should clean and organise this book pile over here.” Right. And so on and so forth. And we just put it off and put it off because honestly, right, it can be scary. And anytime there’s a level of fear, which you don’t have confidence in, sometimes that fear can win out. And so I feel for people in this situation, however, man, we all know it’s the most important thing that you can do when it comes to a sales perspective.

 

Common Reasons Why Salespeople Dislike Prospecting · [04:17] 

 

Will Barron:

Why would we…? This is a massive question, but why would we feel fearful of doing something that we’ve signed up to do? It’s our job. No one’s forcing us. There’s no slave salespeople, right? No one’s forcing us to do this. We might have obligations that require us to carry on doing it even if we’re not enjoying it in the moment. But why would we be fearful of driving revenue?

 

Mark Evans:

Oh man. Well, it’s the fear of rejection, right? A fear that was ingrained in us as little kids and not being picked for the kickball team or whatever sport you grew up playing. Right. It’s that ingrained fear. And I think that that can crop up in little different areas. And so, I think there’s a couple of elements, right. It’s that ingrained fear, it’s the finding something better to do, right. The vacuuming or there’s always something that can take priority over prospecting because it’s not this immediate effect. Right. If I don’t do my prospecting today, I don’t see an effect for that immediately. Right. It’s not like if I don’t follow up with a quote or if I don’t close a deal, right. That’s an immediate pain.

 

Mark Evans:

But this prospecting is such a long-term delay. Right. And it’s almost similar to a diet, right. If I eat my carrots and my veggies and stick to a routine or discipline with that, right, I don’t see that necessarily like that benefit today. Right. It takes years and it takes time sometimes, to either lose the weight or gain the muscle or whatever you’re looking at. So I think it’s that level of really putting off that, or delaying that gratification that can be so difficult, especially when it comes to something like prospecting.

 

Will Barron:

[inaudible [00:05:51]. And you said this, but we’ve got data over at salesman.org that shows the highest performers in our platform, all are capable of delaying gratification. It’s something I’m terrible at. It’s something that, my girlfriend in particular, is incredible at. For whatever reason, however it was done, she was trained as a child to save money, to… She’s a doctor, so that’s all kind of ingrained into her as well of long-term career goals. And perhaps I, even when thinking about it, I’ve never thought about this before, maybe some of the audience, maybe people are drawn towards sales, thinking that they can make money fast or quick, not necessarily easily.

 

Mark’s Thoughts on Whether Most Salespeople are Drawn to Sales Because of Immediate Short-term Gratification and the Possibility of Making Money Faster · [06:40]

 

Will Barron:

But we’ve [inaudible [00:06:30] versus a seven year degree and five years of training then two years registrar before you even get to the consultant level as a doctor. So do you think maybe that I’m just spit rolling, kind of coming at this at the top of my head, even though we’ve got data that shows that salespeople who are successful are capable of putting off things for the longer term. Do you think salespeople that sales industry draws people in who are eager for short-term gratification?

 

Mark Evans:

Yeah. I definitely think there can be. And I think that sometimes that is something in the industry that’s highlighted by individuals of like, “Hey, get into sales and you’re going to be making six figures in 37 minutes.” Or something like that. Right. And so, yeah, I think it draws that charismatic, that excitable, that individual that’s like, “Oh, well I want some of that. I want to talk to people. Right. I want to make deals happen.” And everybody wants that, but they don’t realise that the work and effort that it goes into creating that level of success.

 

Mark Evans:

And so I think that’s why it comes back down to, right, can you stay disciplined in your approach? Because I think that’s the most important aspect in sales. Because as you know well, right, oftentimes in sales, we don’t see the result of what the activity we’re doing today until 30, 60, 90, 120, heck maybe even a year from now. So if you can just fight through that and realise that every single day you’re building equity, every single day you’re compounding interest, and take pride and pleasure and satisfaction in that, well that’s where you’re going to get those long-term results.

 

Should Sales Leadership be Preaching About the Almighty Power Hour and Getting Their Teams to Prospect More? · [07:57] 

 

Will Barron:

Do management have a…? Management, should they be pushing this? Because I feel every sales manager I’ve ever had, I’ve always had a yearly quota, but it’s always been you want to break it down and report it quarterly. And no manager’s ever said to me that we need to do this and do this and do this, so that two years from now we’ll be looking really good. It’s always, what have you got for me this quarter? I’ve got a meeting on Monday, what can I talk about to make me look good? So, should management be pushing this all mighty power hour and getting their teams to invest into the careers within that organisation and selling those specific products?

 

“As a sales manager, you need to be selling the vision of what a great life in sales looks like.” – Mark Evans · [08:37] 

 

Mark Evans:

Yeah. That’s a really good question. Absolutely. I think as a sales manager, you need to be selling the vision of what a great life in sales looks like. Not just what this next quarter is, but I think almost a good manager should be selling the vision unlike what a great life in sales can look like if you’re proactive, if you’re disciplined and if you do what a sales pro’s job is. Right. And I really think that there’s sales amateurs and sales pros, right. And so there’s a tonne of people in sales. And when you’re a sales pro, you realise that every single day you’ve got to do the work, right. That it’s like a writer who has to sit down. And what separates a professional writer from someone who just kind of writes, are writers write every day.

 

Mark Evans:

And so professional salespeople, well, they sell every single day, right. And they prospect every single day, no matter if they feel good, if they don’t feel good, if it’s their birthday, if it’s not their birthday, right, they just go and they do the work every single day. And so, I think it’d be wise for sales managers and sales leaders to advertise the benefits of what does a sales, a fulfilled sales life look like when you put all this together. And how that long-term equity and compound interest can really build up into something that’s beyond that quick, easy money.

 

Mark Explains why Discipline is Crucial When Building a Habit of Taking on the Almighty Power Hour · [09:50] 

 

Will Barron:

Okay. I feel we are talking at a high level here and I want to come on to specific activities that we should be doing within this hour, every single work day in a minute. But it seems the barrier to entry to make all of this happen for more than three days in a row is discipline. So how do we become more disciplined or how do we make this process of scheduling the almighty power hour so easy that it perhaps relies on less discipline?

 

Mark Evans:

That’s, yeah, awesome. I can’t wait to talk about this. So, I’ve actually got eight rules for what it looks like to establish the almighty power hour. And so, first of all, the first rule I recommend is you got to turn off your phone, phone notifications, any sort of desktop, mobile apps. Anything that’s going to put a red dot on your phone or on your computer, make a ding, make a bell. You got to close out, you got to X that out. And you’ve got to hide that. That’s key, that’s number one. Turning off any desktop notifications, calendar, email, text, chat, social. That’s two. If you’re in a private office, I don’t think we have to worry about this anymore. But back when we all worked in an office and things like that, I’d advise reps if they had a door, shut their door, if they didn’t put a sign on their back. We’ve even put caution tape up at some clients of mine where it’s at do not disturb, we’re in a power hour.

 

“When it comes to the almighty power hour, if your cell phone is such an issue, I would say put it in a different location.” – Mark Evans · [11:06] 

 

Mark Evans:

And then when it comes to the almighty power hour, if you have your phone, right, if your cell phone is such an issue, I would say put it in a different location. So put it in a desk, put it on someone else’s desk, put it upside down. Don’t worry. It’s still going to be there when you return, it’ll be okay. I’ve even seen some teams take a basket or a box. And so they collect everybody’s phones before this power hour, and then they put it somewhere else, right, for that hour. And it’s going to be in a safe place. It’s going to be okay. Now, a couple other ones too, that I want to talk about is the use of a… I use this tool. I forget what exactly it’s called, but it’s just a 50 minute timer. And so I really, I need to have a reward at the end of any sort of work like this.

 

Mark Evans:

I know it’s… Yeah. It seems a little crazy, but if I complete an almighty power, I then go and take a quick five minute walk or I go and make myself a pour over coffee. So that’s really a key thing for me. Next is you’ve got to communicate. If you’re a sales leader, this is easy to do to communicate to your sales team. But if you’re a salesperson, right, you’ve really got to sell the benefits to your manager of what this power hour would look like. And so, I really recommend reps blocking off an hour of their day, every single day, just putting it on repeat. And so, whether that’s one hour or two hours or three hours, but you got to put that on your calendar. And if your boss comes and says, “Hey, what’s this power hour? We’ve got a meeting.” The easy response is, ” Hey, this is a non-negotiable for me, we’re tasked of hitting XYZ quota or goal. So I need to make my calls. So this is the time where I’ve committed to make my calls where I have the most energy.” Right.

 

Mark Evans:

That’s an easy sales job that you can do. And hopefully your manager sees that. If they’re a smart manager and they’re like, “It’s a great idea. Well, let’s do that with everybody.” Right. And so really, really time block. Now, if you’re a leader, I think being able to sell this to your sales team, it’s going to be tough at first. Whenever I introduced this to a new team, they’re like, “An hour, we can’t do an hour of no email, of nothing else.” And as soon as they start it, they tend to really love it once they can just get a little momentum and get that flywheel going with it as well. And so my last two rules here, I think I’m on… Maybe I’m on 15 rules, but I’ll wrap this last rule up. Have a start of your routine and have an end of your routine as well.

 

Mark Evans:

So, when I have a start of routine, sometimes I’ll put on some music, I’ll jump around like I did before this podcast before, to get my energy level up. I’ll make sure I have my water. I’ll have my coffee set so I don’t have any excuses, I’ve used the bathroom. And that’s kind of my routine to signal to me, hey, this is it. Here we go. Let’s get ready. And then I have an end of routine as well, where I’ll finish up and then yeah, I’ll jump up and I’ll jump up again. Right. And I’ll kind of celebrate , yes, you did a great job. And then I don’t go into email. I don’t go into responding to anything. I go and I get that reward because I’m, I don’t know, I descended from monkeys or something like that, I guess. And I got to have that little reward of yeah, you did it. Yeah.

 

Have Fun Selling: If it Isn’t Fun, It Isn’t Selling · [14:20] 

 

Will Barron:

Well, so we covered it on the show a bunch of times, but there’s so much research on the reward systems, and the dopamine and serotonin systems that we all have in our brains. That what you’re saying is that it works on a monkey, it works on a lab rat, there’s no reason why it won’t work on you Jerry, listening to this salesman podcast today. So, it seems we’ve got to make this a habit. Right. We’re doing everything we possibly can. Every hack, every trick that we know to rewire our brains, so that eventually we can just sit down and crack on with this. Is that the goal?

 

Mark Evans:

Yeah, absolutely. And have fun with it. I think if anything, I hope what we’ve seen over these past couple months is, right, just have some fun with it. Right. Everybody’s in kind of a similar situation, maybe working from home, maybe not, but yeah. Have some fun, make it fun. Whatever you’ve got to do to inspire a little fun or a little creativity, have some fun with it as well. Make it something they actually look forward to and enjoy.

 

Sales Activities During the Almighty Power Hour · [14:57] 

 

Will Barron:

Sure. So you mentioned closing web apps and email and social. What should we have open or more specifically, what activities should we be doing in this hour? So, we’ve covered what we shouldn’t be doing, but what should we be doing?

 

“I’m a big believer that if you look at a 40 or 45 or 50-hour workweek, you’re always going to make time to follow up on quotes. You’re always going to make time for those prospects that are at the bottom end of the funnel. You’re never going to be like, “I’m really too busy to negotiate that six-figure deal.” No, that’s the first thing you’re thinking about all the time. But what does slip is prospecting.” – Mark Evans · [15:18] 

 

Mark Evans:

Yeah, definitely. So we need to be focusing on our top of funnel. Right. And so, I’m a big believer that if you look at a 40 or 45 or 50 hour work week, you’re always going to make time to follow up on quotes. You’re always going to make time for those prospects that are at the bottom end of the funnel, right. You’re never going to be like, “I’m really too busy to negotiate that six figure deal.” No, that’s the first thing you’re thinking about all the time. Right. But what does slip, we talked about before, is this prospecting.

 

Mark Evans:

So, I would say the number one thing that you need to be doing during this time, is reaching out to cold leads, right. These are people I haven’t heard from yet, or they haven’t heard from you in a while, but really trying to generate and move those people into an awareness stage, to your top of funnel, whatever that kind of looks like so that they can then work down the funnel for you. But that’s the only thing you need to be working about, worrying about during that entire hour, hopefully two hours, if you’re an overachiever.

 

The Almighty Power Hour is not For Researching Potential Customers · [16:05]

 

Will Barron:

And just to make it clear, we’re not talking about spending 35 minutes researching one potential customer on LinkedIn/messaging other people while you’re on there as well, right?

 

Mark Evans:

Yes, exactly. They’re amazing. I had a rep that I knew and he would spend 15 minutes looking into a LinkedIn profile so that he knew the mascot of the college that this person went to. So if they picked up, right, and chances are he left a voicemail anyways, he’d be able to reference this mascot. It never happened. And it wasn’t intel. We did just a real quick three point research. All right. What’s their name? What’s the type of company? What’s a potential customer that we’re currently working with that could be used in a situation to generate some interest in a call? Maybe one or two other points. Less than 90 seconds. And then go, that’s when this individual started to have some real success. So yeah, don’t go down the research rabbit hole.

 

Planning for the Perfect Sales Day · [17:02]

 

Will Barron:

Okay. So I think we’ve covered that quite in detail there. And I think the audience know what they should be doing. At least I would recommend this. Tell me if you feel the same mark, I’d recommend that this is done right at the beginning of the day. Right. When you’ve got the most energy, when you’ve not got all the things being thrown at you. So is that fair to assume?

 

Mark Evans:

Yeah, definitely. And I think it really ties into a topic that I call and I think these really go hand in hand as well as something that I called the perfect day in setting.

 

Will Barron:

You’ve literally just took the next few questions out of my mouth right there. That’s literally where I was going with this.

 

“I think the perception of salespeople is that we’re constantly on the cell phone. Buy, buy, buy. Sell, sell, sell. But in actuality, I think some of the best salespeople that I’ve worked with and mirrored and have been able to see, their weeks are really actually kind of boring. They know when they’re prospecting from, let’s say [8:00] AM to [11:00] AM. They know exactly when they’re having their demo meetings, they’re set, they’re prepared for every single part of the day. And you can only do that when you really get intentional with what your weeks and what your planning looks like.” – Mark Evans · [17:55] 

 

Mark Evans:

Sorry about that. Well, geez. I hope I didn’t offend with that, but yeah. And so, it makes it a lot easier when you’re actually planning for your perfect sales day, as well as your perfect sales week. And so, I’m a big believer in scheduling your week beforehand and having very… I like having boring weeks, right. Well, where I know exactly hey, this is the day I’m doing this. This is the time I’m doing this. And I think that that makes for a very productive sales role and a very productive salesperson. I think the perception of salespeople is that we’re constantly on the cell phone, right? Buy, buy, buy, sell, sell, sell. I’m closing. Right. And we have to generate all this activity. But in actuality, I think some of the best salespeople that I’ve worked with and mirrored and have been able to see is, man, their weeks are really actually kind of boring.

 

Mark Evans:

They know when they’re prospecting from, let’s say [8:00] AM to [11:00] AM. They know exactly when they’re having their demo meetings, they’re set, they’re prepared for every single part of the day. And you can only do that when you really get intentional with what your weeks and what your planning looks like. And so that’s why I talk about developing your perfect sales day. When would you start, when would you end, when would you put in your prospecting? Because as we’ve talked about, countless times here, is if you’re not scheduling that prospecting, it’s just not going to happen for you.

 

How to Create and Plan for the Perfect Sales Day · [18:43]

 

Will Barron:

So what does the perfect sales day look like, assuming that we come into the office, we prepare or clear a desk of all the crap that we left on there last night or wherever it is, and we’ve done our almighty power hour, we’ve gone for a wander, we’ve sat with Mark and had a quick cup of pour over coffee as he celebrates crushing his power out as well, what’s the next few steps that can lead up to the perfect sales day?

 

Mark Evans:

Yeah. So I would say yeah. So let’s start. So we’ve done that. We’ve made our calls. I like, as a sales team manager, to have a quick five minute check-in, right. I really like having a pulse with the people that I’m working with. What are they doing that day? What are they not doing? So, as a sales person, you got to be ready for that. Right. Like, “All right, what did I achieve yesterday?” Really, what’s my goal for today as well.” And then I like scheduling my demos from specific times, and typically over the afternoon. From noon until two or three, that’s really, I think personally for me, that’s a great time where I still have a lot of energy. I’ve already banked my prospecting, so I’m already riding high, right. I’m already riding like, “Man, I’m just crushing it as a salesperson.”

 

Mark Evans:

I’ve generated maybe some interest or some appointments. So I’m not going into these demos in this scarcity mindset of oh, I really got to close these demos because there’s nothing else coming up. I think when you start moving into and having this perfect day kind of setup, once you get this flywheel of momentum going, you can start having this level of abundance, this mindset almost of man, I’m just an appointment generating machine. And everyday I generate appointments. So then in my demos, that impacts how I arrive in my demos and the energy and just the overall feel, right. I don’t have sales breath. I don’t have I’ve got to close this demo or this is never going to happen, which everybody can feel from a mile away. So, talked about demos and then researching for the next day. So you talked about before, not spending 35 minutes during your almighty power hour researching the college mascot of one individual.

 

Mark Evans:

That’s a really key time before you leave for that day, really spend your hour of researching and trying to find what are some elements or some hooks you can have in that conversation, and then have your end of day routine, right. And I know it’s really difficult for people right now, especially if they’re working from their kitchen table or from their home office and trying to homeschool their kids, but really having that kind of end of day routine so that you can leave work behind, you can refresh, you can rejuvenate and then get ready to go tomorrow.

 

Working from Home Tips: How to Unplug at the End of the Day · [21:47] 

 

Will Barron:

I love it. I’ve never heard this before, of sales breath. I mean, that’s a very visual kind of representation because I’ve had that before. I see it even more so with emails and prospecting, you can tell that the person hasn’t made any effort, they’re trying to just spam a segment of the marketplace because they’re probably behind, the pipeline probably isn’t developed. And so they’re either struggling to catch back up to where they should be. And you can smell that sales breath on an email, electronically, has been thrown at you. Nevermind if you’re on the actual phone or have a bid in person speaking to someone. A few things here, Mark. First off, what does it look like if we are working from home, to wrap up the day and transition from your sales face or head to your home head? Because I think that’s something that I’ve struggled with in the past, and I think that’d be useful to get your opinions on for the audience as well.

 

“I’m a real believer in not having your email up all day, every day. Have focused times and scheduled times of when you’re actually going to schedule your email.” – Mark Evans · [22:36] 

 

Mark Evans:

Yeah. And this is something I’ve really struggled with as well, my wife and I. My wife is a full-time software executive who’s just awesome and crushing it with her career. And we have two daughters, nine and six, who are active and love being around us. So we really, my wife and I, have really tried to focus on, all right, having that kind of end of day close out routine. And it’s a struggle. I mean, I can’t say and preach here like, “Oh, this is all you got to do. And it’s super easy.” No, it’s a struggle. But what’s really worked for me is being able to spend 15 minutes closing out my email. So I go through… I’m a real believer in not having your email up all day, every day, right. Have focused times and scheduled times of when you’re actually going to schedule your email. And so, I spend 15 minutes closing that out. I create a to-do list for tomorrow. So when I start working either maybe later that night or first thing in the morning, I’ve got this checklist of here’s the things I need to do.

 

Mark Evans:

I personally, I need to tidy up my space a little bit. Right. I need to make sure that my desk is clean and then I ceremoniously, right, close my laptop or push my desk back together. And so, if you’re working from your kitchen table, I think that’s closing your laptop and taking it in another room, right, and ceremoniously shutting the door. I think there’s a real power in placing your kind of workspace in a different location and being able to close that off for just a little bit. Now, other people I’ve talked to as well, they get a lot of benefit from just journaling for 10 minutes or writing down kind of, hey, here’s a win, here’s maybe a lower point, here’s something I really need to work on today. And so that could be something really helpful for someone’s day, that’s maybe struggling with closing and blurring those lines of home and work.

 

Will Barron:

Yeah. I think that’s really valuable if do spend, because I have just an ongoing Microsoft word document that is now thousands, probably hundreds of pages long where I jot down a wins record on better. And it allows me to then, I look at it the next morning and it goes, oh, well, we’re actually doing great or you slacked off yesterday so now you’ve got to double down on things. Because for some reason, I don’t know why we’re wired this way, but I feel when we sleep, we wake up almost a new person ready to make all of the same mistakes over and over and over again.

 

Mark’s Operating System · [24:16]

 

Will Barron:

And I know as someone that used to procrastinate an awful lot, I would push things off into future will’s reality. And then when it got to future will, you just push it off into future future will’s reality. But as soon as I document something, and I think that there is science that kind of ties together writing things with it being imprinted in your brain at a deeper level or neurons being connected to that memory, whatever it is, as soon as I write something down or type it, I feel it’s real then. And it becomes something that I can work off for the next morning. So I find that really beneficial for myself, Mark.

 

Mark Evans:

Yeah. One of the things I’ve been experimenting with for about the past four months or so, is I’ve developed something I call the Mark operating system and I keep it just in… This is a little… Yeah, this is a notebook. And so, I’ve got 15 things on my operating system that I know if I do, and it’s not all work, it’s also personal, and if I do those, man, I feel I’m just operating at a high level. And so, I think for salespeople, right, especially if you’re working from home and struggling with kind of those boundaries, maybe coming up with your own operating system. What are the 10 things that you need to do every day that just makes you feel really alive? Right. Makes you feel really good, whether that’s prospecting or whether that’s spending 10 minutes meditating, but just doing some of those things and then ceremoniously crossing it off, it’s one of the best feelings for me personally.

 

The 15 Items in Mark’s Operating System · [25:35]

 

Will Barron:

Is there anything in your operating list that you could share? I realise it could be very personal, but is there anything you share with the audience?

 

Mark Evans:

No, I’ll share the whole thing. Will, I’ll share the whole thing as long… I mean, as long as you find it interesting. So here’s my operating system. Now I’ve gone through a couple of iterations of it and I’m constantly changing and trying to fill out what works and what doesn’t. So I don’t know if the audience can see this, but this is just a little… I hand write it every day. And so my operating system is [5:00] AM wake up and I like to do an hour of deep work. That’s where I do my writing a lot of times, it’s where I do the stuff that I’m not going to get paid for it today, but hopefully we’ll make an impact long-term. I like to stretch, I do this thing called the 99 workout. So if you’ve ever struggled to get up early, if you’re like, Hey, I want to be part of the [5:00] AM club, but I get up and I’m sluggish, I found that one of the best ways for me to get up and then stay up for the rest of that morning is I do this quick 99 workout.

 

Mark Evans:

I do 33 pushups, 33 squats and then 33 pushups again. And it’s like a shot of espresso to the entire body. Good luck trying to go back to bed after that, it works really well. And then I’ve got breath work. I really like doing either breath work or meditation for even five minutes a day. Man, that just so helps my monkey mind and helps kind of get me to organise some things. Every day I try to spend 15 minutes either learning or reading a minimum of 15 minutes. I’m a really big fan of listening to positive videos or positive affirmations on YouTube. I think there’s so much in this world right now, going on that could influence your state of mind.

 

“I’m a big believer that if you can just keep your mind right, especially in sales, especially during this time, you’re already two-thirds ahead of the game than most.” – Mark Evans · [27:03] 

 

Mark Evans:

And I’m a big believer that man, if you can just keep your mind right, especially in sales, especially during this time, you’re already two-thirds ahead of the game then than most. I journal. [10:00] PM bedtime for me. I try to keep that as a non-negotiable. I try to keep track of a food journal every day. I have the tendency of becoming a garbage disposal, especially with these kids like, “Oh, you didn’t finish those chicken tenders or that cheeseburger, let me throw that in there.” And then I try to connect with one person in my personal life every day. And so maybe that’s a friend I haven’t talked to in a while or a family member. I try to connect with one person, either text message, FaceTime or some other media. Just one person a day.

 

Why Most Salespeople Would Struggle Implementing Mark’s Operating System · [28:05] 

 

Will Barron:

What I love about this is, nothing you just said Mark, people would look at and go, he’s freaking crazy. That is insane. It’s all things that if we had, how to describe it, if we had unlimited willpower, if we could just flick on discipline like that, we would probably implement… I think most people in the audience would implement all, if not most of what you just described there. What then with that said, and I’m not trying to demean what your operating system is. It is straightforward. It’s simple. It’s basic. So then, perhaps 20 years ago, people wouldn’t be meditating or doing breath work and things like that in the business people. But I think now with the technology that we have, the way things are discussed in the media, meditation and journaling. And it’s all the woo-woo and the hippiness has all been removed from it, unless you want to add that to it, for whatever reason. Why, with all that said, is it difficult to do three of those things for the average person who’s not implemented any of them, nevermind do 15 of them?

 

Mark Evans:

Yeah. I mean, I feel if I had the answer to that, and then there were bullets solution, right. Yeah. I mean the sky’s the limit, right. And so, I think that there’s no silver bullet to it, but you’ve got to use a lot of lead bullets. And so the things that I’ve done that have helped me try to reinforce these habits, and man, by no means do I hit all of these every single day. Looking back on yesterday, I missed maybe three or four out of them. There’s a bunch of stuff I did not cross off on it. But I just know that feeling of, I’m just trying to get to a high operating level. Right. And I feel, Hey, if I can get over 85% and that finishing eight out of 10 things on that operating system helped me get to that 85%, well that’s a lot better than being at 50%.

 

Mark Evans:

And I’ve really struggled, especially over this past year of that guilt of, oh gosh, I didn’t do it now. And that would just compound in me like, “Oh, I didn’t do it. You’re a failure.” Right. “Gosh, why can’t you do that? You have no discipline.” It’s like, “Well, hold on. Just timeout, you missed two things. You’re busy, relax.” Right. And so giving that level, I think you’ve got a pair that a little bit with, hey, you can strive to try to knock all these things out. Then give yourself a little bit of forgiveness that, and I’m preaching to the choir here, I need to hear this as much as anyone else that, hey, just get to that 80%, get to that 85% Mark. And that’s going to be a lot better than your 30 or 40% days.

 

The Compounding Effect of Consistently Perfecting a Craft · [30:03] 

 

Will Barron:

Yeah. I feel the magic here for me, anyway, and I assume this will translate to other people, is doing the 85% of things for five years running versus flipping and flopping and changing routine and then doing a hundred percent for a month then dropping it because there’s a new trend or fad. I feel the one, two, three, four, five years of doing the right things is when things, as you said the word compound numerous times in the interview Mark, that’s when things start to compound, right?

 

Mark Evans:

Yeah, definitely. Yeah. I totally agree with that. And we all know those people and I have friends. Right. And I’ve been that person in the past that’s like, “Yes, this is what I’m doing. I’m all in. Right. I’m going to, I don’t know, eat kale for 90 days straight.” That just comes and goes with the tide and yeah. And so, I think you got to have that discipline. And I know that when I accomplish and I get to that 80%, I’m a little bit better the next day. Maybe not a full percentage point, but I know I’m just a little bit better because I kept those promises to myself. And for me, that’s a really important thing for me to do.

 

Will Barron:

Yep. And it builds that flywheel, that big audacious wheel difficult to spin. Once it gets going, it has momentum and then it can coach you along if you do have any slip ups. And it’s easy to get back on the horse. There’s a lot of weird, I don’t know if it is a metaphor or simile or an analogy, there’s lots of these in this episode, I always find they’re good learning points. So we’ll wrap up the show with this Mark.

 

Planning for the Perfect Sales Week/Month · [31:24] 

 

Will Barron:

We’ve got our almighty power hour that start in the day. We’ve now built up an ideal sales day. We’ve also now included how to transition to after work evenings and mornings as well. And we’ve talked about the Mark operating system, which I think is a good operating system for the majority of people. How does this then translate, again, to wrap up the show, a perfect sales week or maybe month? You can choose here Mark, which ones the best ones to focus on, but is it just doing the same things for long periods of time or do we need a start of the week and an end of a week process as well?

 

“I think it’s a smart move to do a month-end review. All right, where are the things that I’m really working well on, what’s not working for me? Because at the end of the day, this is your life. And if it’s not working for you, change some elements of it, right. If your sales role is not working for you or the strategies you’re now doing, you’ve got to change that because no one’s going to come and be like, “Well, well, I know this isn’t working for you.” – Mark Evans · [32:23] 

 

Mark Evans:

Yeah, you certainly can. I think having an end of the week process is a really smart move as well. And I would take that one step further too. Right. And so have your end of the week process. Yeah. Keep track of your wins. Keep track of what really worked for you this past week, what didn’t work for you. Similar to that doc that you keep that’s thousands of pages along now. Right. Make sure you’re tracking some of that or at least have some knowledge on what that is. And then every single month, I think it’s a smart move to kind of do a month in review. All right, where are the things that I’m really working well on? What’s not working for me?Because at the end of the day, this is your life. And if it’s not working for you, change some elements of it, right.

 

“It’s more like digging for buried treasure. And it takes one spadeful at a time. And so all these little things of having a perfect day, having an all mighty power hour, translating into a perfect sales day, into a great week, into a great month, it’s all just spadefuls. And the more you dig, the better chance you are of really going to be finding that happiness and that professional pursuit of fulfillment that I think we’re all after.” – Mark Evans · [32:58] 

 

Mark Evans:

If your sales role is not working for you or the strategies you’re now doing, you got to change that, right, because no one’s going to come and be like, “Well, well, I know this isn’t working for you.” No, we think that the Calvary’s coming or that someone’s going to ride in and give us this magic plan. I used to think for a long time that these elements… like finding my keys. One day, I’d just be like, “Aha, oh, I found my keys. Here it is.” But no, it’s a process of… It’s more like digging for buried treasure. Right. And it takes one spadeful at a time. And so all these little things of having a perfect day, having an all mighty power hour, translating into a perfect sales day, into a great week, into a great month, it’s all just spadefuls. Right. And the closer, the more you dig, the better chance you are of really going to be finding that happiness and that professional pursuit of fulfilment that I think we’re all after.

 

Encourage Luck by Consistently Doing the Right Things and Being in the Right Place · [33:22]

 

Will Barron:

It seems like the end of analogies for on top of the dig analogy here, almost every power hour that you have is chance to win the lottery. And the more then that you do, the more routine it is. And the more often you do it with power, with vigour, the more energy you have when you go into it, the more likely or the more tickets you get in that lottery scenario. And that’s how I feel about a lot about this. Does that translate to you as well, Mark?

 

Mark Evans:

Well, I’m going to steal that. That’s awesome. Yeah, I really, really liked that. That’s a great analogy.

 

Will Barron:

I probably stole it from somewhere else. I definitely did not quote with that at the top of my head, but yeah. I feel you just trying to encourage luck. And the more chances that you can kind of have the lottery, that is winning that big deal that might crush your quota this quarter or this year, you should be doing as much of that as possible. And getting rid of, as much as the nonsense that salespeople get thrown out them, reactive emails and the sales manager hanging over your shoulder, and all these kinds of things. I love this idea of time blocking at least one hour every morning.

 

Can Salespeople Do 3 Power Hours or Will That Lead to Burnout and Fatigue in the Long Run? · [34:30] 

 

Will Barron:

And let me ask you this and we’ll wrap up to this. Final question, Mark. What happens if someone’s listening to this show right now, Jerry, that I think I quoted earlier on in the show. Jerry, royal legend. What happens if he feels, well, I could do three power hour. That’s three times longer than this. Should he aim for that or is an hour long enough to get, for most salespeople, to get where they need done and then to not fade of fatigue and for it to just disappear after a week or two of trying to do it?

 

Mark Evans:

Yeah. That’s a good question. And Will, I’ll translate it back to you. We were talking about, before we hit record, about triathlons and running. Well, imagine if you took three months off of running, you just completed maybe a half marathon. Right. And then all of a sudden you’re like, “Hey, I’m going to go run 15 miles today.” No, that’d be a terrible idea. Maybe you could do that for a day, but you’re not going to do it for two or three or four days unless you’re superhuman. And so, yeah, if you feel you’ve got more in the tank, then just increase it by five minutes because that flywheel of, oh man, I went 65 minutes a day. Look at that promise I kept to myself, look at this victory. That builds. Maybe you go for 70 minutes the following week. And I think it’s just that little stacking. And again, I’ll use the word of compounding interest. That’s all a little bit of compounding interest that will really add up for you.

 

Parting Thoughts · [35:44] 

 

Will Barron:

Love that. I think that’s really valuable Mark. And with that mate, to wrap up the show, tell us where we can find out more about you sir, and also the book as well.

 

Mark Evans:

Yeah, absolutely. So, listeners of the show can get a free copy of the book at markpatrickevans.com and that’s M-A-R-K-P-A-T-R-I-C-K evans.com. And that’s where you can find me with all of, any of my thoughts as well.

 

Will Barron:

Good stuff. Well, I’ll link to that and everything else that we talked about in the show, note to this episode over at salesman.org. With that, Mark, I want to thank you for your time, your insights on this. I think it’s really valuable. We spend a lot of time on the show talking about the tactics of calling and emailing, but if you don’t put into practise the time management elements of all this, it just falls apart. So I think this is a really valuable episode for the audience. And with that I want to thank you again for joining us on the salesman podcast.

 

Mark Evans:

Well, thank you. It’s been my thrill. I really appreciate it. And keep up the great work.

 

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