Flourishing in Tough Times

By Cindy Waxer

Cautious consumers, corporate cutbacks and a plummeting economy have not held Sid Friedman back – in fact, 2001 was a banner year for him. Friedman, a life insurance salesman and motivational speaker, generated $3 million in commissions last year while most of his colleagues were bracing for financial disaster. Friedman suggests following these four steps to flourish in tough times.

1. Master Your Time
Time is the most valuable asset in any salesperson’s career, and mastering time is particularly important in a down economy, according to Friedman. It’s for this reason that salespeople should act as soon as a plan or approach comes to mind rather than procrastinate. Warns Friedman: “[Some salespeople] wake up in the morning and say – You know what, I’ll do it tomorrow instead of today. That person’s falling away.”

2. Mantra of the 4 D’s
Categorize every piece of paper that hits your desk into four categories – Do It, Delegate It, Delay It or Destroy It. Promises Friedman: “If you do that with every piece of paper you have, nothing will ever be on your desk except what you’re working on.” After all, an uncluttered desk allows salespeople to act quickly on important issues and helps create free time to find and win business.

3. Embrace Critical Moments
Friedman believes there is one critical moment between action and inaction, between achievement and mediocrity. For example, salespeople often fail to send out that extra prospecting letter – an extra step that could have triggered a big sale. Making sure you don’t miss out on key opportunities means doing what you say you will do without delay and regardless of obstacles.

4. Free Yourself to Perform
Don’t be burdened by the weight of what will happen if leads dry up or if there is a loss of commission. Salespeople must free themselves from what might happen and press on. It’s for this reason that salespeople should give themselves at least one weekly free day – an entire 24 hours to rejuvenate and catch one’s breath. Says Friedman: “On my free days, I do nothing for business, absolutely nothing. If I read a magazine about business, it’s not a free day anymore.”

For more information, please see www.sidspeaks.com.