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Pruning Your Work to Maintain a Sales Focus

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In your work as a salesperson. What are you focused on day to day, even right now? What is it that you are focused on? I know you're going to tell me it's revenue. You're focused on your goals, but I think you're going to have to do a little more convincing because I work with a lot of salespeople and I find that the focus isn't all that often where it ought to be. Instead, sellers often are focused on some sort of paperwork or some sort of computer data entry or some sort of chasing down the order, working with the support team, figuring out new ways to do the same old thing.

Salespeople sometimes procrastinate on the work of selling because there can be and there are so many distractions, so many other ways to spend their time without focus on what matters most. Focus on your customers and your prospects, the people who can drive that revenue to you. Without that genuine focus, you aren't going to optimize the opportunities within your sales territory. You'll always be left wanting if your focus is spread so thin that nothing truly gets done, not the way that you want it to.

In gardening, there's this little known process, one that I don't like very much known as pruning. Typically you over-plant. And then as the seedlings emerge, you plucked out or prune the ones that are crowding the others. You want there to be a certain amount of space between each plant so that it can thrive and grow. I'd like to invite you to consider pruning the work that you do, plucking out the tasks and activities that don't truly drive revenue that will give you more time and space for what does matter so that you can be more effective and the work you do.

The first year I had a straw bale garden, I was a little overzealous. I didn't quite know what to expect. I had heard that you could plant crops a little closer together than you routinely would in dirt. But I over planted and I couldn't bear the thought of pruning the little seeds that were emerging, the little seedlings. I just let them go and I planted my tomatoes too close together and my beans were too close together. The pepper plants, everything was just tight. And what I discovered was that despite the high yield you get from straw bales, if you put things too close together and you don't give them room to grow and room to breathe, they won't do as well.

I had situations like this where my carrots in year one were growing right on top of each other. They didn't have a chance to fully develop. Now, I did have some good ones and in year two I made tremendous improvements. So I got a lot more carrots by painfully plucking out the ones that were growing into close to other ones. And although that felt like waste, it felt like throwing away something good and healthy, it really did help in the long run for the ones remaining to have the opportunity to thrive.

It's okay to cut back in the interest of making things better for everyone else who remains. In year two, I didn't plant things as close together. I gave them more room to grow and in year three, I expand it all the way out to sixty straw bales so that I could do what I had learned in the first two years. I could spread things out and I could position them appropriately so that they had what they needed. In year two. My yield was tremendously bigger than it was in year one, even though year one wasn't bad at all.

And here we are in year three, despite some very hot weather, I'm feeling quite optimistic about the way things are going to turn out. When it comes to planting in your garden in straw bales or in a traditional garden., you have to be thoughtful about where you put things, how much you put in and how you position one plant relative to another so that things don't interfere with each other. And it's the same with the work that you do, too.

If you're looking to get high yield, you've got to give the right support, the right atmosphere, the right spacing to the people that you're working with. You have to be considerate of their needs. And you'll get benefits when you do this. I took the time this year for the first time to go out and harvest the flowers that were blooming on top of my chive plants. And I harvested the chives as well that were blossoming. I put them into vinegar.

I left them in the dark for two weeks. I then strained them and have this beautiful, delicious chive vinegar, something I had never made before. It came from pruning back the plants so that they could all be healthier and would grow more chives for me throughout the rest of the summer. And it gave me an opportunity to get more out of the plant, something I never would have had if I hadn't thought about the needs of that plant and the way that it could benefit me.

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