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A little planning is all it takes

In the world of sales and entrepreneurship, forward-moving momentum is what we all want. You see, we all love that feeling of positive momentum. It seems like every prospect is saying yes. Your sales trend is going up. Things are looking good. It seems as if things can’t go wrong.  And then you take a vacation. If a vacation is done incorrectly, it’s a momentum buster. When you return from a vacation, it can be difficult to get the momentum moving forward again. Momentum is always moving. It’s either going forward or it’s going backward. It never stands still. So your business is going to grow as you have that forward-moving momentum. And the moment you stop doing the daily revenue-generating activities for a vacation, your forward momentum breaks and it starts moving backwards. This is detrimental to the success of a sales professional. But we can’t just never take a vacation. That’s not the answer. So how do we prevent vacation from being a momentum buster?

Plan Ahead

Typically, the biggest momentum breakers happen when you take last minute vacations, or some kind of family obligation pulls you away unexpectedly. That’s beyond your control. But as long as you have control over your time off, the first solution on not falling victim to the momentum break is to put the vacation your calendar. Then, plan the days leading up to that vacation accordingly. When I do that, I adjust my business plan around those days off. Let’s say I’m taking a vacation the first week in July. I adjust my revenue metrics. I adjust my activity metrics to reflect that I won’t be working in my business those seven days.

Don’t Stop There

So once you’ve done that— you put it on your calendar and adjusted all your metrics to account for those 7 days off— everything should be good, right? Not quite. The other challenge here is that even if you have it on your calendar and even if you adjust all your metrics, you still are breaking momentum. Remember, momentum is always moving. It’s either going forward or it’s going backward. It doesn’t stand still. So taking a week-long pause is inevitably going to effect your momentum. The trick is to minimize how far back it’s going to slide. Here’s what I do to minimize the backslide.

  1. I work incredibly hard leading up to my vacation. If I’m taking seven days of vacation, I put in maximum effort for the 14 days leading up to my vacation. If it’s a five-day vacation, I put in maximum effort for the 10 days leading up to my vacation. You get the idea. I double my time away and for that number of days I am a workhorse. I’m seeing more prospects, making more phone calls, closing more deals, getting in front of more reps, getting in front of more customers. Whatever it is I need to do, I do it twice as hard because I want my output to be so high that when I take a few days out, no one’s going to notice the difference.
  2. Here’s the million dollar secret for minimizing how far your momentum moves backward. The day you get back from vacation needs to be the busiest day of the year. Point blank. When you do that, it is almost impossible not to get back on the forward momentum swing. The week after vacation is just as busy as the week before vacation. Before I leave, I make appointments for the week I am returning. I tell my prospects ‘I will be unavailable the first week of July, but I will be available starting July 8th. Does that work for you?’ Doing this eliminates the risk of me using the excuse that I’m tired from vacation. If my calendar is already full, I can’t make the excuse that I just fell out of the rhythm. That’s BS. You create the rhythm by planning for it in advance.

You see, I’m playing the long game. I want a long, successful sales career. I don’t want to have just one good sales day. I don’t want transactional sales. I want to do this well consistently. In order to do that, I  take the steps necessary to minimize the harm a vacation does to my forward momentum. So be sure this summer when you take a vacation, you work incredibly hard at the beginning to set it up. You have it planned in advance and you make your busiest time of your sales career the week you return. By doing that, you will prevent momentum from breaking.

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