Reinvent Your Definition of Productivity with Jeff Bajorek, Ep #185
Release Date: 03/18/2020
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Is your definition of productivity truly working for you? Are you stuck in an endless loop of activities? If you’re treading water and seem incapable of completing the sales activities you need to, it’s time to redefine what productivity means to you. Jeff Bajorek joins Paul in this episode of Sales Reinvented to help you rethink how you view productivity.
Jeff is a sales improvement consultant specializing in the B2B space. He’s co-host of ‘The Why And The Buy’ podcast and author of ‘Rethink The Way You Sell: The Five Forgotten Fundamentals of Prospecting’. In this episode he’ll share his thoughts on productivity, his top 3 do’s and don’ts, and what you should do to become more productive.
Outline of This Episode
- [0:54] What does Jeff Bajorek think productivity is?
- [1:54] Why is productivity so important in sales?
- [3:23] How do you increase your productivity?
- [7:16] The tools Jeff finds effective
- [9:18] Jeff’s top 3 dos and top 3 don’ts
- [12:07] Jeff’s favorite productivity story
The definition of productivity is anything you want it to be
Jeff points out that productivity is getting enough stuff done—and YOU get to decide what ‘enough’ is. Once you’ve defined what productivity looks like for you, you can implement systems and structures to knock things out. It gives you the freedom to implement what systems work best for you.
According to Jeff, you must be informed, intentional, and purposeful. Define how you’re going to be productive and then commit to it to reach your sales goals. He notes that many salespeople get stuck in “analysis paralysis”. They’re so hyper-focused on what needs to be done that the ‘how’ gets lost.
Instead of getting lost in analysis paralysis, Jeff recommends deciding ahead of time what the important activities are. Avoid distractions and non-sales activities and follow the 4 steps of the sales cycle:
- Identify who you can help
- Get their attention
- Communicate your value
- Get them to commit to the process
Whatever you do needs to lead to the advancement of those 4 activities.
The attributes of a productive sales professional
According to Jeff, the #1 attribute of a sales professional NEEDS to be the ability to be disciplined. Once you’ve identified what’s important, you must have the discipline to carry through on those tasks—especially when you don’t want to. For Jeff, this meant completing sales calls reports. He hated them but believes doing them made him more effective.
You must also be open-minded. While Jeff believes many of the tech tools available have the uncanny ability to get in the way, you must be able to evaluate and embrace them if they’ll make you more efficient. You have to be able to learn new tricks as an old dog.
Lastly, Jeff points out that you must be humble. Be willing to admit you don’t know it all—and keep learning.
Don’t be afraid to say NO
Jeff shares his ‘top 3 productivity do’s and top 3 don’ts’ and one concept that struck Paul was learning how to say no. To be productive you must prioritize and schedule what needs to be done. Everything else can be squeezed in around it. However, if you’re taking on too many activities and trying to fly by the seat of your pants you will struggle to hit your numbers.
Don’t give yourself too much credit—don’t take on more than you can handle. Everyone is guilty of it at one time or another. You must learn to underpromise and over-deliver. Say yes to the activities that are important and don’t be afraid to say no. Jeff embraces careful consideration when he makes decisions, citing “Every time you’re saying YES you’re saying NO to something else”.
Rethinking the process of productivity
When Jeff left a previous job, he wanted to implement some things that he had learned over his time there but were considered “risky”. He took a good hard look at his calendar and implemented a new system based on his research. He took the activities he knew moved the sales process along and got himself in front of prospects. He made sure his value proposition was clear and asked people to take the next step with him every single meeting.
He changed the focus of his days and made sure every activity he completed was worth doing (and measurable). What he found was that he was able to cut down time spent working to ⅓ of what it was previously—but he tripled his sales activities. He had a 9x return on results to activity. It changed his productivity and his personal life. According to his wife, he became less stressed and more like himself.
He points out that you must always ask yourself: “Are you spending enough time, doing enough of the right things, to get enough done?”. To hear the full conversation, be sure to listen to the whole episode!
Resources & People Mentioned
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