The quality of your workweek and your effectiveness is determined by the questions that you ask yourself—or fail to ask yourself. Here’s a list of three Monday morning questions to ensures your week—and your results—stay on track.
Question 1: What Are the Most Critical Outcomes I Need to Achieve This Week?
There isn’t a better or more powerful question with which to begin your week. What are the most critical outcomes that you need to achieve this week? As you build on your model sales week, it is important that you focus your limited time, your limited effort, and your limited energy on obtaining the outcomes that make a difference to your results.
The answer to this question will include the big rocks that you have to put in the jar before you put in smaller rocks. Taking care of the big things first is how you obtain the outcomes that you need. If you don’t take care of these first, all of the tiny, little, meaningless tasks will steal your time and keep you from moving the ball.
This question alone will prevent you from sitting around waiting for something that you can react to, instead of proactively going out and making something happen. It’s possible that you could answer this question by saying, “The most critical outcome I need to achieve this week is to waste time on the Internet pretending to research leads while I wait for someone to get me an order.” It’s possible. But it isn’t likely.
Make a list of the three four most critical outcomes you need to achieve and schedule them before you do anything else. You will be on your way to a far more productive and effective week already.
Question 2: Who Are the Most Important People with Whom I Need to Spend Time?
We don’t produce results in sales without spending time with our clients and our dream clients. We also don’t produce results without the help of our own team. There are people with whom you need to spend time in order to produce great results. Some of these people you already know, and some you need to know. Nurturing relationships in a value creating way is how you get to know some of the people you need to know, and it’s how you help your team.
It’s easy to let too much time pass between calls or visits with your clients. It’s easy to allow time to slip by without making any deposits in your future relationships. It’s incredibly easy to ignore the people that keep the promises that you make and execute and deliver for your clients. None of the outcomes we produce in sales are produced alone, and none of the results are possible with healthy effective relationships within our own company and our client companies.
Make a list of three people you need to spend time with this week. Make one of the three an existing client, one a prospect, and one a member of your internal team. Work on the relationships that you need to succeed, and make sure that you create value for each of these three during your meeting. (And don’t underestimate what lunch or breakfast means to your team members).
Question 3: What I am Going to Do To Improve Myself This Week?
From week to week, you need to work on making you a better and more effective you. You need to continue to become the best version of yourself that you possibly can. This isn’t easy. It takes a commitment of time, and effort, and energy (and some of us have a lot more work to do than others!).
There is no improvement that you can make that can be made in a single day. You don’t go from producing poor prospecting results to a full pipeline in a day. You also don’t go from little business acumen to Jack Welch in a single day. What you can do, however, is make the incremental improvements from week to week that, over the course of the year, make a giant, staggering, results-changing improvement.
A Few Tips
For me, Monday morning is too late to ask and answer these questions; I have to hit the ground running at a full sprint on Monday morning. I ask these questions on Sunday when I complete my weekly review. You might have to get started sooner, too.
You might also be tempted to put ten or fifteen major outcomes on your list. I’d caution you not to put more than three or four major outcomes on your list. The reason you want to include the “most critical” outcomes is that these are the outcomes that produce the greatest results. Think Pareto principle. Think about the 20% of the outcomes that produce 80% of your results. Keep it to a number you can commit to and keep.
Start your week off with the right questions. It’s more likely you’ll get the right answers.
What are the questions that you ask yourself? Are they quality questions?
How do you ensure you get the most important outcomes you need each week?
How do you ensure that you nurture your most important relationships regularly?
What do you to improve your own effectiveness? How often do you take time to make these improvements?