Is It Possible To Have Balance In Sales?

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I had a close friend ask me the other day if he should move into sales.  

He was working in the restaurant industry and came to the realization that it could be challenging to support his new growing family on the salary he was currently taking home.  

So naturally, he thought if he was a salesperson he would earn more money.  He was right.

But what would he have to sacrifice?

I first tried to talk him out of sales.  I mentioned how challenging it would be. I explained to him how sales is different than the restaurant industry.  

There’s no clock.  

There’s no shift change.  

There’s no days off.  

However, there was no scaring him away.  He was determined and was not about to let rejection, the long hours, or any of the changes get in the way of him becoming a top sales performer.  

Then I began to tell him how he could make it all work.  

At the end of the day, having a work-life balance is completely possible. However, it involves executing on these 5 important steps.

Step 1: Give Yourself A Work Life Balance Grade

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In my early sales years I remember going to a training at Sports Area in Point Loma, San Diego.  It was called Get Motivated.  During one particular session, led by the sales legend, Zig Zigler, something happened that I have not forgotten since.

Inside of his session, Zig called up a volunteer sales person from the audience.  He then asked the man what grade they would give themselves as work (with “A” being the best, and “F” being the worst).  He said what most people in the room would say. “I would give myself an A!”

When Zig asked him why he said, “because I set goals consistently and work hard to reach them every single day.”  That was a good answer!

Then Zig asked him “what would you give your home life?”  The man paused and then said, “what do you mean?” Zig then responded with, “well, do you do any of the same habits you do to excel at work?  Do you set goals constantly for your home life and work constantly to improve them? Or do you just let things happen?”

The man shook his head and then replied, “I would have to give myself an F.”  Zig follow up by saying, “then your life is a C (the average of an A and F grade).  

I’ll never forget that realization when I learned that there’s so much more to life than just work.  That brings us to step one of how to have a balanced life.

What grade would you give yourself?

Self awareness is the first step towards any method of improvement.  Take the time to consider how you would answer.

Is it possible to have a balanced life when you’re in sales?  

Yes, I believe it is possible! However, it is a challenge that you must work on every single day.

Step 2: What It Means To Have A Balanced Life

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If you ask yourselves what it means to have a great life, the easiest way to explain that is by having wealth.  However, wealth comes in many forms. Although these areas might not all apply to you today, somewhere down the road they could come up.  

I have found that these are the five general areas of life that you could be balanced in:

  1. Family

  2. Friends

  3. Health/Personal Development

  4. Work

  5. Community/Spiritual

Each of these areas could be developed into being wealthy, from your heart to your body, to your income and to your soul.  From listening to the greats out there, like my personal favorite, Tony Robbins, you will notice that the wealth accumulated through work should be far from your #1 priority.  Family, friends and health all seem to come ahead of your efforts in the work area of wealth.  

Consider all of the coaching you may have received about your finances in the past.  For example, the age old advice of putting away 10% of your paycheck into a savings bond and watch it grow over the years.  (I could be messing up this advice by the way!). By setting goals for your finances, you most likely would connect this to your efforts at work.    

Don’t forget all of the daily advice you may get from your sales manager, sales vice president or president about setting activity based goals to hit your monthly budget.  Just imagine if you applied that same level of tracking, and focus on these other areas of your life.

Now this doesn’t mean that your balanced life must include all of these areas.  This step is all about identifying what it means to you to have a balanced life.  

What categories are most important to you?  How would you rank them in regards to their priority?

Step 3: Set SMART Goals For Each Area Of Your Balanced Life

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Now that you’ve decided on the areas of your life that would make you most balanced and living the best life you possible can, it’s time to envision what your life would look like if you were to give yourself an “A” grade in each of these areas?

When you are picturing this, think about how you feel and how what your life looks like as if you’ve already achieved this goal.  Imagine you are actually living it.

What does it look like?

When you have it clear in your minds eye, it time to develop a roadmap to making that vision become a reality.  We do this by assigning SMART goals.

As a sales professional, I’ll bet that you’ve heard all about SMART goals because your sales leadership team most likely coaches you on it endlessly.  For those who don’t know what they are, here is a good explanation.

Goal setting is a critical part of your success in sales and in your complete balanced life.  When you learn how to do it properly you can make success predictable.

Related: Read how I use goal setting to prepare for a great sales prospecting week.

Step 4: Schedule Out Your New Balanced Life

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My favorite Tony Robbins quote is, “if you talk about it, it’s a dream.  If you envision it, it’s possible. But it you schedule it, it’s real.”

It’s not enough to have SMART goals in these areas.  It doesn’t become truly real until we schedule it out.  You must make the commitment to put it on your life calendar for the month, quarter, and year.  

This can become difficult because most of the time we aren’t thinking about these types of goals in a proactive way.  With our commissions on the line, our most important goals as a sales person is to make it happen for the month and the quarter.   

When it’s not a priority, we can’t see the big picture.  We can be so focused on what’s right in front of us that we fail to see the forest through the trees.  

Scheduling your balanced life out keeps your goals top of mind.  

Step 5: Revisit Your Goals On A Weekly Basis

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Anything that is important to you gets tracked…  

Your paycheck.  Your hygiene. Your favorite sports team.  The amount of gas in your gas tank.

Do we ever miss tracking things that are important that aren’t right in front of us?  Of course!

Unfortunately, most of the important things we forget about are inside of the 5 general areas of life that we need for balance that I mentioned above.  We need to constantly look at our goals and revisit them on a weekly basis so we can ensure we are making progress on them.  

I heard Tim Allen sets goals for every hour, day, week, month, quarter, year, 3-year, 5-year, and 10 years.  I can understand some of those, but every hour? That’s dedication. That’s a testament from someone who understands the power of goal setting and really the importance of tracking it on a regular basis.  

Related: What We Can Learn About Sales And Dedication From Michelangelo.

The reality is that if you are checking your balanced life goals weekly, you could course correct up to 4 different times during the month to ensure you stay on track.  Nothing could be more important than in living your dream life.

Summary of How To Have Work Life Balance

You are 100% responsible for your sales work life balance.  It is absolutely achievable but not without focus and effort.

The balanced life is unique to every sales person.  Once you find which of the five aspects of life most apply to you, (family, friends, health, work, community), you must keep your goals top of mind in turing your most critical areas into your dream outcome.

Here are the five steps that I recommend you follow to have work life balance:

  1. What Grade Would You Give Yourself In Regards To Work Life Balance?

  2. Identify What It Means To Have A Balanced Life For A Sales Person?

  3. Set Life Goals For Each Of These Areas

  4. Schedule Out Your New Balanced Life

  5. Revisit Your Goals On A Regular Basis

You can have the perfect life.  Your perfect life. Why not just schedule it first, and then follow your steps to make it happen!

Learn more techniques on how to having a winning mindset and outstanding results inside of our Modern Sales Academy.

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