Q & A Part 2: Overwhelmed to Over Quota

First of all, I want to give a big thank you to the team at ChurnZero for having me to host this session, if you haven’t seen it yet, you can access the recording here, and see part one here.

I appreciate everyone who made it live and checked out the recording for the session. The feedback has been incredible, I am so happy that so many people found this topic so relevant and helpful.

We had so many good questions and not enough time to cover them all, I wrote out this post and also recorded a video below if that’s more your speed.

How do you overcome the diet cycle? I tried something I slipped. I failed. I might as well give up because I'm not disciplined enough to do this.

This is something that I struggled with as well. I want to make it emphatically clear that I'm not perfect. With that said, I think that's probably one of the things that's going to be most helpful is focusing on progress, not perfection.
If you're trying to implement any of these suggestions, maybe it's just the focused hour, and you only do it three times out of five days a week. Instead of beating yourself up, tell yourself that three times is awesome, keep going and improve over time. I always use this quote. at the end of one of my training sessions “would you rather have ten percent of a million dollars or zero?”

If  you expect perfection every single time you're going to feel let down, whereas if you focus on progress, you can build up over time. That becomes intrinsic motivation over time, you start to see the results and it becomes a lot easier.

Of all the suggested methods you shared today to be more organized, a prioritization, what do you think is most impactful for you adopting into your own day?

It may sound counterintuitive, but I think having a shutdown routine will be a huge help to make you more productive. Your brainpower is a finite resource, as the day goes on, it fatigues and isn't as effective. Writing out your attack plan for the end of the day, and getting some mental recovery will set you up for a strong morning instead of slowly burning you out.

How you incorporate these training for new hires.

I think it’s something a lot of companies get wrong. A ton of time and effort goes into learning your company's process and product. Those are completely necessary, but I believe it’s arguably more important to know how to be effective, handle difficult situations and become a good communicator. That’s largely why I started running training for companies so their teams can develop the right skills that can help them feel better, work better and perform better. Feel free to shoot me a note if you want to learn more.

Oftentimes, our days are very very busy, but how would you approach planning out a day or activities when the day is slow, so more time opens up for other activities?

Here is a blog post I wrote on the scheduling mistakes you are making and how to avoid them and recorded a video on My step by step process to scheduling my time.

What are your thoughts on CSMs delivering unexpected value through sharing industry knowledge that customers are in versus only talking about with them, with our product?

Time for a bit of hard truth, people don't necessarily care about your product. I know that may sound callous, but people buy the six pack, not the bowflex. No matter what software you cover, it's a means to an end. People care about the results your products can give them.Your customers want to know where the industry is going, what you can do for them and how others are succeeding with you. Some people like to get into the features, but confirm that before blasting them with product updates.

Here is one value add that I think is the most powerful for both you and your customer:

Make an introduction to a peer of theirs who is also a customer. I think it's something that goes a long way, especially if it's two very happy customers, they share ideas and their excitement about your product and you can stay completely out of it.

What is your take on focus time?

I've read that most adults don't have a full hour to themselves. I think this is one of the biggest reasons why stress and burnout are such an issue in the workplace. My proposal for you is to spend one focused hour in the morning working on something important, not email or slack .

For me, I start my day with my top 3 for the day and get off to a strong start instead of checking email.  One hour might not seem like a lot, but little steps add up to big changes in time.

What is a tip for a CSM who feels like they're always in meetings and never have time to actually get work done.

I feel this and it’s another big issue facing our profession. This is taken from a blog  I wrote on the topic, try these out.

Ask if it's necessary: If you want to spend $2,000 on a training session, chances are some people in your organization might freak out. However, pretty much anyone can host a 30 minute weekly meeting with 5 people. The latter costs $10,000 a year and nobody bats an eye. If you find yourself saying "that could have been an email '' make the suggestion to try doing it as an email for a week. All you have to lose is a bad meeting that wastes your time.

Use Parkinson's law : Every 30 minute meeting should be  to 20, every 60 minute meting should be 45 minutes. What this will do is force people to stay on point and make sure things move along smoothly. Going back to back all day is a great way to turn your brain to mashed potatoes and never get anything meaningful done.

Use collaboration tools: Slack can be a time waster. If used the right way you can cut down meetings significantly. A lot of meetings start out with a status update. Use slack for this instead. If you have a team on a project, add everyone to a channel and have them add an update every time there is one. Information moves freely and you skip the show and tell for 30 minutes a week.

As someone who needs to be extremely responsive to emails and slack at all times of the day, what is a tip to not get overwhelmed?

I’m going to challenge you here. Why do you need to be that responsive? If it is absolutely necessary, then OK. The trade off is that when you are constantly fighting fires, you won't be able to do very meaningful work. I encourage you to look at the alternative approach I laid out in a blog post called, “Why Hyper Responsiveness is Hurting your Career

P.S. If you want to keep the learning going, I have 3 options for us to work together.

  1. Have me deliver a live training for your company, book a free consult. I offer a $100 donation in your name for referrals.
  2. You can join my monthly accelerator program that starts September 28th here.
  3. Book a 1:1 coaching session to up-level your performance here.