The most important quality of successful people is self-discipline. Elbert Hubbard once defined self-discipline as “The ability to make yourself do what you should do, when you should do it, whether you feel like it or not.”
In sales, especially when you face a smaller market, greater competition, more customer resistance and greater failure and disappointment from your activities, self-discipline is the essential skill that will pull you through.
Zig Ziglar once said, “If you will be hard on yourself, life will be easy on you. But if you insist upon being easy on yourself, life is going to be very hard on you.” Jim Rohn once said that, “Discipline weighs ounces; regret weighs tons.”
Al Tomsik, the great sales trainer, said that, “Success is tons of discipline.”
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Napoleon Hill, after a lifetime of studying successful people, called self-discipline, “The master key to riches.” He said that with self-discipline, all things are possible. But without self-discipline, all the knowledge, skill or opportunity that you have will be of no use.
How do you develop the discipline you need to become the successful person that you are capable of? It is simple, but not easy. First, make a list of everything that you have to do the next day, and make the list the night before, before you finish work, or on a Sunday night. Second, go over your list and ask yourself this question, “If I could only do one thing on this list before I was called out of town for a month, which one activity would contribute the greatest value to my work or my life?”Whatever your answer to that question, set that as your top priority for the coming day. When you get up in the morning and get ready, the first thing you do is to go to work on the most valuable thing that you can do, and then work at it single-mindedly until it is complete.
Work on prospecting
In many cases, the most important thing you can do is to prospect. The fact is that very few people like to prospect. Why? Because prospecting is always accompanied by rejection, negativity, rudeness, frustration and failure. As healthy, normal human beings, we avoid these experiences as much as possible. But in order to succeed in sales, we have no choice but to prospect, to find new, qualified people to talk to.