Ray had decided the previous night that today's sales effort was going to be his best yet. Finally, he thought, after listening to his sales manager week after week telling him he needed to establish goals, it seemed worth giving it a try. Besides, Ray went on to himself, maybe I'll be able to turn the corner and become a good salesperson.
As he parked his seven-year old car in the parking lot, in zipped Barry. Barry was the salesperson who showed up once a month from the office downstate. He wasn't the best salesperson in the firm, but close to it.
"Hey, Ray," said Barry, getting out of his much newer car, "thought you told me last month that by now you'd have dumped that bomb. This was going to be your biggest month yet. What happened?"
"You wouldn't believe how lucky you are, being downstate and not having to deal with these idiots here," responded Ray, waving his hand in the general direction of the building. "Man, you get to live life free of their day-to-day hassling. I thought they were here to help us. You know, I mean after all, if it wasn't for us salespeople, all of them would be out having to find a job where they had to perform."
"Sounds like you've had a few run-ins."
"Four weeks ago I suggested a measly two thousand piece mailing. I'd even follow it up with phone calls. Dorree and Brian told me that was unrealistic. Took me weeks to get over that slap in the face."
"Sorry I made you bring it up," said Barry. "Don't want you to get down for today."
"Hey, no problem. I'll have to admit Dorree was right about one thing... 'You need to get some goals down and then work towards them,' as she put it."
"Great. What did you come up with?"
"Last night I decided that's what I'm going to do. Figured that since my idea for a mailing campaign was ABMed out of the sky, and I have nothing to do, I'll work on coming up with the goals today."
"Better late than never," said Barry.
"Hey, just check out my wheels next month," said Ray.
Ray is Lazy. His laziness is abetted by his lack of goals. His mailing campaign, while it may sound good, would have been idiotic to pursue. As it stands now, he'll waste another day working on his goals.
Laziness is obvious when it happens. Something wasn't done simply because it was forgotten about. For example, you need to get the mailing out on Saturday night to ensure Monday morning delivery, but you forgot to buy the stamps and the post office closed at noon. It's now one o'clock. Not to worry, you can put it off until next weekend. No problem.
Ray could have worked on his goals at home, but he decided that he might as well do it at the office. After all, he doesn't want to bring work home. When he works on his goals in the office, then he has the perfect excuse not to prospect. What's the point of prospecting unless he has his goals? And beside, Dorree and Brian have both told him to set his goals up. What better place than the office in case he needs to talk with someone?
Idiotic tasks are a direct result of not having goals. The rallying cry for an idiotic task is, "I've (We've) got to do something, it's got to be real soon, and I (we) need results fast." The focus of attention is on the task, which always has to be done immediately, instead of on the goal. Remember, a goal is a well-defined, measurable, result of specific consecutive objectives.
The most common way around not having a goal is to, without any rational thought or planning, create an attainable "quick fix" and call it a goal. For instance, "I need to make 15 sales in seven days. Okay, there's the goal. Now I'm justified in doing a 2,000 piece mailing."
This is not a goal but rather an excuse to indulge in an idiotic waste of time.
The solution to both laziness and the temptation to pursue idiotic tasks is simple:
Establishment of goals and the daily commitment to reaching those goals.
There is no other approach that works. There is no excuse possible for not having goals.
Without well-defined goals, salespeople will fall to being lazy and indulging in idiocy. There are no exceptions.