You know those “stand-out” people — the 20-something who climbs the ladder in record pace, the salespeople who make off-the-chart sales… every month?
They seem untouchable — but what are they doing differently to really make it rain?
Bagel + Slim Jim = A Breakfast of Champions
A few years ago, I facilitated a sales training for a company. Each member of their 20-person sales team was required to attend — except for one. They didn’t want to mess with his process. We started training after lunch, but I asked to come in early. Each morning, I got there in time to watch the guy who had clearly learned how to be a good salesman begin work. Here’s what he did.
He started each day the same. This middle-aged man came in every day with a bagel and a banana. He’d eat the banana first. Then he’d eat the bagel. Then he’d make his phone calls, schedule his appointments, and spend his afternoon going to those appointments. It was the same thing every day.
Another guy worked for me a few years later. He was a rockstar salesman who started each day with a Slim Jim, Arizona Iced Tea, and a granola bar.
Seriously? Do these breakfast foods matter? Yes! The ritual of the same breakfast made a difference in their days. It was a part of their system — it put them on the trajectory of building relationships, closing deals, and working their system.
It’s not the breakfast that matters — it’s the routine. A bagel or a Slim Jim may not be nutritional superfoods, but they were a vital part of making these good salesmen great. Why? It started their daily sales routine.
Establishing Habits for a More Productive Day
In the book Power of Habit, Charles Duhigg explains why habits are so powerful:
[Habits] create neurological cravings. Most of the time, these cravings emerge so gradually that we’re not really aware they exist, so we’re often blind to their influence. But as we associate cues with certain rewards, a subconscious craving emerges in our brains that starts the habit loop spinning.
These salesmen found success by starting their day with habits that cued their frame of mind for the day. When the sales guy eats that bagel and banana, he associates his breakfast with sales. It automatically puts him in the mood to sell and starts his craving for sales.
Remember Pavlov’s dogs? We’re not very different. When we start our day consistently — whether with gas station food, a green smoothie, or a particular song, we cue ourselves for the rest of our day.
Meanwhile, we also ground ourselves. We remind ourselves that it’s our world. As we interact with people the rest of the day, we’re grounded. By starting a day with routines, we create our own world so that the prospects are coming into our world, as opposed to trying to penetrate the prospects world.
Eat Your Breakfast
So how do you start each day? Your exact breakfast may not be the same as these guys, and it doesn’t have to be. The key is consistency. What will you do each day to set the stage for a killer sales day?
Then follow your system for sales. If you don’t have one, it’s time to start. Have you been wondering how to be a better salesperson? Using a process for managing your prospects and clients is essential.
Want to learn more about creating and honing your sales process? Check out this article: How to Close More Deals by Mapping Your Sales Process
The one essential habit to boosting your sales is establishing a routine to begin your work day. The hardest part of the day is getting started — and Slim Jim may be just the place to begin.