Recently, I read a book by this title written by retired admiral William H. McRaven. He was a Navy Seal and eventually rose to the command of the worldwide Seal operation. The book is loaded with principles McRaven learned as a Navy Seal, each of which is an invaluable nugget that leads to success in about any venture.
The first principle is, if you want to change the world begin by accomplishing something first thing every morning — make your bed. Now, it sounds simple, and perhaps even trivial, but he points out beginning each day with a measurable accomplishment sets the tone for a productive 24 hours ahead.
As you might imagine, a well-made bed for a Seal is one so perfect the drill sergeant can bounce a quarter six inches high off the perfectly-taught cover. Failure to deliver such a quality job can result in a hundred push ups or perhaps a two-mile run as the sun rises.
So, I began wondering what making your bed looks like for a sales professional? Beyond literally making your bed (which I happen to do everyday first thing, so I appreciate the adrenaline charge of that early accomplishment), what are the "first-thing" activities a sales pro should accomplish in order to insure a productive day ahead and improve sales performance? Here are some that come to mind for me.
- Taking quiet time each morning to plan your activities for the day.
- Assigning an A-B-C priority to each those tasks to make sure the most important ones are dealt with first.
- Reviewing your account list to make sure you are spending enough time with high-priority customers and prospects.
- Doing some research about the businesses and people you work with to provide helpful insights.
- Planning your approach to high-value prospects so you can secure a meeting.
I bet you have your own stories and examples, and I’d love to hear those in response to this post.
That said, if you literally do not make your bed first thing every morning, try it. You’ll see what McRaven is talking about, and then perhaps execute on many of the other "make your bed" activities suggested in this post or by others who respond.
Change the world.