“One thing. Just one thing. You stick to that and everything else don’t mean &*$#.” That is the secret of life according to Curly in City Slickers.

Now, I don’t know if that is truly the secret of life, but I do think it is a great start to finding the secret to your success. Okay, maybe there isn’t just one, one thing. Maybe your sales success is a series of “one things.”

In my article Willpower vs. Self-Discipline I discussed the difference between willpower and self-discipline. The main difference between the two being that willpower mostly focuses on a single act while self-discipline delivers repeated actions. Getting to that consistent, structured self-discipline takes a lot of work, and sometimes the hardest part of that is just getting started. So, I’ve got some suggestions to get you off the fence and start down your path toward self-discipline – one step at a time.

After all, you can do anything once, right? So, let’s talk about the things that if done “once” will deliver you selling success.

Daily ONE Things

Read ONE article/blog from a source that understands your industry. You will be shocked at the opportunities you find to share what you learned.

Personal brand management
Share ONE idea/link/retweet via social media to enhance your personal brand. Give your prospects something powerful to find when they search you online, because they will.

Weekly ONE Things

Identify the ONE suspect (someone with whom you want to do business, but whom is not yet aware of that fact) you will contact this week to set up a meeting. Nothing is more important than filling your pipeline.

Identify the ONE prospect (someone who knows you want to do business with you and with whom you are having ongoing sales discussions) in your pipeline who you are going to move to a final decision. A stagnant pipeline is worse than an empty pipeline because it gives a false sense of security.

Client relationship management
Proactively contact ONE client this week for no reason other than sharing an article, an idea, or to just check in. Goes so far in building the personal connection.

Thank you
Send ONE handwritten thank-you note to someone who is making a difference for you. It may be the only piece of mail they actually read that day.

Take ONE client or center of influence to lunch this week for the purpose of asking for a referral. Of course, be sure you have earned the opportunity to ask for a referral.

Role play ONE part of your sales process, with a partner, each week. Be prepared to execute your process, as well as to answer questions and objections that are sure to come up with prospects and clients.

Plan out your weekly activities. Instead of meeting each day not knowing what it holds, decide ONE time, at the beginning of the week, what things are the most valuable use of your time.

Monthly ONE Things

Team member relationship management
Take ONE team member out to lunch this month to learn how you can help them be more successful at what they do. I promise, the more you help them be successful, they more they will be able/willing to help you be successful.

Prospect research
Get online and do some in-depth research to find a group of potentially viable prospects. Search through your connections, your connections’ connections, your local marketplace, or industry resources to identify suspects and find possible links to get a referral or introduction.

Quarterly ONE Things

Personal development
What is the ONE business book you will pick up and read this quarter? Never stop learning.

Annual ONE Things


Take time to plan out your upcoming year with goals for prospecting, keeping prospects moving through the sales process, as well as sales goals. Outline how you plan to achieve these goals with your own personal marketing plan.

Book of business management
What is the ONE segment of your book of business you are going to pass on to someone else? I know this one is tough for producers to get their arms around, basically “firing” some of their clients, but it’s typically the right thing to do. When I profile books of business (ranking the accounts from most revenue to least revenue), I will almost always see that the bottom 25 percent of a book usually only generates 1 percent of total book revenue, many times only averaging a few hundred dollars of revenue per year. These accounts slow your growth more than you recognize.

So there you have it. If you need a little help getting started on that path to self-discipline, use the power you already have in willpower to get it going. You don’t even have to do all of the ONE things, just pick a few. But really, I think you have enough willpower to tackle them all. You just have to be honest enough with yourself and ask, “How badly do I really want it?”


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