Launch Lasting Success Today Using 3 (Easy) Tips by Jae-ann Rock

Posted on Jan 17, 2018 in Blog, Meeting/Event Planning, Training and HR

We Specialize in Corporate Training & HR

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Looking for ways to get the new year off to a great start? From eliminating time wasters to accelerating the sales cycle, these tips will put you on the path to early success in 2018.

When reading these tips, think about which you will commit to this year. Write them down, make them visible during your workday. Then, begin incorporating them into your daily work habits starting THIS WEEK, to launch 2018 on a path to success. Ready…?

1.)    Focus on one thing at a time. It has been proven that multitasking does NOT work well. In fact, it is a drain on productivity.

  • The Research:
    • Reduced Productivity: Research has shown that multitasking can reduce productivity by as much as 40 percent[1], but that’s not all…
    • Lower IQ? Studies have shown that multitasking may actually lower your IQ. (Scary thought, huh?) According to research from the Institute of Psychiatry at the University of London, study participants who multitasked while performing cognitive tasks demonstrated IQ score declines as though they had stayed up all night. Why? Because technically, your brain can only focus on one thing at a time. So, in reality, when you think you’re multitasking, your brain is really just switching back and forth from one thing to another very rapidly. NOT the best use of your time
    • Short-term Memory Issues: To make matters worse, multitasking can interfere with short-term memory. The result? If you attempt to read an email while talking on the phone, you will be less likely to retain or recall details of either later.
  • The Remedy: Instead, organize your work life to cut down on multitasking. Take a block of time each day to tune out distractions – ignore the phone, turn off email and text alerts.  You’d be amazed at what you can accomplish when you eliminate all the “noise” for an hour or two.
  • Create Work Sprints: Take the first item on your prioritized to-do list and spend an uninterrupted 20 minutes completely focused on that task. Do not check email or answer the phone during this time. When the 20 minutes is up, take a 2-minute break. Get up, stretch, get a drink of water. Then, repeat the process one or two more times to really dig into your work at a highly focused level. You’ll be shocked at what you can complete during these uninterrupted time blocks.

2.)    Make Meetings Count. Corporate meetings can eat up all your time if you let them. Use meetings wisely by following these tips:

  • Is it necessary? First, determine if a meeting is really needed. Meetings are a major distraction from work and should not be the go-to method to discuss, debate and resolve every issue.
  • There’s no such thing as a 1-hour meeting. Consider this: If you’re going to call six people to a meeting then that is a six-hour meeting.  Ask yourself, “Is this meeting worth the six hours of lost productivity?”
  • # Attendees? If you decide you do need a meeting, how many people should attend? Bob Fritsch and Josh Peck of Bloomberg recommend the following rule of thumb:
    • – Brainstorming: 20-35 people
    • – Discussion: Fewer than 20 people
    • – Agreement/Alignment: 6-14 people
    • – Decision making: 3-6 people
  • Meeting Length? The optimal length of a meeting is 45 minutes to 1-hour maximum.  If you must have a two-hour meeting, break it into two 1-hour meetings with a 15-minute break to refresh people’s focus. (Research shows that people naturally begin to lose focus after about 45 minutes – just FYI!)
  • Always have a meeting agenda. An agenda will ensure the meeting stays on track and within the time allotted for each agenda item.  It provides clarity and controls discussion flow, increasing the productivity of the meeting. Assign a meeting timekeeper prior to the meeting who will be responsible for adhering to the agenda and the allotted meeting time.

3.)  Accelerate the Sale. By accelerating the sales cycle, you will free up time to close more deals this year, leading to greater success. How do you accelerate the sales cycle? Create a sense of urgency by using the following tips, and be sure to work with decision makers early in the process!

  • Ask the prospect a CRITICAL question, “What is it costing you to NOT implement this solution?” Identify the key issue(s) the customer seeks to resolve with your solution. Probe to uncover details of their situation to understand exactly what pain or need you can help resolve. Now, help them understand the cost of doing nothing. Translate “waiting” into dollars and cents to create a real sense of urgency.
  • What will happen if their competitor(s) implement your solution first?
  • If they are putting off the decision to buy, ask them specifically what will change in 60 or 90 days that will bring them closer to a decision at that time.
  • Use budget cycle or quarterly deadline incentive as needed.
  • Always work with decision makers early in the sales cycle! This is critical. Otherwise, you will waste your time speaking with an influencer who will “sell internally on your behalf”, creating a L-O-N-G sales cycle that may never close. Don’t go down this rat hole. Find and work with decision makers early. (If you need an accurate database of corporate training & HR decision makers, look no further… Mentor Tech Group has exactly what you need.)
  • Always demonstrate enthusiasm and full conviction in your solution’s ability to help resolve the prospect’s issues. Remember, enthusiasm is contagious. This alone will greatly accelerate the sales cycle!   

Challenge yourself to adopt at least two of these principles this year and then:   

  • Write them down and make them visible throughout your workday. 
  • Pin them to your bulletin board and/or tape them to your desk. Make them a recurring “to-do” reminder. 
  • Start each day with these in focus.

By doing so, these will soon become a habit, leading to a more productive, successful year!


If you are selling and marketing to corporate training & HR, here’s a tip just for you…

Don’t waste one more week of your precious time. Get 2018 off to a great start — take a few minutes to check out Mentor Tech Group’s market intelligence database of 40,000+ Corporate Training & HR decision makers.

Isn’t it time you found out about the MTG difference? Learn more about our unique Job Codes and how we hand-build our decision maker database, making MTG’s data the most accurate available in the industry today.

Commit to having a discussion with your Mentor Tech Group sales rep this week, and start your year off right. Contact us today at: 651-457-8600, Ext. 3.


[1] Rubinstein, Joshua S.; Meyer, David E.; Evans, Jeffrey E. (2001). Executive Control of Cognitive Processes in Task Switching. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 27(4), 763-797.

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