Have you ever thought about how your environment affects your mindset, your behaviors, and your results? If you change your environment, you change your results and ultimately change your life.
The challenge is, if you stay in the same environment for too long (especially if the environment is less than positive) you can find yourself ineffective in many different critical areas.
- You’re not prospecting effectively.
- You’re not prospecting at all.
- You’re not effective at thinking and doing account planning.
- You’re not effective at strategizing what you needed to do in the selling situation.
- You’re not effective at doing strategic account management.
Outside of selling, on a personal level, you've probably seen people who are in a certain environment with their health and exercise and will typically adopt the behavior of those in the environment with them. Many people, when they have to make a big change for their health, typically have to change their environment.
They have to change the people they surround themselves with and they have to change their physical environment, too.
It might sound trivial, but there's a lot of evidence on changing your physical environment. In Ben Hardy's excellent book, Willpower Doesn't Work, he talks about these exact stats around changing environment.
Think about if you wanted to give up junk food. If you have a drawer full of junk food in the office, and a pantry full of it at home, that's your environment. Every day you walk into your office, or by that pantry. You only have so much willpower. For most people, (maybe not for you) that temptation and environment makes it really difficult to change and grow. Even if you don't go in and grab the junk food, it's the ongoing effort and thinking of not eating the food that’s in your environment.
What if you changed your environment and didn’t have junk food in the office or at home, at all? Now you have a new environment in your pantry. Would that affect how you’re going to act and how you’re going to behave?
The great thing about fasting versus dieting, is dieting you have lots of choices. Fasting, you’ve got one choice. Whether you're going to eat or not. That’s why intermittent fasting for many people is easy, because you either eat or don't eat. If I diet, it's a whole different thinking and energy process.
Going back to sales, let's use the example of prospecting.
If you're trying to be effective at prospecting, but you're doing it at the desk you work at for all your paperwork, all your minutiae, and all your emails, you may find it difficult to be effective. I have not seen this process effectively work for even in the best prospectors. People tend to do certain kinds of thinking in certain kinds of places. I'd highly recommend you find a different physical environment to do your calls in. It might be as simple as a different room if you work out of your house, or it could be the conference room in your office. A different place to do it will provide a different level of thinking, and it will also provide different results.
So when you are looking at this, and you are analyzing your day and those areas that you aren’t effective, ask yourself: "Could it be in my environment? Might I need to change it up?"
I’ll give you one best practice that I use. When I have some thinking I need to do, I go to the local public library. There's a certain place on the third floor that I like being in. It has big windows, has a beautiful view of a stream covered by trees with a soccer field in the distance. I block off time to get work done and I go there.
A few months ago, I went in and I had a project I'd been putting off for months. I just kept procrastinating, but I finally said, "Okay, I'm going to commit to one hour at the Public Library, and I'm going to go to my third floor spot." In one hour I wrote 26 pages of a white paper that I'd been thinking about writing for six months. I had the capability to write it the whole time, but until I changed my environment I couldn't think differently.
Think of those activities for you. Prospecting, account management, strategic planning; whatever it would be that requires a different environment. Where can you go? Where can you make that environment change with your physical space? Don’t forget about changing the information, people and the technology you surround yourself with, too. It all comes together and will be affecting your results.