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Money_Jar_1_-_x400This is a story you’ve likely heard before, but it’s one containing such an important truth for sales professionals that this reminder will prove to be valuable for you in your sales work today.

That, and it perfectly sets up the expert resource I want to tell you about in a moment…

As the trainer stood in front of the group of sales professionals he said, “It’s time for a quiz.” 

He then pulled out a one-gallon, wide mouthed mason jar and set it on a table in front of him.  Then he produced about a dozen fist-sized rocks and carefully placed them, one at a time, into the jar.

When the jar was filled to the top and no more rocks would fit inside, he asked, “Is this jar full?”

Everyone in the room said, “Yes.”

“Really?” replied the trainer.  He reached under the table and pulled out a bucket of gravel.  Then he dumped in some gravel and shook the jar causing the smaller pieces of gravel to work themselves down into the spaces between the larger rocks.

Then he smiled and asked the group once more, “Now, is the jar full?” By this time, the audience was onto him.  “Probably not,” one of them answered with a smile of his own.

“Good!”  he replied with a chuckle.  He then reached under the table and brought out a bucket of sand.  He started dumping in the sand in. It went into all the spaces left between the rocks and the gravel.  He asked the question once more, “Is the jar full?”

“No!”  the group shouted.

Once again he smiled and said, “Good!” Next, the trainer grabbed a pitcher of water and began to pour it in until the jar was filled to the brim.  He looked up at them and asked, “What is the point of this illustration?”

One eager young professional raised his hand and said, “The point is, no matter how full your schedule is, if you try really hard, you can always fit more things into it!”

“That is absolutely…not correct,” the trainer replied. “That’s not the point. The truth this illustration teaches us is: If you don’t put the big rocks in first, you’ll never get them in at all.”

With our finite amount of hours in which to work, our ability to keep a strong focus on the main priorities, along with the order in which other work should be done, will directly determine our sales effectiveness.

I know this is not a new concept to you.

What may be new to you is the sales coaching I read a few days ago from Fredrik Jonsson (@fredrikmembrain). He’s the Chief Content Officer at @membrain_com. His post is titled: How should B2B sales people spend their time in order to reach quota?

The big idea of Jonsson’s post is how to accurately answer this question:

How should our sales people allocate their time between different activities to optimize their chances of reaching quota?

The information Jonsson provides isn’t just the typical 3 bullet points and a pep talk. It’s incredibly practical and so useful that you can begin using what you learn from it right away.

Although we’re good at convincing ourselves that we have a solid handle on our daily time management, we may not be using the right mix of sales activities in the best ways to optimize our sales.

Jonsson’s post walks us through the variety of activities we do from day-to-day and gives us vital questions to ask ourselves to better tune the optimization knob toward greater sales success.

Then, the author takes us into a scenario to see how it plays out. This is helpful to better understand how to use your own situation, in conjunction with Jonsson’s expert direction, to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of your time.

Don’t miss this post, and be sure to pass it along to your colleagues/ sales team to aid strongly in increasing your organization’s sales numbers and make quota more often.

DON’T MISS THIS: Jonsson (via @membrain_com) is offering a very useful kit of resources to download. Since you read to the end of this post, you’re definitely someone who will find a lot of value in this downloadable resource: How To Set Realistic Goals In Complex B2B Sales.

[Reading Time of Jonsson’s Post: 4:00]

QUESTION ::: What was one of your A-ha! moments as you read Jonsson’s post? 
What are you going to put into action this week

Let’s talk about it…

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Vector_4367_300_shadowThis week’s links start with a trio of resources full of the wisdom of sales industry experts, overcoming rejection and some ways to gain back wasted time in your working day.

Come back and visit this blog every Friday for my Friday Sales Growth Links feature where I filter online resources, through my years of experience, to help you continue growing in your sales career:


Entrepreneur Magazine
10 Secrets From Leading Sales Execs
Learn to multiply the successes of others by listening to what successful people in your field have to say. They’ve walked in your shoes, so they understand your current challenges. They’re just a little ahead of some of you at the moment.

These experts, gathered by Sean Jacobsohn (@sjacobsohn), are willing to help others catch up to them by sharing what they’ve learned through their experiences. Take advantage of advantages when they’re presented to you. Bookmark this one.

Docurated’s Blog
50 Sales Strategy Secrets and Tips from Top Sales Pros
Angela Stringfellow offers even more tips from experts in this article. Read them today, or over time, and be sure to bookmark this one as well.

Inc. Magazine
37 Sales Experts You Need to Follow on Twitter Right Now
I really like how much great information can be fit into 140 characters at times. We sure didn’t have this luxury early in my career.

These experts, brought together by Bubba Page (@bubbapage), are experts at what they do and enjoy sharing what they’ve learned.

Go ahead and become a follower in order to become a better sales leader.


Dell Power More
How to Make Your Team Rejection Proof
If you haven’t yet learned about Jia Jiang (@JiaJiang), author of Rejection Proof, you need to. There is no better story out there about someone choosing to face their fear [head-on], learn to overcome it and then help others do the same.

This article is a great introduction to Jia’s take on the topic of rejection (then check out and his “100 Days of Rejection”). #incredible


LinkedIn Pulse
Stop the Silent Business Killer: Wasted Time
J.P. Werlin (@jpwerlin) offers some great reminders on how to get more out of your time. Wasted time for a sales professional is missed selling timeGet it back.

This is also one of the main elements of the story about what you can gain by putting the SalesFitRx web and mobile app to work for you. Check into it.

>>  View past posts for Friday Sales Growth Links  <<


Click here to download our free guide:
2015 Guide to Sales Optimization: Restoring Sanity to Sales

Read more »



Strategy_Chalkboard_290_shadowThis week, I have some extremely useful resources, as always from some very credible sources, relating to strategies and tactics you can start using today to be more effective in your selling.

Come back and visit this blog every Friday for my Friday Sales Growth Links feature where I filter online resources, through my years of experience, to help you continue growing in your sales career:


Harvard Business Review
Make Time for the Work That Matters
Although this article wasn’t written specifically for sales professionals, this piece by Julian Birkinshaw (@jbirkinshaw) and Jordan Cohen (@cohenjo) can certainly help you be more effective in your sales career.

The work that matters most for sales teams is selling time, and the work supporting your selling time, to make it as effective as possible.

Try out the interactive tool linked at the beginning of the article to get an idea of what you could consider dropping or outsourcing. There are a lot of excellent application opportunities for sales professionals in this resource.’s Blog
My Sales Secret – My Mastermind Group
Fresh off the plane returning from this week’s Sales 2.0 Conference in San Francisco (which SalesFitRx also attended), Alice Heiman (@aliceheiman) is apparently in on the business secret that may possibly be one of the single most important reasons I’ve been able to achieve what I have in my own sales career. It’s the developing and engaging in Mastermind groups.

Alice explains what they are, a bit about what this strategy has meant to great people in history and how you can create your own mastermind group.

Also, don’t miss the free, downloadable How To Create Your Ultimate Mastermind Team PDF file (linked near the end of the blog post).


Selling Power
Four Selling Skills You Need in the Social Age
Social Selling is a hot topic in the sales industry. Are you growing in this skill set? Kurt Shaver (@kurtshaver) efficiently and effectively leads us through four important selling skills in the age of social media.’s Blog
7 Keys to Using Text Messaging for Sales Prospecting
This certainly wasn’t an option during my first decades in sales, but it can definitely be helpful when you can align the right message to the right person at the right time on the right device. Jed Blount (@salesgravy) offers some great advice.

Don’t miss the section toward the end titled, “7 Keys to Structuring Effective Text Prospecting Messages.”
101 Sales Email Templates You Can Use Today to Close More Deals

Finally, this resource from @attachio is a good one to bookmark in your browser. Why start from scratch when you can modify a message that’s already written along the lines of what you want to accomplish?

Just make sure to modify each template enough so it doesn’t end up being too similar to other emails in the prospect’s inbox (in case others use this resource as well).

>>  View past posts for Friday Sales Growth Links  <<

Click here to download our free guide:
2015 Guide to Sales Optimization: Restoring Sanity to Sales

Read more »



Friday_Sales_Links_small_shadowCome back and visit this blog every Friday for my Friday Sales Growth Links feature:

Eliminate Distractions And Do Good Work
This is an excellent reminder to be a good steward of the limited time you have each day. Increase your selling time by remembering how good things become bad things when they take the place of the best things.
[INFOGRAPHIC] Words That Sell: Using Metaphors to Drive Sales

An effective metaphor can definitely assist you in getting closer to “Yes.” This infographic from presentation and sales specialist Anne Miller, along with the list of scenarios offered by speaker/author/sales specialist Jill Konrath, give you a lot of helpful direction and ideas in about 60 seconds of your time.


Harvard Business Review

What Top Sales Teams Have in Common, in 5 Charts offers a concise article from the results of this extensive research. It’s good information to know and hold up against the traits of your own organization. You may very well have some low-hanging fruit ready to harvest.

When To Coach In The Moment

I believe too many opportunities for coaching sales professionals are lost when you fail to coach individuals in the moment. There are times for this kind of coaching and other times when scheduled coaching meetings are best. Listen to this audio blog post, from Bill Caskey, to learn more about when to stop in the moment and strengthen your team one member at a time.

Openview Labs
Sales Training Is a Line Not a Dot
Too much of what is learned in training is lost within the first 30 days following training sessions. Daniel Chalef offers an approach to help that knowledge and understanding stick with trainees longer. I can see this being effective in many organizational situations.

>>  View past posts for Friday Sales Growth Links  <<

Click here to download our free guide:
2015 Guide to Sales Optimization: Restoring Sanity to Sales

Read more »