Posted by Jack Derby, Head Coach on Wed, Jul 14, 2010

In her 1967 hit, R-E-S-P-E-C-T, Aretha Franklin takes these Otis Redding lyrics to a new dimension as she blasts out “Re, Re, Re, Respect” in the middle of the song on her way to making this tune a landmark in the feminist movement, and what is often considered to be one of the best songs of the R&B era. I love music-any kind, any genre-from Timberlake to Usher to Eminem, to 40’s Glen Miller and Tommy Dorsey, but Aretha’s song has a special place in my tune-filled head, so it’s not unusual when I’m truly relaxed to find that some deeply hidden player in my sub consciousness suddenly just switches on and plays “RESPECT”.

And the last two weeks have been almost total relaxation here at the beach. Still waking up at my normal 4:00 AM start time, I find myself in the office a couple of minutes later, Keurig-brewed tea in hand-working on accumulated downloads of inquiries that have floated in since the last look at emails late the night before. With an early morning bike ride and most of my work projects and calls behind me around 10:00 including having the daily spousal tasks either completed or catalogued (as in, “I’ll get to that tomorrow”), the last two weeks have been spent on vacation just simply relaxing.

Vacation for me has been opening the door, taking assembled beach belongings, various writing materials and my Kindle across the road to set up shop on the sand for the next five or six hours. The first couple of days, the iPhone came with me “just to check the time”, of course. A week later, no iPhone, and I was only checking emails and answering calls at 4:00. The following day, the playbook simply read: repeat the same.

Relax: the definition of the word says, “to make less tense, rigid, or firm; to make lax”. So bottom line, to make less tense again must mean to return to a less stressed time, which was certainly my goal, and I’m happy to say, I achieved my objectives. In addition to many dinners out with friends, I somehow managed to squeeze in five books, wrote a good chunk of a business plan (on the beach, of course) and made a solid start into my Tufts fall syllabus.

All good examples of a relaxing vacation which is an important work ingredient for all of us to consider this summer as we’re now at the pivot point in balancing our time and energy between the two halves of the year. If you’re planning any vacation this summer, I would strongly recommend that you make sure that you take some time out for yourself and follow the three “RE”s of the summer of 2010: Relax, Refresh & Re-Energize. It really doesn’t make any difference how you do it, as long as you do it. You certainly deserve it after the last two quarters.

One of my CEOs is off to sit on the beach in Nantucket this week while another is taking a driving vacation with the kids through the national parks. Two very different types of relaxation, two very different guys, but in both cases, they’ve both put serious time into planning these vacations so I know that they’ll truly relax this week. Both Joe and, Jim are organized successful managers, and they realize that there’s steep revenue ramps to climb over the next six months, and in order to do that, they need some time away to Relax, Refresh & Re-Energize.

As much as I want you to personally Relax, Refresh & Re-Energize, you should also think about taking this concept of the three R’s and extending it into operating your business this summer. Since we’re now at that critical juncture in the year of figuring out exactly what it will take to propel us through the September to December crunch, you might want to get your management or your sales team together this month and think through another three R’s: Re-Plan, Reduce & Re-Create. More on this in the following column.

In the meantime, enjoy the vacation even if it’s for a few long weekends and Good Selling for the balance of this month. It’s always great to start out a fresh quarter and have a bit of breathing room to exploit the rest of the opportunities in the funnel. Just remember that time is your enemy-especially in the summer-and the relentless math of the average number of days in your sales cycle always wins out in the end.

Finally, a sincere thanks to the many of you who wrote personal notes on last month’s article on Beach Glass, and a special thanks to Beverly who mailed me some of her personal beach treasurers. It’s great to have involved readers, and I was personally touched by the many examples of your time spent on the beach.

Thanks very much !


Tags: sales productivity, Sales Optimization, sales, sales effectiveness, selling, selling skills