“I never knew an early-rising, hard-working, prudent man, careful of his earnings, and strictly honest who complained of bad luck.” – Henry Ward Beecher

Several years ago, when I was selling commercial real estate, I was introduced to a very wealthy real-estate developer. I asked if I could be of some service to him and he said, “Maybe you can, Graham. Give me a call next Wednesday at 5 o’clock.”

I asked, “Is that 5 p.m.?” He looked at me strangely and said, “No, 5 a.m.”

This particular prospect controlled more than 50 million dollars’ worth of commercial real estate, so I set my alarm early and rang him at 5 a.m. sharp. He answered the phone on the first ring and sounded delighted to hear from me.

He said, “Graham, nice of you to ring. I’m busy right now, but please ring back at 5 o’clock next Wednesday.”

And the same thing happened again and again and again and again. By the sixth time, it was obvious to him that my interest in working for him was sincere — so he gave me the opportunity to lease some of his properties for him.

I’ve been an early riser ever since — and the habit continues to put extra money in my pocket.

I have read more than 137 biographies of successful men and women, including many top salespeople. The vast majority of them — in fact, nearly all — have the habit of starting the day early.

I was at a business conference a few years ago that featured a panel of six salespeople from different industries. Every one of them was earning an excellent six-figure income. I asked them to tell me how they started each day. The one thing they all said was that they never got up later than 6 a.m. Some exercised, some used the early hour to read business material or plan their days, and others actually conducted business.

Surprised? You shouldn’t be. Scheduling sales presentations early in the morning is a smart strategy.

If your first presentation is usually at 9 a.m., schedule one for 8 a.m. or earlier. You will find that a surprising number of people will be happy to see you first thing in the morning. Traffic and parking are often easier too. Plus, making that early sales call will give you a psychological boost. You will already be productive and in the flow of things while most of your colleagues will still be on their second cup of coffee.

By starting an hour early, you will almost certainly achieve your sales goal for the day at least an hour earlier than you usually do. That gives you five extra hours a week — five extra hours to spend with your family or enjoy a favorite hobby.

It also gives you extra time to make more presentations. If, for example, you fit in just one extra presentation a week, that will give you 52 more chances to make a sale.

Think about how much money that could mean to you.

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