Do you find it easy and natural to present in front of a group?
In school when it came time to get up in front of the class — like in a Public Speaking class — were you the one who volunteered to go first, or did you cower in your seat hoping time would run out and you’d never be called on?
In a work or public setting, if asked to speak to a group, do you approach it with ease or do you get clammy and sweaty at the thought?
I always found that going first was beneficial for a few reasons.
Going first in a class-style volunteer situation, like presenting in front of others, greatly reduces my anxiety. Sitting and waiting through others’ presentations with mine looming causes me to get in my own head. Usually, I’ll silently recite my presentation to myself and not even hear what the other presenters are saying.
Going first at something that is not super comfortable is literally a “get it out of the way” moment for me and allows me to enjoy whatever comes next and give the attention it should get.
Another reason I choose to go first is to set the standard—whether good or bad. It gives others the benchmark to go by. Usually, I’ve rehearsed and the standard for myself is pretty high, so naturally, I want to set the bar high for others. But going first, allows me to set the standard. If I’m not first, then someone else sets the standard, and while that can be motivational, it can also be more stressful, especially if I am not as prepared as I would like.
So how does this relate to work in the sales world?
The same benefits can be true. If we set out to tackle hard things or the things we least like to do first in our day or first on our essential list, it allows us to…
- Get that thing checked off our list! The anxiety of a looming task isn’t there.
- Feel a sense of accomplishment early in the day. You’ve set the standard and momentum to have a productive rest of your day.
And perhaps the most important reason I find going first, or doing hard things first, is that it keeps me at my most confident. Confidence is a huge factor for success in any endeavor.
What’s something that you either dislike doing or is a major task that feels hard to get started on?
Choose to “go first” with that task as you create your daily to-do list. The more you practice doing this, the more productive you’ll be overall and your confidence in doing hard things will have a boost.
Bonus: Check out these “daily quick hits” that can lead you to sales success.