"Overcoming Procrastination"

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Overcoming Procrastination
by Joe Bonura, CSP



You will succeed in sales in direct proportion to your ability to overcome procrastination. Procrastination has caused more losers than any other sales 'sin.' Procrastination focuses on temporary feel-good, and ignores long-term success.

Procrastination puts off what we know we should be doing for what we enjoy doing. The key factor of successful salespeople is that they do the things that the unsuccessful people avoid doing. Although we all have an equal shot at grabbing the same brass ring, the successful salesperson makes the effort to reach for the ring.


If procrastination is such a downer, why do so many people procrastinate? Consider and avoid the obstacles on the road to sales excellence.


If you make the sales call, you might be rejected. So you stay in your comfort zone, and you do not make the call. Actually, you fail more if you do not make the call because the result is cumulative. One call adds up to two calls, and two calls add up to three calls, until you are not making any calls. In order to feel productive, you spend the time cleaning off your desk or playing prospect card solitaire. Remind yourself that avoiding your sales calls is the biggest detriment to your success.


If you are not a pilot, and I took you to the airport and put you in the cockpit of a small airplane, gave you a short explanation of how the plane works, would you take off and fly the plane? You would not attempt it, if you have your sanity. If you spent about forty hours in training, you would know the basics in flying to take off and land solo. We sometimes procrastinate because we lack the knowledge of how to do the task. Become a lifelong student of selling, and you will become an expert in your chosen field.


As Stephen Covey writes in his book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, begin with the end in mind. The end is the goal or the positive result of doing whatever it is you have been putting off. People buy for only two reasons: pain or gain. You will only buy in to the task if you visualize the pain or gain you will experience for completing the task that you have been putting off. Determine how you will spend the additional money, if you go the extra mile. Visualize the new car you want to drive or the vacation you want to take, and then start selling toward those objectives.


Let us face it: sometimes you are just too lazy to start and finish a task. We all have those days, and when those days become weeks and months, we are on the path to self-deception and self-destruction. You need to mentally kick yourself in the pants, get off the couch, and move forward. The couch does not have wheels, and when you are sitting on the couch, you are going nowhere.


There are some proven ways that you can overcome procrastination and become all that you can be.


When faced with a large task, chunk it down into smaller tasks. Don't try to eat the whole Thanksgiving turkey in one sitting. A friend of mine wanted to write a book, and every time I visited with her, she told me that she was going to write the book one day. She said the task overwhelmed her, and she could never seem to get started. I told her that the average book is two hundred fifty pages, and if she wrote just one page a day for two hundred fifty days, she would have a book. She took my advice, and in less than six months, she was ready to go to press with her book.

Start building your client list, one prospect at a time. In no time, you will have a long list of customers to prospect.


Mood follows action; action rarely follows mood. If you wait until you are in the mood to do something that you have been putting off - good luck! I heard an expression once that I totally agree with, 'Beginning is half done.' I hate to weed the garden. One morning I went out to get the newspaper, and on the way back to the house, I noticed a weed that needed to be pulled. I pulled the weed, and then noticed another weed that needed my attention. Before I knew it, I pulled up weed, after weed, after weed. My wife came out to see what had happened to the morning paper only to find that I had weeded the entire garden.

Pick up the phone, and start dialing. To warm up, make your first call to an existing customer, and then keep dialing.


Each night before you go home from work, spend fifteen minutes making a list of the five most important things to do tomorrow, and first thing in the morning, begin doing the first thing on your list. Morning can be the most productive time of the day, so don't waste it trying to determine what you are going to do for the day. I visited the office of one of my students at about 4:45pm, and she said, 'Look what I'm doing; I'm putting together my to-do list for tomorrow. It has made all the difference in my success since I heard you speak five years ago.' It was nice to know that she took my advice and made her list each day. It was even nicer to know that it helped her move to the next level in her career.

Have your call list ready to go the night before. Begin making your calls as soon as you arrive at your desk.


One of my favorite methods for getting things done comes from W. Clement Stone and Napoleon Hill. It was suggested in their book, Success Through a Positive Mental Attitude:

When faced with something that needs to be done, say to yourself, 'Do It Now,' and then take action immediately.


Forget yesterday, and begin NOW to overcome the habit of procrastination. Follow the principles above.

Don't procrastinate - Do it Now!


© 2005 Joe Bonura & Associates, Inc.

To see Joe and hear one of his favorite selling tips, follow this link to a video he created to share with folks who are interested in making more sales, or finding a job:



Joe Bonura would be pleased for you to reprint the article text free of charge (non-exclusively), but asks that you include his name and contact information:

Joe Bonura
Joe Bonura & Associates, Inc.
Website: www.bonura.com
407 Landis Lakes Court
Louisville, KY  40245

(502) 553-1746 phone

E-mail: joe@bonura.com

About Joe Bonura

His background is unique. Joe owned and operated a highly successful advertising agency for 18 years. During that time, he found his advertising campaigns were more effective when he educated his clients in the areas of sales and service. He conducted training seminars for his clients as added value. Word spread that Joe was a quality speaker and more and more people asked him to speak. The demand became so high that he sold the agency to three of his associates to start his own speaking and consulting company, Joe Bonura & Associates, Inc.

Joe is past President of the Kentucky Speakers Association and a Certified Speaking Professional (CSP), a prestigious designation earned by only 8% of the 3,600 member National Speakers Association. Joe presently serves on the board of directors of NSA.

He is author of the audio learning systems "Three-Dimensional Selling®" and "Turning Customer Satisfaction Into Customer Excitement®." He is author of the book Throw the Rabbit—The Ultimate Approach to Three-Dimensional Selling.




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