Hey Folks! Tommy “Tahoe” Alaimo here. Welcome back to The Weekly Six-Pack where I share the six best things I’m enjoying, thinking about, and experiencing each week.
Quote of the Week
“I ain’t play the hand I was dealt, I changed my cards.
I prayed to the skies and I changed my stars.”
– Kanye West
Here are the 6 things to check out this week:
- This week, I had Ernest Owusu on the Millennial Sales Podcast. Ernest is the Sr. Director of Sales Development at 6sense, spent 3+ years prior to that playing professional football, and is now one of the best voices in B2B sales. I loved his 3 C’s for leading a team. Subscribe here on Apple, Spotify or YouTube.
- I’m currently reading Deep Work by Cal Newport. I wasn’t sure how relevant this would be for a salesperson but it’s a great read so far. I’ll be giving out a few key takeaways once I finish it up.
- I dug what James Bawden had to say about using mindfulness as part of your sales career.
- I listened to an older interview with Seth Rogen on the Armchair Expert Podcast. I think Seth is an underrated creative genius and he inspired some of my creative work this week.
- Please Vote :).
- Who To Follow: I think Maria Bross is a great example of a salesperson –> sales enablement. She is stirring up some great content on LinkedIn and worth a follow. Coming soon to the podcast…
It’s 3 pm on a normal Tuesday afternoon. I open up my Outreach sequence and see that I have 45 cold calls I need to make. Shit.
This was my #1 priority and now my back’s against the wall to make it happen before prospects close up shop for the day. I’m feeling low energy and the phone looks equivalent to a venomous scorpion ready to attack if I approach it. Meh. Let’s try tomorrow instead…
Who has ever felt like this?
I know I have. 🙋♂️
The issue isn’t that I can’t make a cold call. The issue isn’t my laziness. The issue is how I structured my day. I’ve forced myself to do a major activity during a cold zone.
I first came across the concept of hot and cold zones from a podcast I did with Max Altschuler, Outreach VP Marketing and Sales Hacker Founder a few years ago. Max is a master of finding unconventional ways to approach a problem. This time management strategy has completely changed how I structure my day and my efficiency has soared through the roof.
Hot and cold zones refer to the ebbs and flows of our energy and focus levels throughout the day, while matching our tasks to fit those energy levels.
Hot zones are when we feel the most alive. It’s the times of day when our energy, focus (and cold calling courage) is the highest. For me, this happens in the morning, say from 7-11 am. After a break for lunch and some coffee or tea, I’ll often catch a second hot zone sometime in the afternoon.
Cold zones are when our energy levels drop. For some, it could be early morning. For others, it could be that post-lunch grogginess or late afternoon slump.
Before going further, it’s worth noting two things.
First, everyone has hot and cold zones. Yeah, I get it, Gary Vaynerchuk can work for 18 hours a day without eating or drinking water and can focus perfectly the entire time. But the rest of us have natural ebbs and flows of energy. Instead of denying their existence, let’s use them to our advantage.
Second, everyone’s zones are unique. Some folks wake up at 4:30, get a workout in, and still start work before the sun rises. Others can get into a deep flow in the afternoon or even after dinner for a nighttime grind. It really doesn’t matter when your zones are, as long as you know your body well enough to be aware and adjust accordingly.
Here’s how I use my hot and cold zones.
I use hot zones to knock out my 2 or 3 biggest priorities of the day. This is often when I’ll try to get in flow with my writing and hammer out long stretches of prospecting for new customers. I mentioned that I’m a morning person, so if I can accomplish these tasks by lunch then the day is a win. Using this time to do administrative tasks or low-priority items is wasting a finite resource of the energy and focus you’re allotted each day. Please, for your own sake, save that for your cold zone.
But just because you’re feeling a little bit lower energy doesn’t mean you have to call off work and take a nap at 2 pm. Cold zones can be the best time to do your administrative tasks: updating Salesforce, adding contacts to your Sales Engagement tool, taking internal meetings – the things that fall outside of your main priorities but your boss will be pissed if you don’t do them.
Take a look at your schedule. Are you instinctively blocking off time to match your hot and cold zones? If not, give it a shot next week and see if it affects your productivity.
In an era where everyone (for the most part) is working from home, you have more control over your schedule than ever. But with great power comes great responsibility. Leveraging hot and cold zones can help you get more done in the same amount of time.