Category Archives: Staying Fit & Eating Healthy While on the Road

Guidelines to help you keep fit and healthy during your travels including meal planning and exercise routines for wherever the road may take you.

6 Common Barriers to Sales Success

manfacingbrickwallIs there a brick wall impeding your path to sales success?

Most sales people experience some sort of struggle achieving targets at some point in their careers.  In many cases, this can be due to the company’s lack of proper management, support, or setting their reps up for failure by creating unrealistic targets however that is not always the case.  All too often, underachieving sales representatives may point the finger at their superiors as the reason for their failure and simply because it is easier to blame someone else than it is to accept one’s own weaknesses and take the steps necessary to improve.

Last month, I wrote about “5 Sure-fire Ways to Lose Your Best Sales Reps” which focused on common mistakes that companies make when managing their sales reps which typically cost them their best employees.  Today, I will be focusing on the other end of the spectrum and outlining some of the most common problems that salespeople face which can impede their performance.

Some common barriers to sales performance include:

1. Fear of rejection and Lack of Confidence (inability to execute):

RejectionThis is THE #1 obstacle that all sales people must overcome. In sales, you are confronted with the possibility of rejection more than almost any other profession and it takes many shapes and forms. For instance, one may fear that in spite of their efforts, clients may simply ignore their calls and emails, say “no” when asked for the order or just tell them to buzz off entirely. It’s easy to get bogged down by such negative results, but in sales, you have to pick up your head and move along to the next prospective client. So, as I always told myself,Suck it up princess” Move on and pick up that phone or get back to pounding the pavement and keep in mind that as the common saying goes, “The greatest barrier to success is the fear of failure.”.

The best thing you can do, is take the correct course of action.  The next best thing you can do, is to take the incorrect course of action. The worst thing you can do is nothing at all.

2. Difficulty prospecting and qualifying leads: 

CustomerSearchingSo many sales people say, “Get me in front of the client and I will close!” but how does one get this opportunity of they do not prospect properly or effectively and fill their pipeline with qualified leads? That’s right, it doesn’t happen.  In order to find new prospects, the easiest and most effective means is to obtain referrals from your existing client base. In the event that you have already exploited your existing network for new business referral, you will have to stick your neck out there and find new business and start cold calling. Yup, that’s right, I said cold calling, the biggest source of fear for sales reps fearing rejection.  I suppose that is why so many self-proclaimed sales experts who hide behind a computer all day are claiming that cold calling is dead. In my opinion, those people are just too chicken s%^& to pick up the phone and cold call! For tips on how to cold call with tact, read my post on “The Do’s and Don’ts of Cold Calling”. Once you have filled your pipeline full of new prospects, you must learn how to qualify those leads in order to ensure you are most effectively utilizing your time and resources.  For some tips on how to qualify leads, be sure to read “How to Qualify Leads and Not Get Lead Astray”.

3. Ineffective Communication:

confusedcustomerIn sales, it is absolutely essential to listen to your client more so than it is to pitch them your product or idea. You must understand your client’s business, their needs, wants and their language.  If you spend your entire sales call talking AT your client, you will never get the sale.  A two-way dialogue is essential to close a deal.  In addition, if you bombard your client with corporate jargon or industry buzzwords that only your company knows, you will never be able to communicate value to your client. You might as well be speaking another language.

4. Disorganization & Inefficient Work Process:

messypaperworkTime is money and money is time. Mismanage that and it will be detrimental to your success. Each day, sales people are bombarded with multiple emails, phone calls, meetings, follow-up requests, reports and if these tasks are not organized and prioritized in some fashion, most of those tasks will never be completed correctly or at all. I obviously can’t summarize this massive topic in one paragraph but in summary, in spite of how amazing your memory may be, be sure to always make a “to-do list” and block off areas in your calendar to complete all of your tasks even if that means seeing one less client each day or having a dedicated office day.

5. Too Much or too Little Information:

businessman-with-head-in-the-sandSome companies provide their sales representatives with far too much information and literature without any focus provided by management. I once worked for a company that had hundreds if not thousands of products. My entire trunk was full of literature.  There was a general focus, but even that limited it to a few hundred products. Sure there was always something to sell, but it was overwhelming. I eventually just picked a handful of products that I focused on exclusively. On the other hand, some companies provide close to zero information to their reps. This can be dangerous for the company because who knows what the rep will end up saying to their prospective clients?

6. Unhealthy lifestyle:

womaneatingwhiledrivingSurprised to see this make the list? You shouldn’t be. Most sales reps are on the road for the majority of the day which makes it very difficult to find time to eat healthy and exercise. Over time, these poor health choices will affect one’s physical and mental well being which will ultimately cost you in your personal and professional life.  For tips on how to improve your lifestyle en route, be sure to read my posts on How to Eat Healthy on the Road and How to Keep Fit on the Road.

Hopefully in reading this, if you are in sales, you are not impacted by any of these barriers to any significant extent.  If you are struggling and confronted with potential job loss, it may be time to hire a sales coach. Contact me and learn how I can help you improve your sales game!

Happy sales!

Cheers,

TSW

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How to Pack a Healthy Lunch in Less than 10 Minutes

busineswomaneatinghealthyIn this day and age, it has become increasingly difficult to find time to spare, especially when it comes to making time for exercise and eating healthy.

What most people don’t realize is that packing your own lunch doesn’t take as much time as you may think.  We all know that packing a healthy lunch can save us inches on our waistline but a lesser known fact is that it will also save you money and time that you would have otherwise spent at a restaurant.

This “time constraint” is how most people rationalize the fact that they simply can’t be bothered to put the effort into eating healthy. This is especially the case for people who work on the road and travel frequently for business who also have the luxury of being able to expense their meals.

Contrary to popular belief, it actually takes less time to prepare a healthy lunch (snacks included) than to eat out, so quit using convenience as an excuse to eat out!

Let’s face it, most people believe that it is a lot more convenient to eat a restaurant than spend the time planning and preparing your meals for a day on the road but the fact of the matter is, you can spend less than 10 minutes making and packing a healthy lunch and snacks which is far less time than you would spend in a restaurant.

For example, if you stop for a coffee and a snack in the morning and the afternoon at a coffee shop, you will spend at least 5 minutes if not more at each shop. If you stop for lunch, this can take in excess of an hour if you go to a sit-down restaurant.  Even if you went to a fast food joint for lunch, that will likely take at least 10-15 minutes between lining up to place your order and actually receiving your food.  In the least, if you dine out all day long you will spend a minimum of 20 minutes of your day simply waiting for food.  That’s significantly more time than you need to prepare something much healthier at home!

I will share with you some examples of healthy snacks and meals that I would typically prepare and bring with me for my average day on the road.  They are all very quick and easy to prepare so there are no excuses!

What you will need:

  1. Insulated lunch bag or coolerlunchbagw icepack
  2. Ice pack(s) if packing perishable items
  3. Utensils (Ideally an all-in-one fork/knife/spoon combo)ForkKnifeSpoon
  4. Napkin or paper towel

 

 

Snack Options:

snacks

 

Snacks with Zero Preparation:

  • Protein Bar
  • Can of tuna
  • Whole fruit (apple, orange, pear, etc.)
  • Protein Powder (single serving sample)

Snacks with Minimal Preparation (Hands-on Time <1 min):

  • Protein Powder: This can be mixed into a small bottle of water or milk. I will put a single serving of protein powder into a Ziploc bag and after I am finished my coffee in my thermos, I put the powder into the thermos and mix with water that I have brought or buy a small carton of milk at a convenience store to mix with it.
  • Boiled Eggs: As you prepare your things in the morning, boil some eggs. It takes a few seconds to put them on the stove and the same to remove them from the stove. If you’re concerned about time or forgetting them on the stove, simply boil them the night before. They will be safe to eat for several days after cooking.
  • Loose fruit and veggies (grapes, berries, carrots etc.): Simply rinse them and put them into a Ziploc bag. The Ziploc bag can later be used to dispose of your eggshells, protein bar wrapper or other small trash items.
  • Nuts: Grab a small handful or count out a single serving and place into a Ziploc bag.
  • Cheese slices: Can either be wrapped in saran wrap or placed in a Ziploc bag. Note that if you do pack cheese slices, don’t forget to include an ice pack.

Snacks/Meals Requiring a Moderate amount of Preparation (Hands-on Time: <5min):

YogurtParfait

  • Greek Yogurt Parfait: This is my staple snack in the morning! To make it, place your oatmeal in the microwave (2-5 minutes depending on the Oatmeal), add frozen berries and microwave for an additional 1-2 minutes, add 2-3 TBSP of 0% Fat Greek Yogurt and place into a Tupperware container.  Don’t forget to put on an ice pack and pack a spoon!
  • Salad: If you keep it simple (lettuce that you simply have to rinse, tomato, pepper, etc.) it will take under 5 minutes to prepare.  I usually make 2-3 at a time so I don’t  have to make a new one every day.  For dressing I put a small amount of olive oil and balsamic vinegar in a small Tupperware container that I place within the Tupperware containing the salad. Don’t forget to bring a fork!

Sandwiches: Try to make it as healthy as possible. Here are a few ideas:

Chicken/Turkey & Swiss:

  • 2 slices of multigrain/whole wheat bread
  • 3-4 slices of low-fat, low-sodium chicken or turkey breast
  • 1 slice Swiss cheese (regular Swiss is low fat)
  • Garnishes: tomato, lettuce, onion, peppers, etc.
  • Condiments: mustard, low-fat mayo- Only use small amounts (<1tsp each) not just because of calories but because if you eat in your car like me, the last thing you want is to get covered in mustard or mayo before your next meeting!

**Tip:  Place the meat on the bottom, the garnishes in the middle, topped by lettuce, then cheese slice in order to prevent your sandwich from getting soggy.

Tuna

tunasandwich

**TIP: This should be made on the spot in your car because if made in advance, the bread or wrap will become so soggy and fall apart by the time you go to eat it!

  • 2 slices of multigrain bread or 1 multigrain/whole wheat wrap prepared in advance with a layer of light mayo or light plain cream cheese.
  • 1 small can tuna (single serving with peel-off lid). Apply to prepared bread with your spoon and enjoy!

*Note: an alternative to preparing the bread in advance with low-fat mayo or cream cheese is to pack a single serving of low-fat cream cheese in a small Tupperware container and mix with the tuna. I thought it sounded gross at first but it is delicious, low in fat and an excellent source of protein!

Not sure how much and what specifically to pack?

Be sure to incorporate a protein source in EVERY snack and meal! Protein will keep you fuller longer and doing so will help stabilize your blood sugar levels. My personal trainer gave me this advice and it helped me reduce almost 1000 calories per day from my diet and I was less hungry than before!

As long as you’re eating some sort of protein, you can eat small snacks every 2-3 hours. Constantly fueling up on healthy foods throughout the day not only helps improve your energy levels, cognitive function and overall health but it also helps boost your metabolism.

So to answer the question, “How much to pack? If you will be gone the entire day, try to bring enough for at least 4 snacks ( 2 in the morning and 2 in the afternoon) as well as a lunch (if you don’t have a lunch meeting).

I hope that you found some of these ideas useful and that you will incorporate them into your next meal en route.

Unsure about how healthy your snack and lunch combo is? Need some tips on how to make your lunch healthier?

Subscribe to my blog and and contact me with all of your questions.

Travel safe my friends and don’t forget to eat healthy while you’re at it.  Time is on your side!

Cheers,

TSW

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How to Keep Fit While on the Road

road-trip-exercise-art

Are you a road warrior and struggle to keep up your fitness routine while en route?  Do you tell yourself “I just don’t have the time.”? Or “My hotel doesn’t have a gym so I can’t work out.”?

Well, it’s time you stop lying and making excuses to yourself.  The truth is you CAN make time for exercise and you CAN do a full workout without access to a gym.  The same goes for eating healthy on the road, as some of you might recall from my previous article on “How to Eat Healthy on the Road”.  It’s all possible.  You just have commit to it.   In this post, I will provide some helpful hints on how you can make time to keep fit and work out even if you do not have access to traditional exercise equipment.

HOW TO MAKE TIME TO EXERCISE:

  1. Wake Up Earlier in the Morning

Assuming you don’t have to hit the road really early (and by really early, I mean before 6am), in my opinion, this is the best time to work out.  Working out in the morning has several benefits including but not limited to:

  • Waking you up!
  • Increasing your energy level and metabolism throughout the day.
  • Give you a great excuse to have a full, healthy breakfast before you hit the road. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Don’t skimp!
  • Forcing you to go to bed earlier which will reduce the amount of snacking and alcohol consumption you may otherwise do in the evenings.
  1. Fit in Workouts in Between Meetings

When you’re in and out of sales calls all day long, you spend the majority of your day sitting, be it in the car or a client’s office. If you have the time in between meetings, the best thing you can do is go for a walk! I say walk, not jog because you’ll be dressed in business attire and won’t want to break a sweat before that next meeting.

WHERE can you walk?

If it is nice outside, take a stroll in a park, side street or sidewalk in town.

If the weather is poor or too cold, find a shopping mall and take a long brisk walk (without stopping to shop of course!).

If you have more time (>1h), try to squeeze in one of my “Car Workouts” in this article.

  1. After Work: Skip the Snack and Workout Instead

This is another great option which you can do as soon as you get settled into your hotel and before you eat dinner.  Some benefits include:

  • Relieving stress from a hard day on the road
  • Curbing your appetite. Skip that sugary snack or drink upon your arrival to your hotel room, work out instead. Then afterwards so you can load up on a healthy, high protein dinner with lots of veggies.  This may also curb your temptation to snack late at night.
  • Providing that last burst of energy to get you through those daily reports and emails after dinner.
  • Improved sleep (as long as you exercise at least 3 hours before going to bed).

So now that you’ve figured out WHEN you can exercise, WHAT are you going to do for exercise and HOW?

HOW TO PLAN A WORKOUT IN ANY ENVIRONMENT

When you arrive at your hotel, take a few minutes to check out what facilities are available to you.  Typically you will either have access to a

  1. Full gym, equipped with cardio machines and weights
  2. Partial gym, equipped with cardio equipment only OR
  3. No gym

If you’re lucky, you will have access to a fully equipped gym and will be able to do your usual or scheduled workout routine.  Unfortunately, most hotels do not offer this, so you will likely have to do a bit of work to plan your workout.

When you visit the fitness facility in your hotel, bring a small piece of paper and a pen with you (or the notepad in your phone) and make an inventory of the equipment. Next to each piece of equipment make note of the different exercises that you can do.  If you have been working out regularly in the days prior, simply continue with your regular scheduled exercise regimen. On the other hand, if you have been off for a few days, try to do a full body workout and/or work out as many muscle groups as possible. When you’re ready to do your workout, take your note with you to the gym to keep you on track.

In the event that you don’t have access to any weights or exercise equipment, I would recommend trying one of the following workouts I’ve developed with the assistance of my personal trainer.

Tip: If you have access to a treadmill, try to squeeze in some cardio after your workout as this will reduce the amount of lactic acid (a compound that causes muscle cramping) in your bloodstream.

No treadmill? No problem! If you can get outside to walk or jog, great!  If not, most hotels have stairs so try going up and down a few flights to get your cardio in!

The Hotel Room Workout:

womanworkingoutinhotel-room1

Below is a list of suggestions for various exercises that you can do to target certain muscle groups.  All of these exercises can be done in a basic hotel room with no equipment:

Legs: Squats, Lunges, Step-ups (using a table or chair in your room)

Abs: Put a sheet or towel on the floor. Use the base of the bed frame or air conditioner to position your feet under to keep stable and crunch, crunch, crunch away! There are so many ab exercises you can do.  Try a plank position as well.

Chest: Push-ups (on the floor or against a desk, table or bed)

Triceps: Triceps dips on any window ledge, counter or solid surface.

The Car Workout:

guy pullups insidecar

I will forewarn you that you must not be too shy or embarrass easily to do this one.  This workout is great if you have time between appointments and/or you find yourself “homeless” at some point in your travels. By “homeless” I’m referring to the time in between when you have to check out of a hotel and can check into your next hotel. I have categorized each exercise by target muscle groups.

What you will need:

  • Weights (optional): If you’re travelling in your own car, take them from home. If you’re away from home and have a rental, try buying some containers of cat litter that have a handle. They are heavy, cheap and could be used to assist you with traction in the event your vehicle gets stuck in snow, ice or mud. If you don’t have those, try the move in the image above (pull-ups using the coat hanger handles in the back seat of your car)
  • Running Shoes
  • Water

Warm-up: Try a 5 minute walk, jog (on the spot, around the car) or jumping jacks

Triceps: Open your trunk and face away from the car.  Do triceps dips on the lip of the trunk (making sure to keep the palms of your hands placed firmly on the lip of the trunk and fingers facing forward).

Chest: Push-ups either against the open car trunk lip or on the ground

Legs: Squats, Lunges (stationary or walking lunges around the vehicle), Step-ups onto the open trunk lip (only if you have good balance!)

Abs: Sitting on the open lip of the trunk and your hands placed firmly on both sides, fully extend your legs, hold them in place for as long as you can, then contract your legs and repeat.

Biceps: Bicep curls using the containers of cat litter OR if you’re really ambitious, inside your car position yourself in the middle of your car and do pull-ups using the coat hangers in your rear seats like in the above image which will work your chest as well.

Think you’re going to look ridiculous doing those things? All I’m going to say is “Suck it Up Princess! And Just Do it!”

People do Tai Chi in the park all the time. Do they look stupid?..

Ahem…no comment

I digress.

If you find yourself struggling with devising an exercise routine or keeping motivated while you’re on the road, and don’t have a personal trainer to assist you, you should look into companies such as Business Travel Life, which is founded by fitness enthusiast, consultant and former road warrior Kristina Portillo.  Business Travel Life can provide you with workouts customized to meet your unique fitness goals while accommodating your travel schedule.  They will even provide personal training via video conferencing which you can do from the comfort of your hotel room. It is an excellent service that I would highly recommend if you are the type of person that needs that extra “push” to stick to your fitness goals.

If you enjoyed these tips, you may aIso be interested in a guidebook I am currently working on, “A Road Warriors Guide to Eating Healthy and Keeping Fit on the Road” which I hope to have available in print within the next year.  Be sure to subscribe to my blog be notified when it becomes available, as well as for new travel and sales tips which are posted every Thursday.

In the meantime my fellow road warriors, “Keep fit and have fun!”.

TSW

p.s. I hope at least one person got that reference!

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Tips for Eating Healthy on the Road

foodbalance

Most people know what it means to eat healthy just as most people and understand the experience of working on the road. Unfortunately however, these are most often seen as mutually exclusive behaviors.

If you know what it takes to eat healthy and you know what it is like living on the road, why is it so difficult to do both simultaneously?

Usually when I tell people that I work on the road for extended periods of time, the first thing they say is “You are so lucky! You get to eat out at nice restaurants all of the time and eat whatever you want.”, as if it is some sort of vacation at an all-inclusive resort. New sales representatives are often of this mindset as well, especially because most sales people have an expense account.

For those of you following me on social media, you may be aware that I am currently doing a 3 week business trip covering Western Canada.  This means that I am travelling by plane, by car and staying at hotels every night.  Most days, I am even changing hotels every day which makes it even more difficult to eat healthy.

After you’ve been in sales for a while, eating out gets old and you get to the point where you’d do just about anything for a nice home cooked meal.   About 8 years into my sales career, I had gained approximately 40 pounds and I decided that enough was enough.  I started working with a personal trainer and developed a system to keep fit and eat healthy on the road.

Besides weight gain, why should you bother eating healthy on the road? Eating healthy is not only great for your overall long term health, but on the short term it can provide a well needed energy boost and ramp up your immune system. 

How do I plan to eat healthy on the road?

  1. Stay at Suite Hotels

This is my best kept secret! Why? Because suite hotels:

  • Are the same price if not cheaper than a standard hotel room at a major chain
  • They have full kitchens which are equipped with everything you need to prepare almost any meal that you can in the comfort of your own home.
  • Sometimes suite hotels even have in-suite laundry which can allow you to dramatically reduce the amount of luggage you are carrying
  1. Shop at the Grocery Store

Treat your suite hotel as your home-away-from-home. Go shopping as if you were planning to make your meals and lunches for the week at home.  This will not only save you (or your employer) money but it will surely save you some inches on your waistline and maybe add years to your lifespan.  Below are some examples of meals I commonly prepare in my hotel room:

Breakfast:

Breakfast

  • Protein Shake (milk, protein powder) & Bananna OR
  • Oatmeal, Mixed Berries (frozen if I have access to a freezer for a few days, fresh if not) & Greek Yogurt.

 

 

 

Lunch:

Sandwich using whole wheat or multigrain bread:

  • Chicken/Turkey with tomato, lettuce, onion, pepper low-fat cream cheese (the veggies I will also buy to prepare a salad for dinner and will make at the same time)
  • Tuna, low-fat cream cheese or 1% cottage cheese

**TIP: TO KEEP THESE COOL, PACK A FREEZER PACK AND A LUNCH SAC SO THEY WILL NOT SPOIL

Snacks:

  • Boiled egg
  • Fruit or veggies
  • Protein bar
  • Low fat cheese (Swiss) or cottage cheese
  • Can of tuna

Dinner:

dinner

  • Mixed greens salad (appetizer)
  • Roasted chicken with smashed potatoes and steamed or broiled veggies
  • Chicken Fajitas (chicken, peppers, onions, cheese, whole wheat tortilla) with a side of veggies

 

 

  1. Must-Have Items:

These items can either be bought at your location or you could pack them and bring them with you on your journey:

  • Lunch bag
  • Ice packs
  • Ziplock Bags: These are great for storing snacks, sorting single serving sizes of protein powder, oatmeal etc.
  • Reusable grocery bag: It is good to have at least one large reusable grocery bag for transporting your foods. For me, if I have 1 suitcase, 1 briefcase, 1 purse, 1 lunch bag and 1 large grocery bag, I can usually make it to and from my hotel room in a single trip.
  • Coffee Filters: Aside from the obvious use, these can also be used to store washed fruit in your lunch bag to prevent it from getting dirty, to keep your fresh berries fresh by putting it at the bottom of the container or soaking up excess water in a bowl when you prepare a salad.
  • Olive Oil/Balsamic Vinegar: These can be used on a variety of foods ranging from salad dressings to cooking meats (marinade, frying, etc.)

You might be thinking, “Travelling Saleswoman you are in sales! You can’t avoid eating out all of the time?”

And yes, you are correct.  Certainly I must make time to entertain clients and occasionally take them out for a meal! Most of the time however, I prepare my own meals and snacks.

When I tell people that I have been on the road (away from home) for over 1 week and never ate out at a restaurant or had takeout even once, their minds are blown!  When I tell them that I cook in my prepare all of my own meals in my hotel room, they usually look at me as if I am speaking a foreign language.

I am currently working on a guidebook for professionals who spend a lot of time on the road in which I will be providing very detailed tips on how to stay fit and eat healthy.  This book will contain my typical shopping list, recipes, how I find the best suite hotels and much more.

In the meantime, if you would like any general tips or some of my hotel cooking recipes, please email me at TheTravellingSaleswoman@gmail.com and I will be happy to share.

Safe Travels,

TSW

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The Travelling Saleswoman on SalesBabble.com

Travel and Sales Advice from the Travelling Saleswoman      (a SalesBabble.com Podcast)

h - Jaclyn Goldman-0021

Yours truly, The Travelling Saleswoman is honoured to have been a guest on SalesBabble.com, hosted by Patrick Helmers. In this interview I give travel and sales advice from a savvy travelling saleswoman’s perspective.  This website is an excellent resource for anyone starting out in sales or who is a small business owner.  I would highly recommend you take a moment to check it out.

In this interview, I offer tips on:

  • Selecting the best transportation to and from the airport
  • Getting the best value from your travel rewards program
  • Sales scenarios-What to do and what not to do
  • Challenges on the road and how to overcome them

To listen to the full interview and to learn how you can win an Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Guest Pass, listen here or go to SalesBabble.com/46

 

 A Podcast by:

If you have any questions, comments or would like personalized advice, please either leave your comments below or email me directly at thetravellingsaleswoman@gmail.com

Happy sales and safe travels my friends!

Yours Truly,

TSW

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