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Developing a Series of Non-negotiables


Guest articles > Developing a Series of Non-negotiables


by: Daniel Milstein


While it is important to be flexible as a salesperson, you must also develop a list of daily activities that must be accomplished. Like other business professionals, I have developed a series of non-negotiables that I must complete every day. There is no compromising, no negotiating to reduce this master action list, even on the busiest days. These daily responsibilities include:

  • Finish my basic 'to do' checklist
  • Exercise every morning (with personal trainer).
  • Complete/close at least five loans.
  • Return all phone calls.
  • Provide appropriate customer/Realtor updates.
  • Congratulate other people for their achievements.
  • Meet with everyone who has a question, concern or suggestion.
  • Enjoy the day--have some fun.

During the last decade, I have become more disciplined in the way I complete my non-negotiables. In my earlier mortgage profession positions, I treated it as the common 'to do' list--a lengthy inventory of phone calls, customer contacts, reports and other tasks. I was probably content to complete 75 percent of them, saving the rest for the following day. I gradually realized that non-negotiables also include the more challenging goals, as well as some that are more intangible, such as enjoying the day and acknowledging othersŐ successes. In addition, I became more committed to fulfilling all of them.

All salespeople should have a similar list of non-negotiables that must be completed before the end of their day. It is the best way to hold yourself accountable for the areas you consider most important to the development of your business. Professional coaches stress that this is a key to becoming more successful. My workday has significantly changed during the last 10 years, with more e-mails, calls, and people to manage, and fewer hours spent directly with customers. Still, as I leave for home each evening, I sincerely look forward to the following day. I reflect on what our entire company and I have accomplished, and on what we have to look forward to. I never want to lose that enthusiasm.

As a salesperson, you must develop a list of non-negotiables that you have to complete within a specific time frame. This can range from common tasks--phone calls, reports--to more challenging tasks and also more intangible tasks--acknowledging others success.


Daniel Milstein is the bestselling author of ABC of Sales. For more information, visit:

Contributor: Daniel Milstein

Published here on: 30-Sep-12

Classification: Sales


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