I watch a lot of sales people and managers doing the job. Often, they seem to be going through the motions.

Technically, they may be doing the “right” stuff, but they aren’t engaged. They may be so focused on their script, they miss cues or signals to learn more about the customer. Or they’re so focused on remembering the next question, they forget to listen. Or there’s the mental checklist, “I just did this, now I have to do that, then the next thing.”

Sometimes, they aren’t “present.” It’s most obvious over the phone. I hear these distracted responses, “Uh huh…..yes……what was that again?” In the background you hear the keyboard going. Or in a meeting, everyone’s on their mobile or email, you pose a question and the response is, ” Huh? What was that?”

Going through the motions wastes everyone’s’ time. If we are looking to have an impact and to connect with others, whether it’s our customers or peers, going through the motions is deadly.

If you are trying to do the right things, but aren’t comfortable, take the time to make yourself comfortable. Understand what you are trying to do and why you are trying to do it. Practice or role play with your manager or a peer. Research and prepare so you are comfortable with who you are engaging and what you are trying to achieve. Have a plan with a few notes, so you can quickly remind yourself about what you are trying to achieve, without being consumed with remembering.

If you are distracted by other things or think that multitasking works–get over it. Multitasking slows you down–and it’s the ultimate sign of disrespect to the people you are meeting with. It’s impossible to engage and accomplish things if you aren’t present.

Going through the motions wastes everyone’s time.

Be present, be prepared, be comfortable with what you are trying to achieve. You’d be amazed at what you can accomplish.