Sales can be hard – being bothered can be harder
The hardest part of any sales role from time to time isn’t hitting your KPIs or finding suitable data to call. It’s not dressing right or learning new ways to handle objections and ask for orders – it’s being arsed!
Have you ever had a day in sales where you just haven’t got any motivation, energy or focus? The phone might as well be made out of iron as nothing can increase your will you to pick it up. You know your target is looming and you need to take action but for what-ever reason that day you just don’t want to make calls, sit in meetings and knock on doors. Your mind wanders and you do every trivial task possible to avoid what you ‘know’ you need to do! The voice in your head tells you that nobody wants to talk to you, you hate your job and everything is just impossible. Mental self-sabotage sets in and before you know it the office seems darker, you’ve forgotten all your skills and you want to push your chair over and run away shouting obscenities at your sales-manger.
No? Just me? Somehow, I don’t think so!
We’ve all experienced a mini sales breakdown from time to time. Some people can pull themselves out of it quickly while others allow themselves to fall deeper into their sales-hole creating a vicious circle of self-doubt, lethargy and ultimately – unemployment!
So, if you find yourself less than motivated, tired, under pressure and unable to focus what can you do? Here are seven handy tips to help you out of your slump.
Just get to 5 pm
If you focus on the big picture sometimes it can be crushing. You have a huge target to hit, 100s of calls to make, admin, meetings, kids to pick up and bills to pay. Quite often the go-to human response to an overwhelming workload is to shut down and achieve nothing.
Instead, prioritise what needs to be done by 10.30am and work tirelessly towards that and nothing else. Continue these bite-size chunks of action through the day until your day is done. Nothing passed 5 pm exists; don’t think of it, focus on it or work on it. Repeat this for 5 days and only then be retrospective about what you have achieved – it will be a lot!
Learn something new
Before you start your day learn something new. It doesn’t necessarily have to be about sales or selling skills. Watch a lecture of motivational video on YouTube or a Ted Talk, listen to a podcast or play an audiobook in the car on your way to the office. Anything that can inspire, uplift or make you feel you have something new that could help you that day. Find your muse!
It’s amazing what can be achieved before 8 am. Start your day early and get all your trivial tasks out the way and get a head start. Be working while your competition is sleeping and you can’t help but succeed. This will create more ‘selling’ time in the day and you will mentally feel like you have achieved something before anyone else has even turned up!
Keep fit and healthy
Healthy body – healthy mind and all that. Avoid booze, take 30 minutes of exercise every day, eat well and sleep well. It all effects your mental state dramatically and your ability to form ideas and solve problems. It’s physically harder to find the positives when you’re tired and unfit and you will fall deeper into your sales slump. Look after yourself, you are the tool of your trade!
You don’t have to be great to start but you have to start to be great! Just do it, make that first call, don’t think just dial and say hello. This isn’t what I would usually advise for making sales calls but when you’re in a slump you over think every situation and you freeze. Make five calls in quick succession and you’ll find that your energy increases and you start to get a good response. If you just do the thing you fear then fear will disappear. (Also known as ‘sometimes you have to put your big boy pants on and get on with it!)
List all the things you have achieved
It’s human nature to focus on our failings and ignore all our successes. But you get what you focus on the most so make a list of all your previous sales successes. If you’ve closed business before and made great calls there is zero reason you can’t do it again. Remember how you felt when you were on sales fire? What were you doing? Saying? What was your body language like? What were you focused on? If possible, listen back to previous successful calls you’ve made and take notes on how you sounded, what you were saying and your delivery.
Stand up, jump up and down, look-up!
It’s not Boiler Room out there anymore but your body language and posture directly affects your psychological well-being. Become aware of your body language – are you holding yourself like a winner or are you deflated, slouched and unconfident? Shake it off, stand up, jump up and down and get the endorphins going. Just 60 seconds of positive body language will change your mental state and help you get back on track.
We all have bad days/weeks in sales now and then, anyone who tells you otherwise is deceiving themselves. The problem is never the problem, it’s how you react and deal with the problem that determines a great sales professional. It’s easy to sell when everything is going your way and orders are flooding in, it’s the people who can knuckle down and drive forward in the hard times that will always succeed in the long term. Now get on the phone!