Act Against/Do the Opposite

Agere Contra – pronounced A-Jer-EEE | Con-TRA. It’s a concept that literally means ‘to act against’. It means to intensely react against the force pushing you in the wrong direction. It means to do the opposite of what you are tempted to do. What a simple, yet powerful idea as we enter tough times.

Salespeople are on the tail-end of a quota-busting cycle. For the past two years, sellers have crushed it. Only recently have they started to notice a dip in demand. Sellers are scheduling fewer calls. Buyers seem less receptive. Companies are cutting costs. All signs point to a slowdown.

As the economy slows down, you will feel pressure. There are forces at play driving your action. It’s almost like you have two voices telling you what to do (or not do). One voice encourages you toward the right (not easy) path, while the other voice tempts you down the wrong (sometimes easier) path.

The voice holding you back says,

  • “It’s okay to rest on your laurels for a little while. You’ve hit your quota the past two years. You’re fine.”
  • “This sucks. We’re going into a recession. I have worked so hard and now it’s all going to change. Why is this happening to me?”
  • “All my deals are dying. There isn’t enough opportunity to hit my numbers. I AM FREAKING OUT.”

Act against the urge to freak out. Act against the belief that a recession will shrink your pipeline. Act against the temptation to complain about your situation.

Say it with me…Agere Contra. (A-Jer-EEE | Con-TRA)

Agere Contra is your mantra for this week. Do the opposite of what you are tempted to do.

When you are tempted to rest on your laurels; ‘Agere Contra’ by working harder. 

Salespeople work less during downturns, reducing their selling activity. They make fewer calls and schedule fewer appointments. Do the opposite. Increase your activity level by 25 percent.

If your make 100 calls per week, make 125. If you schedule 15 appointments per week, schedule 19. If you send 50 e-mails a week, send 63. Act against the temptation to rest. Get busy and generate activity. Activity leads to progress and progress leads to performance.

When you are tempted to complain, ‘Agere Contra’ by expressing gratitude.

Don’t complain. Ever. Don’t complain to your boss, your spouse, your partner, your customers, your colleagues, your friends. Stop complaining. Think of the most successful people you know. Are they chronic complainers? No. You probably can’t even recall one instance where they complained about anything. Stop complaining.

Tempted to complain? Express gratitude instead. When you are tempted to complain about a lost sale, express gratitude for your last win. When you want to complain about unresponsive prospects, express gratitude for prospects that do respond. When tempted to complain about certain team members, instead, thank team members who go above and beyond.

When opportunities feel scarce, focus on abundance.

What if you approached every day with the mindset, “There is so much opportunity, I just need to find it.” As you increase activity, you naturally find more opportunities. Broaden your reach into new industries and new prospects.

Let this next point sink in…

Right now, there is an entrepreneur starting a business that has a need for your solution. You just need to find it.

Even in a recession, businesses are built, and new industries are created. These industry giants started during a downturn: Ford, GM, Microsoft, Bank of America, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Target, Valero, United Airlines, Visa, Halliburton. The list goes on and on.

There is an abundance of opportunity in front of you. These opportunities are only visible through the optimistic lens of abundance.

As you are tempted to veer off your intended course, intensely act against that self-destructive urge. Do the opposite. Don’t rest—work harder. Don’t complain—express gratitude. Don’t focus on scarcity—focus on abundance. Agere Contra. Make it your tough-times mantra.

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