Have you had a run of lousy sales luck? In sales, bad luck appears in multiple facets: a sales slump, blown presentation, supply issues, canceled orders, customer silence, or becoming the customer’s emotional punching bag. It’s depleting and frustrating. Many outsiders wonder, “Who on earth would want to be in sales?”
Selling is a wonderful, inspiring, exciting, and sometimes, painful profession. Salespeople operate on a continuum of setbacks and success—experiencing highs and lows. There are fewer triumphs more satisfying than winning a highly sought-after piece of business where you invested so much time, energy, and effort. That feeling when the customer says “Yes” after you crushed your presentation or product demo. When you win and beat your competitor. I can’t think of another profession that is so viscerally competitive, rewarding, and, some days, frustrating. That feeling of success and achieving your outcome is like nothing else in the business world. The feeling of success is addicting and intoxicating. It’s similar to hooking a big fish and reeling it in. Hence the expression “the drug is in the tug.” Who WOULDN’T want to be in sales?
Salespeople strive and face countless rejections along the path to success. However, too much rejection and too many setbacks deplete your energy. Like a cordless drill nearing the end of a charging cycle, you need to recharge. As your performance drops and your energy fades, recharge using these tips:
- Visit your champions and raving fans. As one seller (Pete) mentioned on a recent coaching call, “Recharge your battery by reliving and revisiting your previous successes.” Pete’s comments were the impetus for this article and sound advice for any seller experiencing bad luck. Every seller has a handful of customers who love their product, their company, and love you (the seller). These customers welcome you with open arms. They are eager to hear about your new solution. These meetings recharge you and remind you of your success. Schedule a meeting with your champions and raving fans—consider them your charging port.
- Make joint calls. When you’re in a funk, you need some spunk. Your sales coach can provide the boost you need. Your sales coach could be your manager, sales executive, or fellow salesperson. I’m unsure why, but joint calls with your sales coach lead to bigger outcomes. As a field salesperson, good things would happen—doors would open and deals would close—when I spent a day with my sales coach. Schedule a day with your sales coach.
- Sometimes unplugging is the best way to recharge. After multiple setbacks, give yourself a break. Take some time and unplug from the pain—go to the gym, take a day off, play golf, etc. In my new book, Selling Through Tough Times, we call this a hard reset. A hard reset means giving yourself a complete break from the grind. I know this can be challenging. Some sellers feel guilty taking time when they aren’t performing. Don’t let your guilt outweigh your desire (or the need) to unplug.
- Laugh it off and find the joy. In the critically acclaimed movie, Monsters, Inc., monsters generated their energy by scaring children. However, one day a monster accidentally made a child laugh. The child’s laughter generated considerably more energy than the child’s screams. The message is clear: happiness (laughter) generates more energy than fear (screams). Find a way to laugh off your setbacks. Watch a funny video or comedy, listen to a comedic bit, call a friend that makes you laugh. Find a way to laugh it off.
- Replace outcome-based goals. When you’re in a slump, you need confidence and accomplishment. Outcome-based goals are more challenging to achieve when you struggle. Activity-based goals are realistic, attainable. Additionally, activity generates momentum. For example, substitute your $100,000 monthly quota for 80 scheduled, professional sales calls. When you hit the activity-based goal, you gain a sense of accomplishment. Accomplishment recharges you and gives you more confidence. Develop a set of activity-based goals.
If you google, “When should I recharge my cordless drill,” the answer is “as soon as you notice a decrease in power.” It seems like sound advice for sellers as well. When you feel depleted, face tough times, or need a boost, it’s time to recharge and get back to full power. Selling is a tough profession, but it’s the most rewarding profession in the world. To experience your full potential, you need to be fully charged. Forward this article to a friend who needs a mental recharge.