I know a guy who lost his job as a construction company VP during the great recession, so he took a step back and joined a service company as a manager trainee. After months of training, he became location manager of a branch in one of the hardest hit areas of the country according to USA Today. The office ranked 7th out of 8 in sales in its region. This guy decided to build a little pride by buying a few new sales tools for his people and by putting a fresh coat of paint on the building. He became an example of what success is supposed to look like, and he encouraged and incentivized his team. Less than two years later, that location was selling five times the dollar amount they were when he took over; and although the economy hadn’t improved much there, his four reps were the top four producers in the entire region. That guy knew the unwritten law: For things to get better, you must get better.
If you are facing emotional circumstances or economic conditions similar to those just described, now is not the time to sit around hoping the phone will ring with a sales lead or the website will magically provide you a hot prospect. As tempting as it might be to blame the state of the union for your lack of success, don’t even go there. Get a grip so you will become distinct, before you end up becoming extinct.
Here are some ideas to help you perform a checkup from the neck up in order to get back on track.
-Make sure your self-talk is uplifting and positive rather than critical and negative. Since your personal appearance is also judged, devote a little extra attention to grooming and clothing. Both will help boost your confidence.
-Feed your mind by reading at least one motivational or inspirational book each month, realizing you tend to become what you think.
-Vary your habits and schedule by eating at a different restaurant or by recharging yourself with an inexpensive getaway. Consider a new hobby or study a foreign language. Diversions will invigorate and restore you.
-Smile! Allow some humor into your life. I have a friend who bought a book with every Far Side cartoon Gary Larsen ever wrote. When he needs a lift, he spends a few minutes flipping through it until he regains his happy face.
-Accept change like a chameleon, because worrying and playing the victim card are simply counterproductive. Change is inevitable. Worry is like a rocking chair; it keeps you going, but gets you nowhere.
-You should project more confidence when around your prospects, because pessimism is to buyers like blood in the water is to sharks. When they sense negativity, it’s likely they will give their business to someone more upbeat. Just like thoroughbreds wear blinders to keep their eyes on the finish line, you must learn to play hurt to show confidence in the workplace.
-Go back to basics, just like athletes do. In 1958, the Green Bay Packers finished their season, 1-10-1, although the team roster contained five future Hall of Fame inductees. Vince Lombardi became head coach in 1959. At his first meeting, he said, “Gentlemen this is a football,” as he held one up. Paul Hornung replied, “Not so fast, coach.” If you know anything about football, you’re probably familiar with what happened over the next eight years under Lombardi’s leadership.
-Resume those activities that jump-started your sales career. Get on the phone with existing and potential customers, schedule more face-to-face appointments, and do some canvassing. Remain visible, tell your story, and you will win regardless of the economy or any other circumstances.
-Learn to love what you do…again.
-Remember this oldie playing on the radio?…You’ve lost that loving feeling, oh that loving feeling. You’ve lost that loving feeling, now it’s gone, gone, gone; Whoa-oh. The Righteous Brothers – 1964
-Summon the emotion you displayed when you closed that first big deal; and, in spite of all the current uncertainty and instability, get back up on the horse again.
-Another way to put it is to recapture that Friday Night Feeling you had in high school, and apply it to your business. When you are on your game, prospects and buyers will purchase from you much more freely. Remember, people don’t buy from thumb-sucking crybabies. They choose salespeople who are pumped-up and motivated!
“Doug Robinson is a teacher, a mentor and a true sales motivator. His weekly newsletters are chocked full of fundamental selling techniques that is spiced with his Georgia-boy humor and tips. I think the best advice I have received from Doug’s posts is that “people buy from people they like and trust.”
Wayne Cooper – Kuma Pest Control, Lawrenceville, Ga. Get your FREE subscription HERE.
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