Today’s post is by Gerhard Gschwandtner, founder of Selling Power and host of the Sales 2.0 Conference.
Yesterday, I had a long conversation with a sales professional I haven’t spoken with in a few months. The last time we talked, he was at the top of his game. He was crushing his monthly numbers and had just received a glowing review from his sales manager. His outlook for the coming months was bright as can be.
As I discovered during our chat yesterday, though, his fortunes have changed dramatically. His company has been sold, his manager has accepted another job offer, and one of his major customers is jumping to a competitor. On top of all of that, his home needs some major and costly plumbing repairs.
Clearly, this sales professional is facing a lot of pressures and challenges. Yet I heard very little fear or dejection coming from him. Instead, his outlook was optimistic, and his goal for our conversation was to talk through some of his options. Instead of seeing problems, he saw opportunities. “Every day is a new day to reinvent yourself,” he told me.
Our conversation reminded me that fortunes in sales can change at any time. Therefore, it never pays to measure your happiness based on your circumstances. Even if you are up today, you could be down tomorrow. The most important element that will dictate your success will not come from outside sources. It will come from your own internal mindset.
This salesperson inspired me to put together a list of the following things you can do to keep your selling game strong no matter what.
- See each day as a new slate. Yesterday is done and gone, and you cannot change it. So don’t focus on what happened in the past. Instead, choose to embrace the present moment. That’s the only moment you have any real power over.
- Don’t take bad days personally. Everyone has bad days. Whether you accidentally locked your keys in your car or discovered that you just lost a valuable customer, keep it in perspective. Don’t beat yourself up about it and don’t choose to take this as evidence that the world is somehow against you. Instead, take action to correct the situation where you can – and move on. The less energy you spend lamenting your problems, the more quickly you’ll move on to a solution.
- Seek motivational material. You can do this in whatever way makes most sense to you. From podcasts, to newsletters, to inspirational screensavers, to positive posters in your workspace, you have lots of options for filling your head with good messages instead of negative ones.
- Seek motivational people. There are certain types of people who drain us of our positive energy. These people tend to see problems everywhere and they constantly complain about their circumstances and fortunes. Choose to limit your interactions with such people. They will only try to find ways to get you to see the world as they do.
- Establish motivational goals. Our goals give us something to strive for and can help keep us on track – even when our energy dips or we get blindsided by unexpected events. This is one reason we established the Selling Power President’s Club, powered by Spiro. The contest runs until May and offers salespeople a chance to win a $5,000 cash prize – among other prizes. I encourage you to sign up for it and give yourself a positive goal to work toward for the next few months.
The rewards of a sales career can be great, but the profession is not for the fainthearted. It takes a resilient ego to handle all the rejection and problems that make up a salesperson’s day and still stay pumped up. Remember – external circumstances don’t dictate your success. Rather, it’s how you choose to respond to events that will determine how far you go in sales and in life.