Some days being a sales professional is incredible. Every person you call is willing to talk to you. You feel invincible, you're on top of the world, and you just know that you are making progress towards the end goal; a contract! Other days, let's be honest, sales feels a bit like you have been beaten, bruised, verbally attacked, and wondering how you are going to survive the next hour, let alone the rest of the day. I've experienced both the good and bad, and as I'm writing this, I'm feeling a bit on the lousy side of sales. I've told people a few times, sales is a lot like a roller coaster. I've been in the industry of technology sales for ten years. I love my profession because it allows the opportunity to help clients problem-solve and find a solution to their needs. It's the process of interacting with prospective clients, hearing their needs, getting to understand their challenges on a deep level that I really enjoy. I love helping people solve problems. I love to help people find solutions. I can be very sensitive and I do tend to dwell on things longer than probably normal. When customers have problems or are dissatisfied with areas of their employment, I tend to feel and sense that, which means, I carry a lot of things on my plate (or in my mind) on a day-to-day basis. I hear tones, I hear frustration, and I especially feel it when you hang up on me, shout, or tell me no. So how do I deal with those bad days in sales? Here's my personal tips for overcoming. FOCUS ON WHAT YOU CAN CONTROL
I can't control whether or not someone answers the phone, someone says yes to a demo, or someone has a present need for a technology solution for their department. What I can control is my effort; how many calls, emails, contacts I make. I'm a firm believer that if you keep doing those things daily, you're building a strong foundation and people will follow-up with you when they need your services.
DON'T TAKE THINGS PERSONAL I have learned that 99.9% of the conversations I have with clients has nothing to do with me personally. I use to spend time moping around, feeling sorry for myself, constantly on the verge of tears when someone chewed me out for calling them. Listen, I'm not saying be emotionless, but when you can take away the "victim" mentality and start doing your job with confidence, you're going to find that people respond better to you. You have a service that can help them and it's their job to realize how you benefit their life/job.
GO FOR A RUN
Maybe running isn't your thing. Go for a walk. Get outside. Drink some water. Have an early lunch. Listen to a favorite song. TAKE A BREAK.
Sometimes all we need is a moment to clear our head, refocus, and do something that puts us back in a state of mind to conquer your job. FIND YOUR CONFIDENCE
I believe in keeping positive quotes and messages around me constantly. When I'm having a bad day, I remind myself: I AM GREAT AT SALES
or one of my favorite sayings from my cycling instructor, I AM I CAN I WILL I DO It's not always a perfect day, but that shouldn't impact your belief in yourself. You are great, you're just not having a great day. Replace the negative self-talk with your favorite positive saying and it's certain to improve your mood.
LEARN FROM THE MISTAKES YOU MAKE
If you can start to constantly think about how you can make improvements, you'll continually become a better version of yourself. Example from a conversation I had today with my boss, the CEO of the company I work for. He asked me how I felt about a demo I did with a potential client yesterday. I told him that overall I felt like it went well, but I could've done a few things better. I proceeded to highlight those areas where I had wished I had done better during the meeting. My CEO agreed with my self-evaluation and then he shared his notes with me regarding what could've been better. I took his feedback and made a mental note to make those improvements before our next meeting. I work from home, so of course my husband could hear the conversation from his office which is next door to mine. He came in after I hung up with my meeting and asked if I was okay, probably worried I had my feelings hurt. Ten years ago, yes, I probably would've been angry and upset with myself for not being perfect. Today, of course I am okay! I can take criticism. I can take feedback. In fact, I appreciate honest feedback!
We can never become what we are meant to be or make improvements to be a better employee, spouse, friend or person if we cannot take constructive feedback. Take it, own it, and vow to learn from your mistakes and become a better version of yourself every single day. JUST SMILE & LAUGH IT OFF
There are so many days in my job I literally say, "I can't even deal with this right now." I wonder why I "torture" myself. Okay, it's not that bad, but still.... I've learned to laugh it off. I've learned to smile when I would otherwise want to break down in tears or scream. Now don't get me wrong, I'm not always a "Pollyanna." I get angry, frustrated, and upset just as much as the next person. I've just learned that I can control my reaction, and I choose to make the best of each situation. Try it. Someday when you want to react angrily, take a quick moment to smile and see how it boosts your feelings, almost instantly.
READ, READ, READ.... and READ!
As we discussed, bad days happen.
I find that if I read and continually try to learn more about being a stellar sales professional, I'll acquire new skills and abilities that help me overcome the adversity associated with this industry. Equip yourself with the tools necessary to combat challenges and frustrating days. I get asked this question a lot, so here's a few of my favorite sales books
If you are in sales you are probably here because you love working with people, you love challenges, and you love solving problems. To be honest, sales can be a very lucrative career choice, as well. Always remember, a bad day is just that, a bad day. You are not defined by your bad days, rather, your persistence and commitment to continually improve, rise to the challenges, and overcome adversity.