Written by: Ken Kupchik
For many (and possibly most people), the hardest part about working in sales is managing the mental challenges that come with the job. Besides the pressure and demands, it can naturally be quite difficult for most people to deal with rejection over and over again and not get beat down or discouraged by it. When everything is going wrong, it’s a challenge to make yourself feel like you’re going to turn the corner at any minute.
But what about when things get really bad? When you completely blow a month, or a quarter, and have almost zero deals close. Or when you’ve been working an important deal for months or even years, only to have it all fall apart in the end. How do you come back from complete rock bottom in sales?
We’ve come up with some tips that can help you if you’re having a really hard time and want to get rolling again:
(And while you’re at it, get a great sales automation CRM to help you avoid that slump in the first place!)
1. Take responsibility
This is absolutely critical if you want to have any chance of success. Even though you can’t take responsibility for someone else’s behavior, you can always take responsibility for your own. Whatever situation you find yourself in, you have to ask yourself what you did to get there. You don’t want to spend too much time thinking about the past, because you can’t control something that already happened, but it’s only when you take responsibility that you can have a chance at changing your future.
2. Step outside of yourself
When you’re at rock bottom, your perception of the situation is going to be completely skewed and probably more negative than it needs to be. Take a step back and look objectively at where you are. What advice would you give to a friend or a coworker if they were in your shoes? It might even help to take a trip somewhere for even a day in order to physically remove yourself from your situation and have a different perspective on it. This way, when you come back you’ll have a different mindset and approach.
3. Ask for help
There are endless resources available for salespeople, especially these days. But usually one of the best resources you can have is the other people you work with, especially your sales leadership. No matter how great you are, you don’t know it all, and can always learn something from someone else. If there’s no one where you work, there is no shortage of training and educational materials available online, including Spiro’s very popular sales blog.
4. Don’t be so hard on yourself
Taking responsibility and caring is one thing, but beating yourself up over your failures is completely counterproductive. For one thing, you can’t do anything about the past, ever. For another, what is the benefit of insulting yourself and making yourself feel even worse? Is it going to close more deals or make you a better salesperson? You care that you’ve failed, that much is obvious. But caring and wanting to do something about it is enough, without being overly hard on yourself.
5. Learn from your mistake(s)
Failing sucks, but it can be valuable if you can learn something from it that will help you grow. Take a step back and think about what you would have done differently. Maybe it’s something tactical, or maybe you focused on something that in retrospect wasn’t that important. Only dumb people make the same mistakes over and over again, so take the time to learn from yours so that you won’t ever have to feel this way again.
6. Get back up
“Just keep swimming, ” like Dory said in Finding Nemo. It’s really that simple. You’ve failed. Ok! Everyone fails. You’ve taken responsibility, reflected on what you did wrong and learned what not to do again, asked for help, and taken a step back to recharge. Now you need to get back on the horse, this time smarter and more determined, and keep going. Failure is only temporary…unless you quit!
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