By Sean McPheat, Managing Director of MTD Sales Training
Positive thinking is a wonderful thing. As a professional sales person, you must have the ability to focus on the positive and handle negative thoughts as well as negative and even adverse reality a lot better than the average person must.
But let’s face it; sometimes not only is the positive thinking much easier said than it is done, but usually thinking alone is not going to help. In our business, sometimes things just go awry and result in lost income and extreme frustration. While this is true in every profession, as a sales person, you must maintain a positive and focused attitude in spite of real conditions.
Not Beyond Your Control
The main problem that ensures in this instance is that sales people begin to feel that the problems are beyond their control. Once you feel that you are at the mercy of circumstance, it’s all over.
These two simple, yet effective action items below will show you that you still have control and will help you keep your mindset on track!
#1 – Check the Numbers
Investigate and find out the truth. Do some detailed reporting on your sales activities. When you check your sales activity numbers, you will find either one of two situations:
A: You will find that you have been doing the right thing
You run several activity reports from your CRM and you find that all the numbers are on or above par. You have made the correct number of cold calls, sent out the right amount of emails and brochures. You knocked on enough doors, asked for enough orders; you did your job.
If you discover this, you should jump for joy, because the law of averages owes you a huge payday. This is not some way to psyche yourself up—it is the truth. For example, if you have a concrete closing average of 20%, yet without any changes to other factors, you have closed only 10% for a while, you can bet that your closing average will catch up with you!
B: You find that have not been doing the right thing
On the other hand, should you check the data and find that you have not exercised the correct work ethic, then you have found the reason why things are bad. For instance, you know that to be consistent you must do 5 presentations per week, but the data shows that you have only averaged 3.5 per week over the last two months. At first, such enlightenment will make you feel even worse. However, it is short-lived because you can so easily change this situation; you can fix it.
So first, check the facts, the real data. If you find that you have dropped the ball, you know exactly how to fix the problem. If you are up to speed on your work, then relax…there’s a pot of gold around the corner. The situation is not out of your hands.
#2 – Short Term Work Ethic Goals
The second way to help get your mind focused is to set some different types of goals. When things are bad, that usually means sales are in the crapper and income is tight. It is only natural at that time to focus on more sales and commissions. However, when that does not happen, it drives your attitude further in to the dumps.
Instead, set very short, sales activity goals that you can accomplish every day. For example, set a goal to make 5 more phone calls than the day before. Or, set a goal to send out 20 more emails this week than the last week. Do one additional sales presentation than you did last week.
Not only do these sales activities increase the chances for the sales you need, they also help you see real successes every day. They are tangible objectives that you can accomplish, and they are positive!
As you can see, both of these action items depend largely on good record keeping and CRM. Often, the doldrums come due to false or inaccurate information and your imagination takes over. To keep your mindset right in the face of apparent doom…
Check The Numbers, Then Work The Numbers!
Author credit: Managing Director of MTD Sales Training, Sean McPheat is regarded as a thought leader on modern day selling, management skills and business improvement. Sean has been featured on CNN, ITV, BBC, SKY, Forbes, Arena Magazine and has over 250 other media credits to his name. Sean’s Sales Blog is visited by 5,000 people every week and his 6 Sales Training Audios are free to download. Click here to follow Sean online.