Sales is a game, though not always the numbers game that some would suggest—it’s more of a mental game.
Every year, I work with hundreds of salespeople across a broad range of industries. What strikes me most is the chasm between the high and low performers. This distinction is always a matter of mindset and measured by a deep passion for success.
If you haven’t made a sale in a few weeks, or heaven forbid months, you should be anxious. That state should change to frustration and, if that persists, then raw anger! By anger, I don’t mean slapping customers in the face until they buy. I refer to a deep sense of injustice for not succeeding at what you do that transforms into action and results. This sensation is essential to all creatures that compete for survival in any jungle.
Despite modern advances, human beings are still primitive creatures. Just tune into the six o’clock news of an evening and you’ll get a taste of reality. We live in a ruthless world and occasionally things don’t go our way. Understand this, and then swiftly get over it. When your back is to the wall, slowly stretch your fingers and spread your claws—get angry!
Business people often blame their lack of performance on external forces, such as market conditions, ineffective marketing, dealing with too many time-wasters, or a crackpot manager. They curse, bicker and spit at others with resentment. These people are angry all right, but their energy is directed at everyone but themselves.
The first person you need to confront is you! Look yourself dead in the eye and demand answers! And it’s the answers you’re most reluctant to acknowledge that move you forward. Are you lazy? Fearful of rejection? Not willing to do the hard yards? Are you too focused on money? Does your ego need a stroke? Are you caught up in internal politics? Is your confidence shot? Are you exhausted? Do you feel unloved? Do you lack passion? Okay. So what?
Don’t put your own story above the need to get the job done. Turn your anger into action, and your action into passion. Do the most challenging tasks first, as they often bring the juiciest rewards. Pick up the Red Phone and call that CEO! In that big presentation today, take control, be assertive, use your ESP and then ask for the business! Stop fluffing around the edges and cut-through to the outcome.
Making mistakes is okay, provided you keep learning and keep going! You may be down now, but never be down for long. If you’re in sales, you’re paid to sell. If you can’t and won’t do that, then move on and find a role more aligned with your natural skills and cerebral capacity. If your passion isn’t there, go find it. When push comes to shove, you’re the only person who can change your reality. You.
Yes, at times it’s a nasty, scary and unforgiving jungle out there, so start channeling your passion. Don’t get eaten — get passionate!