I’ve been there myself – don’t burnout before your time. There are always options.
Sales is not for the faint hearted, nor is running your own business. For those of us who run our own businesses and/or have careers in sales or sales management, we find we are often faced with stressful situations such as:
- Budgets to achieve in tougher markets.
- Challenging clients, staff, peers, bosses or suppliers.
- Changes that effect your competitive edge with products and services.
- New market competitors, products, ideas and innovations.
- Dealing with unethical people or business tactics.
- New system upgrades or old systems that don’t work well.
- Not to mention our personal lives and the many changes we face on a daily basis.
How do we manage ourselves in times of stress? If you are anything like me, you probably struggle from time to time trying to keep up with all these things and more. Many small business owners are often the main and possibly the best sales person in their business. They also often double as the general manager, HR manager and sales manager. How to fit it all in and keep sales coming in at what cost is the question.
While the topics of stress, depression and other health issues are getting more press today, these problems often remain hidden from view and never spoken about by top sales performers and business owners until it’s too late.
Why should good sales people burnout at all? It’s such as waste to have a sales superstar fall to a sales drop out.
What we know is that good consistent sales performers are usually resilient, focused and determined in nature and, in my experience, usually have a sense of ‘wellness’ about them. Their wellness shines through and is supported by good life habits such as:
- Undertaking regular exercise.
- Having a healthy diet.
- Drinking alcohol in moderation or not at all.
- Having a variety of other interests in their life.
- Prioritising very well.
- Not taking illicit drugs.
- Continued self development.
However, even healthy sales people sometimes ‘hit the wall’ and ‘burn out’. An accumulation of things can happen and before you know it you’ve hit the wall. With too many things happening too quickly, you often do not stop to deal with them one by one.
If this accumulation of stressful events continues, then they simply roll you over and flatten you. Given a good sales person has the capacity to produce consistently well, we can often miss vital signs of our stressors.
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For instance when sales are down, we can take on too much and over compensate for others’ lack of performance. If this happens over and over again it wears you down. I have experienced a major burnout on one occasion (more about that next week). It was not pleasant and very stressful. I am sure I am not alone when it comes to stress as a sales person or as a business owner
Now I am no expert on stress management, however I have been an avid user of many tried and true approaches to help me be at my best and ensure I am ‘sales fit’ and can still juggle my many duties.
Instead of resorting to alcohol, drugs or other harmful actions as others may do, I sort out my support network. That is why I thought it would be useful to provide a list of some of the services people can access before, during or after they find themselves dealing with stressful situations. Please find following a preliminary list of associations you may like to explore:
- Yoga classes and other natural therapies.
- Access to medical or psychological help with stress, depression or other mental health issues go to the government support network www.beyondblue.org.au or the Australian Psychological Society.
- Overcoming sleeping issues the drug free way.
- Qualified massage therapists go to Australian Association of Massage Therapists.
- Australian parenting website.
- For meditation, there are several different places to try.
Prevention in the best cure and hindsight is a wonderful teacher. Never forget nothing is impossible to fix and there is always an option out there to help you deal with any challenging situation. Don’t forget to ask for help there is always someone there.
I hope this helps.
This article is dedicated to the memory of Rona who took her own life recently. She was a beautiful, talented and accomplished mother, swimmer, academic, writer and friend. I will miss you.
Author: Sue Barrett is Founder & Managing Director of BARRETT Pty Ltd, an Australian based sales fitness firm that helps businesses build high performing sales teams and is author of soon to be released book ‘Sell Like a Woman’.
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