If you're a sales professional reaching capacity, you're not alone. It's is notoriously challenging profession. So challenging, people often ask how three frenetic, travel-filled decades in the sales hasn't burnt me to a crisp.
I often think they're hoping for a soothing confession: "Honestly? I am." But the truth is: for me sales is as invigorating as ever.
That doesn't mean I love every element of what I do. Like everyone else, I get no joy from running from dawn until dusk, impossible deadlines, and hard-lost deals. But across those years I've collected many strategies that manage and harnesses negative pressure, using it to instead spur you forward–much like the high you feel deep into a run or bike ride. I'd like to share this collection with you now.
☕️ 80/20 Rule
Isolate the 20% of your activity that yields 80% of the results or output, and get it done before lunch. I've found it's rarely woth me working a days where I don't do 2 things that scare me. Call that CEO. Before lunch.
It killed the cat, but not the human. Sales professionals must be infinitely interested in the uniqueness of each individual prospect. Even-fascinated by buyer psychology. It takes concentrated effort, but the discipline to fully present will "open doors where there were once walls," per philosopher Joseph Campbell.
The effects of caffeine only last so long. The body's natural energy systems bloom into a supernova of dopamine, serotonin and endorphins when you get your heart rate up, improving your stamina, brain function, and ability to be resillient through stress in ways a coffee, scroll on social media, and night out could never. Keeping work/life balance relies heavily on your ability do both as well as possible in their dedicated time.
Genuinely seeking to help my clients, colleagues, and network gives me two revenue stream, and even in triumphant times the intrinsic value often far outstrips the extrinsic. Being stunned and humbled by clients flawlessly executing a sales solutions, mentees thriving in their career, and InMails letting me know how a post gave them the help the needed at exactly the right time helps makes other challenges water off a duck's back.
A starkly different tack to SMART goals, Grant Cardone's 10X rule encourages you to be wildly aspirational. I dedicate myself to goals like these every day, quarter and year. I don't always hit the stars, but aiming for them I've hit the moon more times than I can count–something I never would have done with my sights set on the Alps.
Every 90 days, schedule a digital detox. Get back to nature, to your family, and who you are as a human. Epiphanies and creativity flows to an open mind, and you'll be reset around what really matters.
Constantly expanding your horizons with new knowledge makes it harder to feel trapped by your challenges. Formal programs, mentorships, and resources like podcasts, blogs and webinars can all turn your world on a dime with the right insight at the right time. And if Zig, Bosworth, Eades, Thull, Holden, Rackham, Adamson, Holmes, et. al aren't yet burned into your DNA, it's time to turn your car into a classroom.
Investing in your emotional intellicence is a core skill for modern sales professionals, with skills like empathy allowing you to better manage and motivate both your prospects and yourself.
Remember, you don't have to be 100% perfect to be wildly successful in sales. Consistently showing up for more in the face of a challenge is half the battle won.