Even for the salesperson who genuinely likes sales, this career path can really pull the life out of people who are the least bit sensitive.
How often can someone take no, be lead on, or worse, be ignored, before wanting to switch careers?
Working in sales can get discouraging, but then all it takes is landing that one big account you’ve been romancing for months to put an extra pep in your step; just like that, you feel confident again.
Don’t let sales defeats bring you down.
How to Stay Motivated to Sell
You may recall a popular quote from your childhood that came from inside a yellow and blue book: “I think I can. I think I can. I think I can. I know I can,” wrote Watty Piper in The Little Engine That Could.
If you think you can do something, for the most part, you can do it. If you’ve been limited in your beliefs, pay special attention to the words you think and say out loud.
Related Article: Staying Motivated: 10 Quotes to Inspire Your Sales Team
Attitude is Everything
Many times we’ll say we "should" do something instead of "could". As noted in this Huffington Post article, change your shoulds to coulds to make things happen.
When you find yourself having negative thoughts, repeat the word ‘cancel’ three times to block them out. Could expresses possibility, as in “all things are possible with could.”
Just saying “I can” or “I could” out loud (slowly, breathing in and out) can instantly ease tension.
“When you think positive thoughts, you feel happier and success comes because life responds to the signals you put out,” said James Gullotta, Chiropractor and Owner of Incline Health.
“In the holistic health realm, this has been called ‘raising your vibration'.”
Always try to have a positive attitude. The energy you put out, including the faces you subconsciously make while on the phone with a client, or the slouched posture you have while typing an email, can all make a difference.
Don’t Take It Personally
Not everyone is going to be as passionate about the products you’re selling as you are. It’s nothing personal, it’s just business.
“Throughout the years some of the sales outlets have changed,” said, Wayne Fish, President and Sales Guru at TonerPrice.com, who has been selling toner and ink for nearly 20 years.
“While the outlets have changed, many of the strategies along with the sales process have stayed the same.”
He recalled his days of literally knocking on doors and how discouraging it was to have people not answer or rudely shut the door after seeing it was a salesman.
In order to stay motived to sell, Fish suggests never taking "no" personally. “Usually, timing is everything. Unless you don’t have any people skills, chances are, it’s not you, it’s them.”
Brian Hughes, Business.com contributor and first Market Expert of the Month, is a 10 year veteran in sales who sold everything from Royal Caribbean Cruises and pharmaceuticals to now his own company’s marketing services, chimed in.
“I can't lie and say that hearing no never hurt me. Of course it bothered me,” he confessed. “But over the years, I've learned how to overcome hearing no from prospects and existing clients.
Related Article: How to Make Your Direct Sales Business Explode in No Time
The trick is to listen to your prospect and find out what their needs are in respect to what you are offering. Listening is so important, but most salespeople tend to talk more than they listen.”
Hughes also encourages salespeople to see every no as a future opportunity. Stay positive and “never take it personally; it's not like they said no to a proposal or a first date. It's just business.”
You didn't get ignored today, you got a "not right now, but follow up in a few months"; you closed a small account. Celebrate.
However small a success seems, remember to take some time to reflect on your accomplishments and the path that lead you to them.
“The trick is to not turn your back on the things that led to your success and to always keep on moving forward,” said Fish.
Celebrating wins helps build momentum, but it’s also important to raise the bar each time.
Maintain a Solid Work Life Balance
When you think about it, many of us spend more time working than we do participating in any other activity. According to Forbes, a so-called 40 hour work week in the United States actually lasts 47 hours.
We are always on the go. Oftentimes, employees work on their days off. Our brains are not wired to always be on the go.
We need time off from technology and work. Taking breaks and maintaining a solid work-life balance refreshes us.
Entrepreneur suggests that taking breaks is the secret to increased productivity and “vacations have been shown to lead to significantly higher performance upon return to the job.”
Understandably, this is easier said than done. Start small:
- Shut down your computer and go for a walk around the block. Leave your phone at home.
- Every three hours, walk away from the computer and take 10 minutes to do some deep breathing.
- Grab coffee with an old friend.
Related Article: Motivated to Sell: Proven Sales Compensation Strategies
In closing, our two experts offered some of their best advice for bringing in new sales.
Fish: “Be sure you still offer customer service over the phone and answer the phone when it rings. Many websites now offer live chat or email contact options, but I’ve made some of my best sales over the phone. There are still many people who want to talk to someone when deciding where to make their purchase.”
Hughes: “Keep following up with your leads and make them into professional friendships. Eventually, after you hang around long enough, they just might need you after all. The sales person who stuck around to hear a, yes will be the one who gets the sale. Remember ABC: Always Be Closing. Some of my biggest sales and best customers started out saying, no.”