When the deals are closing and your sales pipeline is full of promise, self-belief and confidence can be readily accessible resources as you sit with a new prospect, or log on to the conference call with an existing client. But what about those dry spells where opportunity and luck seems to have abandoned you? You still have to go meet that prospect or client, AND you still have to be the right amounts of enthusiastic, passionate and inspiring. That takes resilience. Resilience is defined as the ability to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness. Show me a successful sales professional over the long haul and I’ll show you someone who has resilience. And if you don’t have enough of it, here’s why you need to build it:
The world in which we live and work has been described as VUCA: Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous. Volatile refers to the speed, turbulence and magnitude of change. Uncertain refers to the unfamiliar territory we operate in due to social, economic, political and technological change. Complex because of the multiple interdependencies in a globalized existence. And ambiguous because of the multiple perspectives and interpretations in a diverse world. Not much more needs to be said about the necessity for enhancing our resilience.
Here are some things to do to begin to strengthen your resilience:
Start by noticing what happens to you, internally, when you are working through an unproductive or disappointing selling phase. What feelings arise? Anger, guilt or shame, maybe? How do you respond to those feelings? For example, do you ‘double down’ your efforts or do the feelings and your critical voice cause you to lose energy and motivation?
If your answer to the above is that you become demotivated and, therefore, less productive consider the following:
Adjust your goals. Consider increasing your prospecting or outreach efforts. Or, if you have already adjusted them upwards and are consistently failing to meet them, then adjust them so they are challenging AND achievable – getting back on track with small wins can help you get your head back in the game.
Don’t become a victim. Take a clear-eyed view of the situation and see yourself as enabled to take action to get your sales back where you want them.
Problem-solve and get creative. If you keep doing what you’re doing…okay, maybe you’ll get lucky. Better if you think about creative ways to motivate yourself, engage with your buyer audience and/or to present your product or solution in a more engaging or inspiring way, for example.
Take care of yourself by getting help and support. Reach out for help before it is too late. It could be to your boss, a mentor or a colleague. Find someone with whom you can troubleshoot and problem-solve, or someone who will encourage you by reminding you how good you actually are!
Remember, people, including your prospects and buyers, are attracted to good energy. So, if you feel your good energy being drained by a tough patch, then dig in to those traits and characteristics of resiliency.