This post uses soundbites from our new podcast, Stories from the Sales Floor.
We've all been there.
The day-to-day grind is getting to you. Quota-crushing feels soul-crushing. The thought of starting over next month/quarter/fiscal year is almost too much to bear.
Wouldn't it be nice to just have an easy, low-pressure job? It sure seems like it would.
If you're feeling this way, take comfort, you're normal. Even top sales influencers have experienced moments of doubt. Career-questioning struggles happen to the best of us, but fortunately there are things to get you over the hump and happily back in the sales saddle.
But don't take my word for it. Here's what some of the guests on a recent episode of Stories from the Sales Floor - including Peter Kazanjy, Donald Kelly, Sally Duby and Matt Heinz - had to say about the time they almost quit sales.
It is unpleasant to get rejected and punched in the face lots of times, but eventually you just get calloused to it and you don't care...you just have to dive in and eventually you’ll get there.
Peter is talking about determination and perseverance - the air and water of sales. You won't survive without them.
Rejection, day in day out, has the ability to drain you of determination, but, like Peter suggests, you just have to keep going.
Well-known sales influencer, Anthony Iannarino, agrees, writing: "Success in sales requires determination, plain and simple. Determination allows the salesperson to hear the word 'no' and to continue to pursue their objective undeterred. Determination is what allows the salesperson to pick themselves [up], dust themselves off, and to try again."
According to Sirius Decisions, "...it takes 8 to 12 attempts to reach a decision maker by phone, even when they’re interested in your products or solutions." So why does the average sales rep only make 1.3 call attempts before giving up? If the leads are qualified, persistency will pay off.
There have been numerous times when I feel like 'oh my gosh, what am I doing? I need to get out of this rat race.' I just have to really get focused and I also have to look at have I had any time off or have I just been hard at it.
Sally is talking about different two approaches - both with the same goal in mind.
First, diving into work and seeing the successes that can come from added effort may inspire you to continue with sales. But let's devote more attention to Sally's second suggestion: taking time off.
Allison Gabriel, Assistant Professor of Management at Virginia Commonwealth University, reminds us, "...we have a limited pool of cognitive resources.
"When you are constantly draining resources, you are not being as productive as you can be...you’re able to persist less and have trouble solving tasks."
That inability to complete basic tasks, whether that's effectively following up with prospects or remembering to update your CRM, can be discouraging and contribute to the feeling of wanting to call it quits.
If you're working on commission, you might be worried that taking time off will wreck your bank account. But when we don’t take enough time off, "We get sick and cranky. We’re nowhere near as productive. Our creativity and decision-making suffers. In other words, we become bad sales[people]," writes Joanne Black. And that’s definitely going to affect your bottom line.
Can't Stop, Won't Stop
Some of our guests say that while times have been tough, they could never walk away from selling. If you are one of the lucky ones who feels that way, congratulations! You have a tolerance for pressure and uncertainty few possess. Let us know how you do it in the comments. Are there any tricks you use to get through the rough patches?
Be sure to check out Stories from the Sales Floor! Subscribe to get new episodes each and every week!
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