Last week I took some well-deserved time off to re-energize.
Usually I would go to New Jersey to visit my family, but that obviously was not in the cards this year. I was able to go to my daughter’s house, where we cooked, ate well, and watched movies all weekend.
We also got to go on a bicycle ride that I’ve wanted to do since she moved there last October. Twenty minutes into the ride, we stopped before coasting down a hill. I looked down the hill suspiciously. I was sure I would be walking up that hill on the way home.
So we rode and talked and drove on for another 15 minutes before we turned around to go home. We reached a certain point right where the incline started, right before the big hill. I started up, planning on going until I got to the point I knew I would have to walk.
I’ve learned with physically challenging situations to keep your eyes on the road directly in front of you and just focus. We got to the point where I knew I would have to walk. I stopped to get off the bike, only to have my daughter say, “Mom, that was the hill!”
Amazing – I had made it up the hill because I was focusing on what was directly in front of me, not on what was 50, 25, or even 10 ft in front of me.
Actually, I was kind of embarrassed. I realized that I had allowed myself to almost become a victim of Inner Critic mindset. Instead, I had an aha moment of doing something I didn’t think I would be able to do.
I wouldn’t say the incline was easy, but it wasn’t anywhere near as difficult as I expected it to be.
Think about those things in your life that you are facing, or afraid to face, because you think it will be too hard, or even impossible to do.
Maybe it’s finding time each day to do enough prospecting to fill your pipeline and keep you moving forward.
Maybe it’s having enough confidence to get through a sales presentation and actually ask, and get a sale.
Maybe it’s just finding the energy everyday to keep doing the right things that will bring you the right results. Day after day, consistently. One boring pedal push after another, until you make it to the top of that hill.
Focus on what you’re doing right now instead of thinking about the future. Push that Inner Critic that is holding you back to the side.
I was just oblivious to where I was and my mind didn’t know what my body was capable of doing.
That is something I have noticed in new salespeople. I have watched them:
1. sell something that I didn’t think anyone would buy or
2. they sold it for more than I thought was possible – AKA no discount. Has that happened to you?
It happens because those newer salespeople don’t know any different. No one ever told them, “You can’t do that.” or “It’s impossible”, so they do it. Before their new salesperson brain and sales mindset gets cluttered up with everything that they get told is hard or impossible, they just go out and do it.
There’s a second part to this sales mindset story.
Today my daughter texted me to let me know she continued the bicycle ride and went farther along down the trail… another three miles or so. And she did the whole ride in about an hour.
Our ride was 45 minutes – with water breaks every 10 minutes – it’s important to stay hydrated when you live in the south 😉 , even in the middle of the winter.
I asked her if the second part was harder, and she said, “No, the first part we did was much harder. That’s where I spent most of my time”.
She went five miles farther in less than twenty minutes – how could that be?
Then she sent me a picture of what she saw, and a map of her route. Take a look at the beautiful lake she saw, instead of the cross streets we saw when we were riding.
She rode on five minutes farther than we originally did, and was rewarded with an easier ride and a beautiful lake to ride around.
The point is… you know there’s always a point – we gave up too early! We did all the hard work, but stopped because the first part was pretty hard and we didn’t want to get stuck too tired to make it home. Stranded on the side of the road gasping for breath.
When, if we just pushed on 10 minutes more… How many times do you give up or stop when you’re so close to your reward?
It happens all the time. We work so hard – learning everything about our company and the products or services we can sell, only to give up when it doesn’t happen as quickly as we want it to.
It’s the same with prospects. While I have gotten better at closing sales in the first or second meeting, there are those prospects that need more nurturing – usually resulting in a larger sale!
I hope the next time you are ready to give up, either on your job or on a prospect, you remember the bicycle ride, and you find the strength and mindset you need to just go one or two more miles, until you get to a smoother path along a beautiful lake.
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How do you stay motivated, excited, inspired, focused, creative, driven? What makes you jump out of bed every morning without even using an alarm? What keeps you up late at night because you’re so excited about tomorrow?
This energy and excitement is the difference between being average and being exceptional.
Here are some of the things you can do to help you to stay motivated in your sales, even when you don’t feel like selling.
Focus on doing better than what is necessary.
Are you happy with just reaching your quota? Or are you working to reach your bonus, or even your own larger personal goal? Make your own lane.
Don’t compare yourself to others.
When you set your own goals, it will keep you motivated and driven. Even if you don’t hit your inspired goal, you will still be well above average.
Do it for yourself.
Do more than you committed to, which sometimes means doing things that other people refuse to do. And think you’re crazy for doing. Give people more than they expect of you.
The more you show up for yourself, by completing the tasks you’ve commit to, the more motivated you will be to commit to a higher level of activities that will get you closer to your goal.
Be dependable, consistently.
Do the things that no one else will do.
Be consistent in your actions so that you stand out.
Do things that make you stand out, like texting a prospect after you set an appointment with them to confirm the appointment, with permission of course. It’s like putting your business card in their phone – and it makes you memorable.
98% of the time, the people that text me are people I have allowed into my world. Unlike email, where so much stuff comes in every day I can’t keep track of it. If you really want to get to me, text me, right? Are you like that too?
Do the things that challenge you.
I know that most people, including myself, want to start with the easiest things. But, make the hardest call first. Save the ones you know that will set appointments with you for last. That way you end your calling session on a high point.
Most people do only the easy things. They set their targets low, and then wonder why they can’t accomplish it. Set your targets higher and you will accomplish more.
I am a fairly competitive person, I think most of sales people are, even though I don’t like to admit it about myself. It’s important to me to see that I’m making some gain on my goals. So I have a plan, and when I accomplish something, I like to check it off.
For example, if you need to set three appointments a day, and and you complete or exceed that, physically check it off your list. It will make you feel good to know that you are completing what you need to do to be successful and reach your goals.
It also gives you a warning if you are not consistently reaching that target of setting three appointments a day.
You need to find out why you are not hitting your goals. What can you do differently? Are you not spending enough time prospecting? Or maybe not asking the right questions?
Catch yourself before things get too crazy and you find yourself in the downward spiral.
Push yourself, go watch Instagram Reels for 5 minutes. Laugh and refresh yourself, and then do it … whatever it takes. Keep your eye on the prize and move forward. Even when you don’t feel like it. Because if you only do the things you want or when you feel like it, you’ll probably never do them.
Invest in your education and your own development.
Do you read books or listen to audiobooks? Whether it’s a book about sales or class about something new?
When things get overwhelming, and sales are just not going the way I want them to, I have to step back and do or listen to something that makes me feel good — that gives me hope and motivation. You eventually have to fill yourself back up in order to give. But we’ve all been trained to just give and give, but it’s okay to be a little selfish here.
What motivates me one day may bore me to tears the next.
That’s okay because everybody has different parts that need to be fulfilled and satisfied at different times. One day you may need laughter, another day it might be spiritual reminders. Another day it could be business learning.
Even with my busy schedule, I dedicate 2 hours a day 3 times a week to learning time. I try to take just one thing out of that time, and I use it to make what I’m doing better. Either in my podcast, and my Instagram, or with my clients.
If I am not motivated one day, I still have a plan of three things that I want to complete that day. Because it’s a small amount, I can usually get them done. Remember to not compare yourself to others. Maybe your list will have four things, or two, or even one — whatever helps you to move forward every day without feeling overwhelmed.
Am my perfect? Hell know. There are times that I just scrap it all and go have some fun. But my rule is to reschedule those things I didn’t do unless they involve other people, then you just have to do them.
Which leads me to,
If you wouldn’t reschedule for other people because you wouldn’t break the appointment, then why would you reschedule on yourself?
That’s a great question, and I can’t answer it. But as long as you do this as an exception and not a rule, you’ll be okay. As long as you don’t end up overwhelmed and you stay motivated and happy, then what difference does it matter?
The point here is to invest in yourself. You need to put back in at least as much as you give, and hopefully more, consistently, every week.
Don’t wait until your tank is empty and you feel frustrated and tired and unmotivated. Make sure that what you’re putting in is good solid learning and motivation, because what you put in is what you’re going to get back out.
Create your best self.
Sometimes circumstances unmotivate us. Learn to look at those circumstances as opportunities to grow, and make the best of them.
For example, let’s talk about the “F” word … FAILURE. Take the fear out of failure and know that there are times that you will fail, but understand that you shouldn’t be afraid of failure. Because failure only truly happens when you quit. So don’t quit. Take the fear of trying out of it. Maybe it’s a certain idea or a technique that’s not working for you… Just try a different one.
You have to put in a certain amount of phone calls to get appointments. Unfortunately you’re probably not going to get an appointment with everybody that you talk to (sorry). I find I need to make 50 calls to get three appointments. Maybe it’s a little bit less for you, but you will soon find what your average is.
You have to get through the no’s to get to the yes’s. If you have 10 people that you meet, four of them are going to say no, or at least not now. You have to get through the no’s and not be afraid of them, because someday those unsold people will be sold people, if you just keep trying.
Keep in touch with them. Let them know that you’re thinking about them and let them know you care.
Don’t listen to other people. I tell people I live in a bubble. I’ve learned what I want and what I will accept because I know what I want my world to look like.
So in reality, everything may not be exactly the way you want it to be, but in your mind, your reality exists, and no one can take that away from you. Some days you just have to work a little harder than others. You have to be patient and tenacious, because the reality of your today is not the reality of your tomorrow. Tomorrow we’ll always be better.
Sometimes, people will bring you down to make themselves look better. Ultimately, it’s up to you to ignore them, create your own reality, and keep yourself motivated in sales.
You attract what you think – the Law of Attraction is a real thing.
I’m looking for a specific client and a specific item they’re going to buy. It doesn’t make a difference what the economy is. It doesn’t make a difference if it’s raining outside. It doesn’t make a difference if no one’s picking up their phone and talking to you. Just keep going, because it eventually will all come together.
Even when you don’t feel like it. Challenge yourself, push yourself, go watch Instagram Reels for 5 minutes. Laugh and refresh yourself, and then do it. Whatever It Takes. Keep your eye on the prize and move forward. Even when you don’t feel like it. Because if you only do the things you want when you feel like it, you’ll probably never do it.
Through my sales career, I have felt this way so many times. I’m just doing the same thing over and over, and not getting the results I expect. I feel like I’m banging my head against the wall making call after call after call and doing sales presentation after sales presentation and not getting anywhere. But because I consistently push myself through a difficult time, I continue to prospect. I do all the right things and eventually, after time I do get the right results. It’s the law of averages.
That’s what I mean by tenacious.
I’m going to keep trying because I know that every year consistently on average I make the same or more, despite the bad month I might be having at the time. And it’s that bad month that really makes you struggle with your motivation and your self-esteem, because it can get pretty low. You just have to find a way to push through.
I have the advantage of years of experience to know that I can make it through, if I keep going.
Over the course of my sales career, there have been some very low times where I found it sooo difficult to stay motivated in my sales career. I have debated quitting more times that I can count.
There was even one time where I wasn’t making enough money to pay for my train ticket into New York City, and I had just about had it. I was taking out money out of my pocket and not earning anything.
Then one day my hard work did pay off. I finally got a new account I had been working on for a long time, and my world turned around. All it took was that one new account.
So stay positive, invest in yourself, invest in your learning, and you’ll make it through. Don’t quit … at least not for more than one night.