One of the things that I love about my work is that I get to work with every level of the sales organization- from the frontline BDR to the president of the company. And not only sales organizations, but also self-employed and small business owners who have to sell.
And sometimes- I start to see patterns.
The pattern I'm seeing happening now that's really coming to fruition- is a shaking of our confidence.
Of course, it happened with the start of the pandemic, which was a bit more like a shock. Yet even as the world starts to open up again, a lack of confidence seems to be taking a deeper root.
For BDRs who are just starting out -whether, it's right out of college or going into this is a new role their confidence gets shaken every time they try to pick up the phone. So that's nothing new for them. But the level of difficulty it's gotten to? Oh well, that's definitely new. It's harder because of what's happening in all of the other organizations that they're trying to talk to.
And for the sellers who have to take it from meeting to close, their confidence is shaking too. Because it’s hard to hire right now, a lot of sales organizations are raising quotas even before the new year is here. This is causing stress that makes it even harder to have conversations with prospects and buyers and uncover what their real challenges are and the impact of those challenges and what they think a solution should look like.
The pressure putting on them to meet activity numbers and deal opportunities has them so wrapped up in their heads they're not able to be fully present with their buyers to uncover real issues and solutions. They're not actively listening and they're not asking really great questions.
And for managers when their confidence gets shaken I see them tend to tell their reps what to do rather than coaching them in a way that helps them to become aware of how to develop new skills and apply them in their day-to-day. As a result, they're overworked, burned out, and feel completely underappreciated.
And for leaders, leaders just want to have confidence in their ability to make the right decisions. All this uncertainty that's happened in the pandemic has shaken their confidence in their abilities to be able to do that. Nothing in their previous experiences prepared them for this.
And for self-employed business owners- the uncertainty of whether or not you're going to be able to get more clients that will pay you enough to pay your bills triggers things like the imposter syndrome and doubt in our abilities.
lack of emotional management
The thing that all of this has in common is that every group of people that I've just described that I work with on a daily basis are all suffering from what I call a lack of emotional management. And 63% of sales leaders, managers, professional sellers BDRs, and self-employed business owners struggle with controlling their emotions during sales tasks and processes.
This uncertainty and stress also appear to trigger the need for approval- which makes sense - when our confidence is shaken - isn’t it natural to seek approval from others? Both of these things are normal human responses
So how can we all better manage our emotions so that we can show up for the people who are looking to us to inspire, guide, and help them solve problems?.
three science-based do's and don't s that I teach and coach all of my clients to do at every level of the organization both for themselves and those that they work with.
First... DON’T get caught up in the comparison game on social media.
Or the leader board and slack channels in your company. When we compare ourselves to others, we start to think of what we should be or what we should be doing and how far short we fall. When we compare ourselves to others that seem so far ahead of us, it overwhelms us and we put more pressure on ourselves or give up. Instead of focusing your energy on your game, you're looking sideways to see how someone else is playing and getting tripped up.
Instead: DO set purpose-driven goals. These aren't the type of goals that are solely based on revenue numbers though that is going to be a part of it because money is a tool that helps us to measure things. But when I say purpose-driven goals I'm talking about the meaningful goals that put your feet on the floor every morning with a smile on your face and an attitude of open-mindedness that you'll do whatever it takes to figure it out so that you can get there.
The reason this is important is it helps us to understand what a fresh start would look like for us. According to research from Katie Milkman award and professor, she writes in her book, "How To Change" that fresh starts give us the feeling of a clean slate where we can look to move forward and not look at all of the mistakes that we've made that might freeze us in fear to move to another step.
The second DON'T is DON'T try to adopt someone else's process for success...
...then apply it verbatim to you. They aren't you and their plan and tactics likely don't account for your own individual strengths and areas of improvement.
Instead what I have all of my clients DO: is to create action plans based on objective data-based evaluations of their mindsets and skillsets as it pertains to their specific role.. Not only do these plans include the things that they need to do in milestones that they need to hit to achieve those purpose-driven goals, but also the obstacles that might get in their way and strategies for them to work around those obstacles when they happen.
And then we prepare through practice. Whether it's tough conversations that they have to have, or just being able to talk out a strategy to see where it comes to its end conclusion.
This is important because whenever we're trying to get to some type of a future state, Milkman also shared that we tend to underestimate the short-term pains that we might need to go through in order to make some type of a change happen. When things don't go exactly how we plan it erodes away at our confidence. But the more we practice specific tasks, we break down the things that might overwhelm us.
And the third DON'T is DON'T idolize the hustle and grind lifestyle at the cost of your own self-care.
Don't feel guilty for taking breaks!
When you prioritize your own self-care it will impact your results. Because sales is not just a numbers game it is a mental game. When you can manage your emotions because you are fully present with yourself, calm, and optimistic it will increase your confidence which will come through in your most important conversations.
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