Take a deep breath and change your path today
So we’re nearing the end of the first quarter of 2021. If you aren’t on pace to hit your sales goal for the year, how do you feel about it? We’ve all been in this situation at some time in our careers. No one is immune to a slump. Maybe you started the new year with a big goal. Or maybe you may have been given a quota by the company you work for. Or maybe you have a self-imposed quota. If you are an entrepreneur or a sales-preneur who is not on pace this year, relax. Take a deep breath. That’s the first and simplest step. When we’re not performing at the pace or the speed we want, the common response is to panic. We panic, and we start a downward spiral of negativity. So first, take a deep breath, pause and the fully assess the situation.
- Identify success you’ve had so far: You can’t sit here and tell me you’ve had zero successes. There’s success in everything, and you have to step back and find some positive in this situation. It may not be the success you want, but it is important to identify the successes you’ve had thus far.
- Identify challenges you’ve had so far: Identifying success is only the start. You really have to have this true gut-check conversation. What are the challenges you’ve faced, and how were you personally responsible for them? Just as I recommend taking credit for the success, it is also critical that you own your failures.
- Identify what you can and cannot control: There’s a saying in sales leadership: control the controllable. Even if it seems like it’s become a cliche, there is a grain of truth in that message. Your job as a sales professional is to focus on the things you can control. There are a lot of circumstances that are out of your control right now. Objections are things that you can control. Objections are merely a request for more information. They’re signal that the customer or prospect hasn’t got the value they’re looking from for your product service or offering. It’s different than a condition. A condition is something that is beyond your control. Focus on controlling objections, not on changing the conditions you’re in.
One day at a time
Even if you change your perspective, the fact remains that you are not on pace, and that is a problem. If you stare at the deficit and wonder how you’re going to make up a million dollars in shortcoming, it’s a pretty lonely and overwhelming place to be. You have to address the deficit one day at a time, one week at a time, one month at a time, one hour at a time, one dollar at a time. Focus on the most manageable metric you can imagine. That’s how you’re going to address your deficit. If you are looking at a deficit in your 60 or 70% quota, you are not going to make that up on your next sales call. You’re not going to make that up on one appointment. It’s going to be made up by small, individual wins. That’s it. And these individual wins will lead to a greater success, a greater victory. Can you just get 1% better today? Can you improve by 2% this week? By 10% this month? You have to find a manageable, meaningful metric that will allow you to get back on pace to a strong 2021.