Keeping motivated is one of the most important elements of a successful career in sales. You must be able to keep focused on your long term goals, but you also need to be able to work through the duller or more difficult daily tasks of your job. Feeling inadequate or unskilled is very demotivating – if you need to brush up on your sales tactics, check out some sales skills to get you back on track.
Even getting up and getting to work in the morning can seem like climbing a mountain when you are already in a slump or feeling unmotivated. Find something that you can use to get you going first thing and set you in motion, because a good start each morning can make the rest of the day a little bit easier. A poor start in the morning can cast a shadow over your entire day and make everything else a little harder. Whether it be a cold shower, a run, your favourite song as your alarm or a nice coffee to drink on your journey, a little morning ritual can go a long way towards making your day a good one; and starting out in a good mood could be vital if things go wrong later on.
Being able to pick yourself up and start again when you are inevitably told “no,” or a sale you thought was near to closing falls through, is vital. But the actual method to maintaining motivation in the face of rejection or disappointment differs from person to person. Motivation can come from within: it can be achieved by maintaining focus on your future goals, by demanding excellence from yourself in a try-and-try-again fashion, or even by telling yourself it is only temporary and that it’s nearly lunchtime! It can also be external: pressure from your boss or colleagues, expectations from your family, or targets that must be met to ensure your financial security. However, external pressures such as this are in fact only as effective as you let them be. True motivation is personal; only what you can let motivate you is what will motivate you.
When the going gets tough, you will need good habits to fall back on. Real habits are instinctive, and when you are so busy that you can barely think, or a situation demands an immediate correct response with no chance to take back your decision, your instinct, your habits and your sales training will take over and get you through these difficult periods. When you feel your motivation might flag because of constant pressure, if you have done the groundwork in the past, your habits will be what see you through. So, it stands to reason that the most consistently motivated people have formed the habit of staying positive. Practice self-awareness, notice when you feel negative or particularly positive and why, and try to engineer your working life into a more positive one. Going Beyond Sales can really improve your self-confidence in your abilities and allow you to remain positive even in tough situations.
Making sure you give yourself time off from work is key in keeping up your motivation. Nobody can be expected to be fully switched on all day every day if they don’t have some downtime. Develop a balance between your work life and your home life, and give yourself the luxury of living your personal life to the full. The happier and more satisfied you are outside of work, the less stressed and the more motivated you will be inside work. Confidence in your own abilities increases motivation, and those abilities can be work-based or hobby-based. Being happy with yourself is important in keeping up your motivation. Avoid pointless downtime, especially at work, but don’t force yourself to fill every waking moment of your life with work-related thoughts or actions. Whether you “work to live” or “live to work”, you cannot and should not be on the job all the time.
Motivation can be negative as well as positive. You can become demotivated by negative input from the other people in your life, so avoid colleagues who are too negative or constantly griping about the company, their work, their home life, or even about you. Surround yourself only with positive people to maintain your own positive outlook and motivation. If you cannot distance yourself physically from negative people then you can avoid getting dragged into conversations with them or having to listen to their destructive and unhealthy attitude.
If you still find your motivation low or you can’t get out of the slump that you are in, think about previous positive experiences or previous successes that you have had. Proving to yourself that you have already succeeded at a similar task or already achieved a tough target; reminding yourself of some qualification, achievement or award; telling yourself in the mirror that you are perfectly capable of completing whatever project you are working on. Any of these techniques can help to get your motivation back on track when you feel yourself starting to doubt your abilities. As before, it’s all about positivity. Don’t be unrealistic – stay grounded and accept that not everything will be easy and you may not see your final goals come to fruition without a lot of hard work, but never tell yourself you cannot succeed. Remember that you have won in the past and you will win again, and your motivation will begin to improve. This short course in Sales Success will give you a boost.
Your colleagues can be a big help in keeping your day to day motivation up. If you have incentives or rewards from your company for reaching targets, these are useful in themselves, but you can always set up an interpersonal friendly competition with a co-worker for a little extra boost. Competition and the promise of a mini-victory could be the motivation you need to make one extra sales visit in a day or pick the phone back up after an angry customer rejection. Working with someone else in this way also gives you some extra accountability and support.
If you still feel you need a pick-me-up or some basic motivation tips, try this short inspirational course in Dreaming Bigger.