David and Sandy start working at a promotional products company at the same time. They are both tasked with building their own book of business. The company provides them with prospect lists to get started. Both David and Sandy start out strong by making countless cold calls, attending networking groups, asking for referrals, and following up on the company’s direct mailers.
However, after four months, David is starting to really dread the thought of making more prospecting calls and taking more rejection. He starts to spend more time in his day distracted. Sandy, on the other hand, dislikes the rejection just as much, but continues to push through. By the end of their first year, David is forced to quit because of his lack of commissions, while Sandy is earning a steady $10K per month for herself.
Finding one’s inner sales motivation has been a mission for many sales trainers over the past 100 years. The central question is, How can a salesperson stay motivated to take a beating day after day? How do we stay positive in a world filled with “no’s” and rejection? Here are a few tips to finding your inner sales motivation:
- No More Rah-Rah: Old school trainers will tell you to look into the mirror and tell yourself how great you are. I just read a book from the ‘70s that explained, “Repeat to yourself each morning, ‘I am the greatest salesperson to ever live!’” This is silly and outdated. Sales motivation is not about affirmation, but rather linking the painful behaviors such as cold calls to a greater purpose.
- Know Who You’re Fighting For: Why do you want to make money? Who will that money support? I have watched mediocre young salespeople become star performers overnight once that person starts a family. However, you don’t need a child to perform. Rather, become crystal clear about who in your personal life you are making each prospecting call for.
- Link Your Sales Activities to Personal Goals: Sales is personal. We are in sales because it can be more lucrative than any other job category. So clarify what that money will serve in your life. What personal goals do you have and what will it cost you to achieve them? Do you want a new house? Do you need to save for your kid’s college? Are you looking to go on that trip? Identify the cost and connect every dial you make with getting yourself that much closer to achieving your goal.
- Put It All Into Perspective: Sales can’t kill you. Rejection doesn’t physically hurt. Just remember, you aren’t going to war here. There are no bullets, bombs, or tanks. What is the worst thing that could ever happen to you in a selling situation? You could get a harsh “no.” Someone could hang up on you. They could ask you to leave. That’s it. The perception of what could happen is always worse than the reality. Keep that in perspective.
Marc Wayshak is author of the book Game Plan Selling and a sales keynote speaker.