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Common job issues and solutions in Sales

5 Ways to Stop Making Yourself Miserable in Your Sales Job


{#/pub/images/5WaystoStopMakingYourselfMiserableinYourSalesJob.jpg}Sales work isn’t easy. As a sales coach, I’m sensitive to the inherent struggles of sellers. In an age of economic pressures and empowered buyers, your challenges are significant. It’s difficult and frustrating when you feel you don’t have complete control and the ability to change the circumstances. 


There are, however, certain habits and choices you may be making that actually make your job even harder than it has to be. These are things you CAN control. Here are the top 5 observations I’ve made about things sellers do to make themselves miserable.


5 Ways to Stop Making Yourself Miserable in Your Sales Job


Procrastinating on low-interest work will make you miserable:


Writing proposals, filling out forms, negotiating with support departments for order fulfillment or credit approval or delivery terms, cold calling… There are undoubtedly some aspects of your job that are unappealing.


Sellers attracted to this profession by its illusion of autonomy struggle with confining processes and procedures. But procrastinating on work that advances sales and ensures customer satisfaction is an act of rebellion that will come back to bite you. 


That work won’t go away. No matter how adept you become at ignoring it or at convincing yourself it’s lower priority, the day of reckoning will come. When it does, the work you avoided will be doubly difficult to handle.


Carve out time every day to do what you don’t like doing. That way, even the most unpleasant work can be done in manageable chunks. It won’t grow into problems that make you miserable.  


Slowing down once you’ve reached goal will make you miserable:


In sales, complacency is your enemy! If you have periodic quotas, it can be tempting to take your foot off the gas when you book enough business to reach goal. 


I’ve heard sellers rationalize this choice in a variety of ways, including:


  • “I want to make the next goal period, too, so I need to pace myself.”


  • “The bonus payout over goal isn’t worth the extra work this month.”


  • “If I blow out this goal, they’ll just set my next one even higher.”


  • “I’ve booked enough to cover my bills this month. Time to take it easy.”


  • “If I make too much at once, it will affect my taxes.”


A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. Success breeds success. Strike while the iron is hot. 


In other words, don’t deliberately slow down. There are factors you can’t control that will slow things down for you. Capitalize on the good times instead of trying to game the system. 


You won’t miserable in sales if you spend more time and energy selling and less time and energy worrying about when, why and how not to sell.   


Thinking “that’s not my job” will make you miserable:


Yes, you’re busy. Everyone else is, too. Despite its attractiveness to “lone wolf” types, the sales profession is dependent (like all jobs) on teamwork. An altruistic attitude is appropriate in supporting co-workers, cross-functional partners, manager and customers. 


While helpful to segment customer-facing work and/or sales-producing work from other tasks time management, it isn’t useful to do this if your aim is to dodge sales meetings, mentoring of new hires, teambuilding activities, training and development opportunities.  


Consider this. If your pay includes a base salary, you can’t honestly say “they only pay me to sell.” Base pay entitles your employer to assign and expect non-selling activities (like training) that support the company’s initiatives and priorities. 


What’s more, how can you demonstrate readiness for next-level positions if you don’t participate in non-selling activities? Excluding yourself now makes it easier for others to exclude you from consideration when promotions or opportunities arise. Don’t make yourself miserable by being stingy with your time and focus. Find a balance that is productive without being standoffish.


Refusing to adapt in times of change will make you miserable:


Face it. What was is not what is. Your resistance to change won’t make it go away. 


You can’t control what’s changing. But you can control your response to change. Anticipating and accepting change is the only way to thrive in our dynamic world. To avoid being miserable, become more adaptable. Learn something new every day. Push yourself. View change as your opportunity to grow. 


Blaming others for sales that haven’t closed will make you miserable:


You will be miserable so long as you deny your own accountability for making things happen in sales. 


Your disappointing sales numbers aren’t the fault of the economy, your product, your buyers, your boss, your competitors or your co-workers. You don’t give any of those variables credit when your sales numbers are good, so you can’t cast blame there either.


It’s up to you to advance and close sales. If you aren’t doing that at a rate and volume that produces the results you’d like to see, then you (and only you) are responsible for finding a way to improve.


Sure, any and all of these factors can make things easier. That’s called luck. Sellers who rely on luck and external circumstances alone are sellers who are bound to make themselves miserable. Stay in control and make things happen.  



The job of selling is tough enough. Don’t permit these habits or choices to take hold. Be proactive and maintain control of your goal attainment, your workday, your attitude, your customers’ satisfaction and your image by avoiding these 5 ways you may be making yourself miserable in sales.



{#/pub/images/DebCalvertNew.jpg}Written by Deb Calvert, President, People First Productivity Solutions-Author of the DISCOVER Questions book series, Deb has worked as a sales productivity specialist and sales researcher since 2000. She is certified as a Master Sales Coach, Master Trainer, and host of CONNECT! an online radio show for selling professionals where listeners ignite their selling power in just an hour. Deb helps companies to boost productivity through people development. This work includes leadership program design and facilitation, strategic planning with executive teams, team effectiveness work, and performance management program design. 


Do you have a sales question for Deb?  Please visit our Sales Community, she will be happy to help: Ask an Expert


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