Most people see sales as less than a profession. It’s for people who have the gift of gab, are good at building relationships and effective presenters.
The reality is creating a relationship on demand is not easy. A more accurate picture shows the need to create significant value, overcome trust problems, manage constant rejection and prospect consistently.
Salespeople must be “on” all the time. They have a very small window to engage someone, get them to open up, uncover the real need and gain their commitment to fix the problem. All of this must happen in a fiercely competitive climate, in a difficult economy with prospects who are overwhelmed, worried about losing their job and expected to accomplish more with less.
If you have ever tried to restart an exercise routine it’s very hard. Moving a stationary rock might be easier. Momentum (forward) is required for long-term sales success and salespeople are constantly battling to maintain momentum.
I’ve overviewed the context and environment salespeople operate in to illustrate what they encounter and identify the challenges sales leaders must contend with. Remember that all of this affect you too. Small shifts in your attitude can have a profound impact on your team whether they are work based or personal.
Here are some symptoms of a salesperson losing their edge.
- Variations in work schedule
- Challenges interacting with team members
- Bursts of energy followed by inaction
- Visible stress
- Less visibility in the organization
- They seem distant
- Rationalizing or excuse making
Losing your sales edge happens. It’s like rejection it’s not whether you are rejected it’s how long it takes to bounce back. Salespeople are prone to getting emotionally involved and lose objectivity. When this happens they become overwhelmed. As the sales leader you must look for the warning signs and take action. Focus on getting them to open up and talk about what’s wrong, be empathetic and allow them to vent. Check in more frequently and simplify everything.