We experience in life, the highs and lows and the steadiness in between. The energy when we are excited about something, and the lack of wanting to do anything when we are low.
If you are in sales, you have experienced this not just on a personal level but professionally. It comes with success and failure. The most difficult challenges come when you are faced with adversity after adversity. You wonder how you could ever get through it. The loss of a sale, a major account, a customer who decides after several years that he needs to spread the wealth and distribute some business amongst the competition, just to be fair, even after your years of hard work and dedication. It hardly seems fair right??
Reality check, things in business are seldom fair. It may seem that some people are lucky. They fall into you know what and come out smelling like a rose. How can that be we ask ourselves and why not me. Sometimes at our lowest points we may ask the preverbal “why does this always happen to me?”
The fact is we have all been there and if not maybe you are superhuman, but I would venture to say that we all have our kryptonite, just a wild guess.
As Dennis Waitley tells us; "Success is almost totally dependent upon drive and persistence. The extra energy required to make another effort or try another approach is the secret of winning."
How do we survive the peaks and how do we survive the valley’s? If you have risen to the top of your game and are experiencing more success than ever, take time to bask in the view and remember what it feels like but then step back and relive what it took to get yourself there. Don’t embellish it but look at it critically. Along the way admittedly there are things you did great and some things you didn’t. When you are reliving the events that got you where you are appreciate the moment and then move on. Use that moment as fuel to propel you to a new height.
Get busy! Momentum is a curious thing and sometimes very illusive. It’s an exciting ride when you have it but it’s easy to lose.
Don’t get overconfident and don’t forget the people around you who contributed to your success and the success of the company, the project, the sale or whatever it may be. Being humble and appreciative goes a lot farther than, “look at me, look what I did, this couldn’t have happened without me.” Even if that is the case don’t be on an island. Think of it like this, a rowing team could never win with one person and no one wins an Oscar without a supporting cast. I’m certain with that approach you will stay at the top much longer and the Valley will never seem as low.
But, since we mentioned valley, how to you climb out? How do you sustain a consistent and deliberate ascent back to the top? You have the answers to the questions, you just need to ask the right questions to get those answers. If you ask bad questions, you will get bad answers and bad results.
When I was a young early twenty something sales rep, I was having a bad day, made a bad presentation, and blurted out the proverbial, “why does this always happen to me.” It was the first and last time I said that. As you know, when you ask yourself a question, you get an answer and as you can imagine, in that case it was because you don’t know your …. Or someone else didn’t do something they were supposed to. Now because of that one question, you make excuses and even play the blame game. Couldn’t have been my fault!!! This is a dangerous place to be long term. It’s a place that will keep you in the valley and never allow you to make that ascent.
Yet, on that day after I had my own pity party fueled by my own bad questions to myself, I began to ask better questions. As a result I got better answers. I got busy by taking the actions necessary to get better.
If you are on top appreciate what got you there and get busy. Action and in action are one in the same. They are both born of a decision. If you stay put or don’t change something, that is in action but still action. However, if you decide to change something and move forward, that to is action. It’s the action that is a direct result of better questions.
This sounds simple and intuitive, but I assure you, we all get caught up. As you think about your next project or are contemplating how to solve a problem in front of you. I challenge you to ask questions that inspire you to move forward.
· What do I need to do to accomplish this?
· What will I change to get a better result moving forward?
· What three things can I do today that will make a positive difference tomorrow, next week, or this month?
Author of "The Four Pillars of Sales"