How to Stop Riding the Emotional Sales Roller Coaster
If you are in business, you are in sales. Whether you own a company, have a professional private practice, or are an actual sales person; you probably have experienced the emotional roller coaster of sales. You have experienced the thriving times when you can’t take on one more client and the lowly lows when you only made 50% of your quarterly goal. The biggest pitfall of the emotional sales roller coaster is you let the results drive your sales activity versus your sales activity drive your results.
A colleague had a private practice. 50% of her business came from one psychiatrist who loved her work. 30% of her business came from a hospital where she knew most of the discharge planners. The rest came from a variety of sources, on line profiles, the occasional referral from a treatment program and word of mouth referrals. She was busy. Then one day the psychiatrist called her letting her know he was retiring in one month and transitioning his clients to a colleague. In about six weeks her business went from 95% full to less than 40% full.
She grew her practice through sales activities, networking, cold calls, emails, and meetings; however, because her results were so good she slacked on her activity. Of course she had to focus on her clients but her sales activity went from very active to nothing. Thus, she basically had to start all over cold calling and creating leads. The other major pitfall she faced was relying so heavily on one referral source. Getting 50% of your business from one big account can feel great, until you lose that account.
A very successful sales/business person told me a story. His profession put him through rigorous sales training. In his first few months of working, when he had to sell really hard, he got a check one month for $857.00. He sat in his car at the bottom of his driveway and cried. He is now, year over year, very successful. Why? Because he did what he was trained to do. He focused on the activities not the results and he continues to consistently do so.
There are two big pitfalls of focusing on results versus activities. If you are having a peak/very busy time with lots of success, you may slack on your activities. If you are in a low period, negative self-talk that prohibits you from taking action can easily consume you.
Selling is about activity. Not just any activity, productive and consistent activity.
Let’s get you off the results driven emotional roller coaster and get you on the activities driven path to success. This is a great activity for an individual sales person, a team of sales professionals, a professional in private practice, or a small business. Even if you are at a peak and feel you don’t have time to do this, it is important to make the time to help you avoid a big dip in the future!
- Take a look at your activities and results for the last 6 months to a year. (Be as honest and specific as possible. How often? How much time did the activity take? How much did you spend? What was the result?).
- What activities were you doing 8-weeks prior to your peaks?
- What activities were you doing 8-weeks prior to your lows?
- What activities were you NOT doing 8-weeks prior to your lows?
- List the top ten activities you were doing, prior to your peaks; that resulted in the best return on investment, ROI. (For example, Facebook advertising, face to face meetings, 10 cold calls per day etc.)
- List the top ten activities you were doing prior to your lows that produced the best ROI.
- List the top activities you were NOT doing prior to your lows.
- Comparing the data, what are the 5 to 10 best ROI producing activities? Those are the activities you should be consistently doing no matter what. The more specific you are the better.
- Adjust the frequency and amount of your best ROI activities so that you can consistently do them during your peak/busy times. The key is to know the activities that work and to continue those activities to some degree, no matter how busy you are.
Most industries have their cycles of high sales and lower sales. However, if you are consistently focused on sales activities that produce results, your emotions do not have to be tied to that cycle. Jump off your results driven emotional roller coaster and hop over to your activities driven path to success! All the best to you, your change, and your success!
Sarah Stewart, MSW, CPC
Life Coach, Sales Coach, and Author