Tag Archive | "stress management"

It’s All About Good & Bad Luck

There’s good stress – which is good luck for your sales and your career. And then there’s bad stress, or distress — which is bad luck for your sales and your career. The good news is, you get to pick your stress.

The reason you go to work is to sell. The reason you go to work to sell is to make money. The reason you go to work to sell to make money is to be successful and/or provide a quality life for yourself and your family. With good intentions, some of you have let this get out of hand, though. Some of you are spending double shifts hoping a customer will show up so you can sell a car and make some money. That may sound great for the gung-ho, wanna be superstar. But in real life, it doesn’t pan out. And that’s when problems start.

There are two kinds of stress: the good kind and the bad kind. In the beginning, sleeping on a cot in Parts ‘til the doors open again tomorrow may seem like the way to get to the top in sales. And in the beginning, the stress is great because instead of slowing you down, it actually pumps you up. But with 95% of the people in sales, the hours start to take their toll. After 60 days, or 90 days or two years of busting your buns, you physically and mentally start to wear down.

Then comes a bad day, week or month, and everything starts to fall apart.

Somewhere along the line, the good stress became distress. Your adrenaline supply gets overused and your system backs up. Then the problems start, and in the long run you lose because you burn out and can’t handle it anymore. You get tired, cranky with your managers and customers, the other salespeople start to ride you about not being such a hotshot now and you blow out one day in a blast of anger or frustration.

If it gets this far and you quit, now you lose your consistent income. You lose the deals you had working. You lose the customer base you were building. And if you’re not careful, you can lose your self-confidence. All from trying to skip steps to get to the top, instead of taking the solid, deliberate steps to succeed in sales.

Don’t misunderstand — I’m not suggesting you don’t put in the effort it takes to become more successful, or work hard or put your all into your profession. I’m just reminding you that if you’re serious about long-term success, instead of burying yourself in long, unproductive hours, it’s time to set priorities and set some goals.

I am 100% for success and becoming a professional, and you couldn’t have picked a better profession. And if you take becoming a professional step-by-step and learn all you can about selling, learn all you can about your product and learn all you can about people, you can easily earn $75,000, $100,000, or $300,000 a year working decent hours.

Most salespeople lack clear goals and the skills they need, so they put in a ton of extra hours and still miss most sales. If that’s you, it usually happens because:

• You’re not very organized and it takes you two shifts to accomplish what you could do in a single shift.
• You’ve gotten into the habit of just hanging around and wait for an “up” instead of working your full shift doing something to sell a vehicle.
• You haven’t learned enough about selling or haven’t applied what you learned, which means you have to talk to a lot more people to close a sale.
• You don’t follow-up every prospect on the lot or lead you get. You think follow-up is a waste of time. (Shake yourself and wake up: 78% buy!)
• You don’t follow-up long enough. One unprepared phone call to an unsold prospect probably won’t get them back on the lot for another shot at a sale.
• You don’t follow-up to develop repeat business. One quick note about perfect CSI Scores to the people you’ve sold won’t build you a solid customer base.
• You fell for all that stuff the six-car guy told you about lookers and shoppers so you prequalify everyone first.
• You skip the demo and other steps because you think only a few people are really buying a car, especially when they say, “We’re just looking.”
• You think people are buying price and spend your presentation trying to get them excited about the price, the rebate or the rates instead of about the product and what it will do for them.

Time out! Would you like a “distress” free job? Learn to sell, then go to work to ‘work’, train daily, treat everybody like a buyer, focus on value, close on budget and follow-up to retain your customers and you will be distress free.

It is a choice. Since you have to work tomorrow either way, why not turn pro so you can make some real money in sales?

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Top Tips for Managing Stress

Fatter and dumber. That’s literally what you get over time when you don’t manage stress effectively. Stress is a fact of life for anyone in the entrepreneurial fast lane, but the good news from the latest research is that it doesn’t have to cost you. Framed right, it can actually boost your energy, help you problem solve and increase your memory recall.

There are several reasons poorly managed stress can become a crisis. Stress can cause sleep deprivation, which can lead to an interruption in insulin regulation and weight gain. High stress levels can also have adverse affects on memory and can compromise your immune system. If you‘re a manager and you’re stressed out, then your team most likely is, too. Mirror neurons in our brains detect when our bosses are mad and mirror the emotion. The result? When the boss is upset, everyone in the office becomes anxious. Decision making, common respect and collaboration go out the window. Say goodbye to your best employees.

The key is to not stress too much about stress. There are a few simple that things will help you make sure that the fire in your belly is the fuel you need for your next big idea- not an ulcer eating away at you.

Sleep. While you sleep you download the day’s activities and issues so they become encoded into memory. Associations are made that allow you to solve problems that plagued you during the day. Even a 10-minute nap resets the firing of neurons in your brain so you can make better decisions and react more appropriately to the things that stress you out. Before a big meeting or presentation, make sure you are as rested as possible so that your brain works for you, not against you.

After four consecutive nights of only four to six hours of sleep, you end up with the same mental acuity as having consumed a six-pack of beer, but without the fun. Imagine going into a meeting with your venture capitalist with a brain like that. It’s different for everyone, but many adults need between seven and nine hours of sleep per night. When you’re sleep deprived, negative events and emotions are magnified and recalled with ease, while positive event recall is decreased.

Here’s the paradox. If you’re stressed out because you’re not managing your day properly, you won’t sleep well. What you do while you’re awake is critical to giving your brain the rest it needs to download during sleep. Which brings me to the next points.

Think Positive. Did you ever notice how some people aren’t bothered by things that drive you mad? Take a lesson from meditating Buddhists and strive to see everything as stress-less. The idea is that objects cannot be stressful all by themselves – you have to interpret them that way. It’s worth it to practice reframing stress into something positive. For instance, when you practice seeing a rejection by a client as just another step toward the ‘yes’ you’ll eventually get from another prospect, you don’t become paralyzed and stressed from it. You keep moving forward. This is key for sales people.

Daydream. Let your mind wander. Most of us have been told daydreaming is a bad habit, but research shows that it actually allows us to be more creative. When we reduce the stress hormone cortisol, our minds are able to access regions of our brain not available when we’re stressed out. So, close your door, turn off anything electronic and literally doodle for five to 10 minutes. Let your mind wander. The flashes of insight that come could be your next million dollar idea.

Laugh. This is one of the quickest stress-busters. It counteracts cortisol and it allows your brain to learn and think about new things. When you’re serious, you’re most likely in a protection mode; only solving old problems, not creating a new future. Read funny jokes. Find funny people. Watch funny videos on YouTube. Laugh all the way to the bank.

If you’re running as hard and fast as most entrepreneurs, stress inevitably will find you. But, with a change of perspective, sleep and space in your day to download, you bring out your best problem-solving, creative-thinking, collaboration-making self. It’s wisdom in action.

This article was written by Scott Halford and published in Entrepreneur magazine.

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