“I need a hug!” said the voice of a sad salesperson at the other end of the phone.
“How can I help?” I asked.
“I don’t want to whine, but I need some inspiration. You know, some encouragement. Someone to put some wind in my sails, er, sales.”
Feeling down? Having a bad day? Dealing with the blahs? Well, take heart. You are not alone. You are far, far from alone. “You don’t need a hug. You need a SALES hug,” I said.
Ever go to the doctor when you’re sick as a dog? You talk to the doctor. She asks you questions, examines you, and says you’ll be fine. And what happens? You leave feeling better. She did nothing but REASSURE you (and collect your $20 co-pay), so you walk out of her office feeling better.
Well, it’s the same with life, the same with work, and it’s especially the same with sales.
Sometimes you need someone to tell you everything is OK. But that’s just a Band-Aid.
Here’s the cure:
The first thing you have to do is discover WHY you are down. Having the blahs is one thing, but understanding where they come from is another. To understand what’s causing the blahs, write down your “down thoughts” and your “down reasons.” What’s causing these feelings? Is your mood influenced by people (arguments, disagreements), or is your mood self-induced (money worries)? Focus on the cause. Is it because of:
• Lack of money?
• Lack of sales?
• Bad work environment?
• Bad boss?
• Fighting or arguing with your spouse, kids, parents or friends?
• Customers telling you no?
• Quality or delivery problems?
• Coworker problems?
• Price-too-high problems?
These reasons are not problems — they are symptoms.
“Prospects think my prices are too high” is a symptom.
“Sales are slow” is a symptom.
“I don’t have enough money” is a symptom.
“I need a vacation” is a symptom.
“I’m down” is a symptom.
“I’m having a bad day” is a symptom.
To make the symptoms go away, you gotta uncover the problem and work on fixing it (just like doctors do).
To get to the heart, the root, the meat and the cause — you need to ask yourself three or four WHY questions to uncover the real problem. And the focus of those questions needs to be on YOU — not on outside influences.
NOTE WELL: Even if you think you know the cause of your problem, you may not. For example, maybe you’re down because sales are slow or dropping. But that’s not a problem — that’s a symptom. The real problem is WHY they are slow in terms of YOU. It’s not about high prices, competition, the boss or the economy. Why are they slow in terms of YOU? What can YOU do to make the blahs go away?
It’s all about you, or what I call “you action.” If you get caught up in feeling down, here are the consequences: Negative blocks positive. Negative blocks creative. Negative blocks solution.
Don’t tell anyone you’re having a bad day. Why give off bad vibes? No one wants to be around a “bad-day” or “bad-mood” person. Not even you. And, when you share your negative feelings with others, you prolong them for yourself. You need to get rid of the mood or feeling as soon as possible.
So, what can you do to hug yourself? Start with these 6.5 solutions:
1. Call the most positive person you know. Start the conversation with small talk. Casually mention your mood and ask this person how he or she gets rid of a bad mood.
2. Act upbeat and talk “positive things.” Set or reset your internal mood. Don’t whine or kick cans.
3. Call your mentor and ask what he or she does when feeling down. Then discuss your specific symptoms and see if your mentor has any ideas.
4. Listen to “The Strangest Secret” by Earl Nightingale. Twenty minutes of “You become what you think about all day long.” (The BEST piece of personal development information ever recorded.)
5. Read or re-read “How to Stop Worrying and Start Living” by Dale Carnegie. This is a guidebook to the positive side of life.
6. Surround yourself with some form of humor. Read it. Listen to it. Watch it. Laugh. Laughing is the best medicine for redirecting your feelings.
And the big news you already know…
6.5 Get to work! Start working on the problem and the symptoms will disappear. Ask the WHY questions until you get to the truth. Then take action to solve, resolve, change, enhance, create new approaches, mend fences, make a plan, and DIG IN!
The keys to blah removal are support, self-discovery, reversing your thoughts, laughing and taking action to recover. All of these things are completely under your control.
Control. It’s yours for the taking. So is action.
Free GitBit: Want some ideas on humor? Ways you can use humor and become more humorous? It’s yours by going to www.Gitomer.com — register if you’re a first time user, and enter the word HUMOR in the GitBit box.
Jeffrey Gitomer, author of “The Sales Bible,” and “Customer Satisfaction is Worthless, Customer Loyalty is Priceless,” is president of Charlotte-based Buy Gitomer. He gives seminars, runs annual sales meetings and conducts training programs on selling and customer service. He can be reached at (704) 333-1112 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.