Stay Positive and Busy

I recently received a call from a successful and highly skilled sales executive. I had watched him grow his base of quality accounts with integrity and a strong work ethic. He relayed to me that the Coronavirus pandemic had devastated not only his business, but his self-esteem, leaving him frightened and depressed.

Unfortunately, under current economic conditions, I find the circumstances of this impressive sales leader is not the exception, but more often the rule. How do we respond to times like these when our world has turned upside-down? What can we do to maintain a positive business outlook when nothing seems to be working? Here are some suggestions.

Leave the past behind

— Baseball’s hero, Babe Ruth (wiki), had the perfect axiom for our time, “Yesterday’s home runs don’t win today’s games.” Don’t get caught thinking that what worked yesterday will be effective today. When business is slow, utilize that time to learn new skills that help you achieve sales results in this changed landscape. For example, take the time to master and optimize your use of new social media platforms. When this crisis is over, many of our old sales practices will be obsolete.

Look for new opportunities

— Make the best of the opportunities before you and don’t let outside circumstances control or diminish your motivation. Don’t wait for past opportunities to reoccur. Even if those accounts do come back, they are unlikely to look the same. Focus on creating new opportunities.

Believe in yourself

— When you chose a career in sales, you knew there would be pitfalls along the way. In these dark times, make an effort to remember and visualize brighter business cycles. You made it through the last couple of economic down-turns ­— you will get through this one. Stay positive. A vision of your success will fuel your fire.

Get started

— Quoting John Maxwell, “Dreams don’t work unless you do.” Get busy. Set some new goals for yourself and write them down with next steps and dates. Be prepared for a great deal of hard work, including long nights, missed sleep, family sacrifices, and disappointments —and also renewed success as a result of your efforts.

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