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Having the courage to believe that significant improvement can be sustained

How to overcome the doubts to stay focused on your plan for success - Thursday 31 August

Hello Subscriber,

How well do you cope with setbacks and disappointments in your selling career?

Everybody in a selling role is guaranteed setbacks, frustrations and disappointments! These experiences are a rock-solid certainty in our professional life.

This can be one of the toughest parts of the career we’ve chosen.

All this week, we’re looking at Planning for Success. We’ve reviewed the way that we can plan for very significant career development. We’ve emphasised the need to plan for our customers’ success.

But what happens when we’ve just heard the news that the big opportunity we were pursuing was awarded to our competitor? Or when we’re facing the challenges of a sustained and unexpected slowdown in key parts of our market?

It’s relatively easy to plan for success when everything is going well. But when it seems that the world is conspiring to knock us down and keep us down, planning for success can be very challenging.

Self Doubt Paralysis

What happens next is that we begin to doubt ourselves. We perhaps lose faith in the products and services that we’re selling. We lose confidence and begin to question our plans for success.

These negative ways of thinking can quickly become self-reinforcing.

It can sometimes be hard to keep these thoughts to ourselves. Our doubts and fears leak out into our conversations with prospects and customers. Instead of communicating and inspiring confidence, we inadvertently communicate doubt.

Before we know it, we’re putting off prospecting and postponing calls to customers in case they have bad news. Our doubts and fears can lead to our inability to get started on key aspects of our selling role. Philip Caulfield, one of the sales team leaders I work with, calls this “Self Doubt Paralysis”.

You might imagine, in the light of what I’m writing, that I might have experienced these feelings once or twice throughout my career?! 😀

What’s Philip’s answer?

Trust the Process

The reality is that there are lots of potential customers out there. Our job as professional salespeople is to put negative thoughts aside, find and approach these potential customers successfully, engage in the best possible conversations, and co-create compelling proposals.

If we do enough of these right things and constantly improve our selling skills, we can trust our proven sales processes. The sales results will come.

If we’ve taken care to establish proven best practice sales processes, we can trust these processes to deliver our planned success.

Some days, selling will feel incredibly easy for all sorts of reasons. Things will just fall into place. Other days can be the tough ones. These are the days when we need to make the effort, remember how to overcome self-doubt paralysis, trust the process and get on with it.

These are the days when we need to remind ourselves to have the courage to believe that significant improvement can be sustained.

Knowing that they are an inevitable part of a selling career, we can develop a strategy and plan ahead of these tough days. Our planning for success must include planning for how we will manage ourselves when the going gets tough.

Here’s one area of practice to emphasise today

Anticipating the inevitability of tough days, prepare the plans and strategies that will enable you to retain the courage to believe that significant improvement can be sustained.

Coaching Focus

  1. Reflect on how you respond to the tough days. What are your typical responses when you experience the inevitable frustrations of your selling career? How might you learn to respond differently and more effectively?

  2. In conversation with your sales coach or sales team leader, review your plans to retain your focus on planning for success, even on the toughest of days.

If you have questions or comments, it would be great to hear from you. Just hit reply and send me an email.

Have a great day!

Founder & Leader

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