When you began your career in sales, did anyone ask if you had a degree in psychology? Probably not. And yet, even the most skilled sales professionals can find themselves victim of emotional vulnerability that comes with the Sales Cycle Blues.
Per a study published by the Harvard Business Review, upwards of 90 percent of salespeople, both high-performing and under-performing, describe themselves as optimists. Research reveals, however, that nearly two-thirds of high-performing salespeople exhibit pessimistic personality tendencies.
As you laugh and self-identify with the two-thirds, recall your last sale. Did your path to success start with the excitement of first-contact after five attempts? Did you have to wait even longer?
By investing hours carefully crafting, researching, and presenting the solution to your prospect, you leave yourself open to rejection and the waiting game. While playing the waiting game, you’re constantly overanalyzing the presentation and previous communication, always wondering if it’s too soon to follow up.
Self-doubt continues to escalate until you finally receive a response. You have won the sale and experience an immediate adrenaline rush of excitement followed by extreme exhaustion. Rinse, recycle, and repeat.
Renowned international sales guru Martin Limbeck might’ve put it best when he wrote: “If you think that as soon as you get to the top your self-doubt simply vanishes, you’ll be disappointed, no question.”
As someone who spent over 10 years in the trenches of sales cycles, I can identify with it being the most rewarding and exhausting career path I have taken. There’s no college course, manual, or training video that can prepare you for each of these moments. Increasing your awareness and developing your own skill for working through the cycles will provide you the success you want.
Don’t get stuck singing the Sales Cycle Blues – turn it to your advantage with these simple tricks.
Seek Feedback Immediately
Often, in the midst of our emotions, we neglect to reflect on the steps in the sales process and what works for others. Ask yourself:
1) Is there an incentive that directly ties to your prospect’s need to progress the sale?
2) Were you able to instill a new thought or way of thinking directly to the decision maker?
Don’t play the game of telephone and assume the person whom you've been speaking with can convey the same conviction you are able to deliver.
Keep Building Your Pipeline
No one likes desperate sales professionals. If you’re treading water waiting on one deal to close, odds are, you’re desperate.
Learn from your feedback immediately and apply it. By being proactive, you’ll quickly find a new prospect, and the excitement at the beginning of that sales cycle will overflow into closing the current.
Set Small Goals on Your Path to the Ultimate Win
Identifying small wins throughout the sales process will provide a momentum and sense of accomplishment at the end of each day.
Pursue a Hobby or Passion
Don’t let being a sales professional consume every moment of your life. If you do, you’ll burn out faster and find yourself further questioning your career decision.
Make sure to give yourself a non-work outlet. If your passion is traveling, plan an annual vacation and reward yourself with weekend getaways or stay-cations to give yourself for the mental break you need to recharge.
As any successful sales professional will admit, there are two certainties in sales: rejection and reward. Don’t let the Sales Cycle Blues get you down, because that “in-between” process is where you can develop mastery skills that will enable you to thoroughly enjoy the rewards and minimize the likelihood of burnout in the long run.
Ready to stop guessing and start closing? Check out our free guide that walks you through how to sell to anyone, or click the button below to learn how the world's leading personalized selling platform can help your business accelerate sales and increase revenue.