Get your head back in the game

Richard Branson famously said, “Show me an entrepreneur who says they have never failed and I will show you a liar.” The same could be said of a salesperson who hasn’t had a dip in confidence at some point in their career. And, in all honesty, there can’t be many of us who haven’t had a slight mental wobble over the last few months.

After all, we’re going through the biggest social and economic upheaval since World War II. Every day brings new uncertainty. It’s perhaps no surprise that, during a recent poll on mindset, 73% of salespeople said belief in their ability to hit their sales targets had been impacted by recent events.

So, if you have experienced a mental slump, don’t worry, you’re certainly not alone.

Our Co-Managing Director Alan Morton sat down with renowned psychologist and leadership coach Richard Reid for a chat about how salespeople can develop and maintain a peak performance sales mindset.

In this article, we’ve summarised 3 of Richard’s tips for improving resilience and positivity in the changing sales environment.

1. Celebrate the wins, no matter how small

Our brains are wired to focus on the negative things that happen to us. From an evolutionary perspective, we’re built to notice and evade the danger that surrounds us. Going back as far as we can, anxiety and a risk-averse mindset have kept us alive. While society has moved on, however, our brains have not – our internal radar is still on red alert for a prowling sabre-toothed tiger.

During times of stress, this propensity only increases. For some, stress prompts the fight response, improving productivity. But for many of us, it can result in freeze or flight, resulting in avoidance and procrastination. And, on average, it takes 3 positive thoughts to counteract a negative one.

Just take a moment to think about how many negative messages (warnings of danger to the primitive parts of our brain) we receive in just one news report.
Richard suggests setting aside a few minutes at the end of each day to write down three achievements.

At first, you may struggle to identify these wins, but persevere. You’ll soon develop a habit of acknowledging small achievements throughout the day, which will naturally give you a more positive outlook.

2. Focus on the process, not the result

As our poll suggests, external forces can massively affect your mindset. So, let’s get this straight – a global pandemic has not made you a worse salesperson. A number of factors beyond your control may contribute to the reason you’re not selling.

So, you need to focus on what you can control, identifying what you are doing right and what you can improve. By monitoring your activity, from the number of prospective e-mails you’re sending to the number of calls and meetings you’re booking, you or your sales leader can identify what might need some more work.

Having a CRM dashboard that monitors this activity is integral to this process. It could be that you need to make more calls, or you might need to adjust your sales approach for the virtual environment, but you won’t be able to identify your training needs without hard data.

We’re all in a situation where we’re having to learn new ways of doing things. So, when your team leader is shadowing you and making suggestions, don’t view this as criticism but as a way to improve. To return to Richard Branson’s quote, the only way to get better is by making mistakes and embracing a growth mindset.

3. Eat the frog

Mark Twain has been quoted as saying, “If it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning. And if it’s your job to eat two frogs, it’s best to eat the biggest one first.” The fact is there are always parts of our job that we’d rather avoid.

However, the best approach is to get these things over and done with at the start of the day. If there’s a difficult call you’ve got to make, do it first thing. That way you’ll have an immediate sense of achievement and your day can only improve.

If you don’t do it immediately, then it’ll weigh on your mind all day and, more than likely, get pushed back again. Not only are you prolonging the agony but you’re adding to your sense of a lack of achievement.

Why not turn it into a positive? You can make the first “win” you write on your list finally getting that call out of the way.

As the stoic philosopher Seneca said, “We suffer much more in imagination than in reality.” How often have you put something off only to find it wasn’t as painful as you thought it would be? How many hours, days or weeks have you put yourself under unnecessary stress when you could have just tackled that task sooner?

You’re not alone

As we said, if you have struggled to adapt to the new sales environment, you’re not alone. It’s important to speak to your sales leader, or a consultant, to help with structuring your day to give you the optimal mental boost.

To discover more ways to improve your mindset, and we thoroughly recommend you do, watch a replay of Alan and Richard’s conversation here.


To talk to us more on how you can improve your sales mindset, get in touch by e-mailing or call us on +44 (0) 207 653 3740.

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