On two separate occasions over the past
two weeks I have received calls on my recent posts. The calls came from two
sales reps that I have counseled over the past few years. They read my posts
and shared concerns about how they will handle the upcoming few weeks heading
into the New Year. They were not in disagreement with any of the information,
but rather they became emotional. They are a bit frustrated with their recent
sales and are a little worried about the New Year beginning.
Both of these individuals are seasoned
professionals, yet it did not come as a surprise to me that they called. It
doesn’t matter whether you are a 20 year sales veteran or in your second year
of your career. Sales is an emotional profession to begin with, but adding the
holidays and end-of-year push on top, and you may well have a recipe for being down
in the dumps.
I remember a point in my own career,
when I was starting my family and juggling the new company, when the holidays
and end-of-year timeframe became very hard for me to handle. I felt the weight
of the world on my shoulders. I desperately wanted to spend time with my
family, do a bit of travelling to see relatives and friends, and to enjoy
Christmas with my young children. But, how could I? I had sales figures to
focus on. I needed to close one more deal, just one more. I needed to make sure
billing was done a certain way for specific clients. I needed to prove myself
to my team that I could handle everything, even if that meant working nights
and weekends leading right up to Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve. I was
getting about 4 hours of sleep each night and burning the candle at both ends.
And why? Because I did not plan accordingly and I let emotion take control.
I promised myself after that holiday and
end-of-year push never to put myself through it again. And I promised myself
that I would lead others by example. We all have personal lives and with our
personal lives comes personal emotion. The holiday times may be hard on some
due to a loss of a family member. Others may be distanced by miles and alone.
It is important that we each recognize why the holidays may become somewhat
emotional for ourselves. Then, we must plan ahead beginning in October or
November on how we will manage our sales responsibilities. You cannot wait
until December 15th to realize where your individual sales
performance stands. You should take inventory each and every month of the year
and plan for your own individual push toward the end. January 1st is
right around corner and you should be more in cruise control than constantly
shifting gears. That, unfortunately, is not always the case.
Careful planning of your personal life
balanced with a carefully laid out strategy for sales in the fourth quarter
pushing toward the end-of-year will certainly be a big help. Take time each day
to check yourself on attitude and sales progress. Manage your calendar and try
to make time for yourself, a little self-awareness reflection time. And don’t
If you feel the stresses of the holidays,
the push toward the end-of-year, and generally the emotion that can come during
this time of year, seek someone out to talk. Find the ‘A’ level sales person
that has been there before and ask for their advice. Trust me, they will
recognize what you are going through, and they will help.