“Build up your ability to handle frustration and develop some grit.” – Carole Mahoney in today’s Tip 825
How do you handle the certain ups and downs that are going to happen during our behavioral changes?
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Scott Ingram: You’re listening to the Daily Sales Tips podcast and I’m your host, who’s had at least 1% more coffee today, Scott Ingram. Today’s tip comes from Carole Mahoney. Carole has been called the “Sales Therapist” by a Harvard Business School professor where she coaches Entrepreneurial MBA students on sales. She has been featured as a top 15 Sales Influencer by LinkedIn, a Woman to Watch in Sales by Sales Hacker and a top sales coach by Ambition. Here she is:
Carole Mahoney: Have you heard the phrase or seen the phrase being tossed around lately about getting 1% better every day, as much as I have. Yeah, well, I’m calling it BS. I mean, have you ever watched the ups and downs of the stock market or a political poll or tried to lose weight and weighed yourself every single day? The things ever get 1% better? I mean, if only things would be so much easier, right? But you’ve been around long enough, you know that things just don’t happen in this nice, neat linear fashion. And I get that for the most part, the intention behind the statement is to focus on small improvements every day. But there’s a dangerous side to this way of thinking, because the truth is, is that setbacks and slip-ups and slumps and stuff just happens. Sometimes we have control over it and sometimes we don’t. And for that reason, if our focus is on getting 1% better every day, we could be setting ourselves up for frustration and failure.
For example, I mean, in case you haven’t noticed or heard I’ve started using the same cognitive-behavioral approach that I use in coaching to myself so that I could get healthy and lose 95 pounds. And I’m pretty psyched to share that I’m only 15 pounds away from my stretch goal, but it’s not like I’ve never done this before or tried before I have that previously, whenever I would step on the scale and it went up, I went from, “let my new journey begin to.” What’s the point? I’m never going to be able to do this. Kind of like when you do your sales kickoff for training and things, look like they’re going to get better only to have them regress back because we’re wired to follow our preset patterns in the path of least resistance. So we stop weighing ourselves. Do we ignore our activity and conversion rates? Of course not. I mean, how else are we going to know if we’re off course or not? So how do we handle the certain ups and downs that are going to happen during our behavioral changes?
Here’s three strategies that have helped me and my coaching clients to push through those downtimes. The first is to build up your ability to handle frustration and develop some grit by tackling the thought distortions you’re going to get up on never going to be able to do this with some recall. When was the last time you hit a wall and you eventually overcame it? When you remind yourself of these past successes in similar situations, it’ll give you hope and motivation to see it through. Remember so far, you’ve survived 100% of your worst days. You’ve got this too.
The second strategy is to come up with an “Oh well” statement. Now, I don’t mean, “Oh, well I give up,” but it “Oh well” acknowledges it. And then let it go and move on. Here’s a few, “Oh, well” mantras that I’ve used and others have used. “It’s going to get easier.” “It will turn around eventually.” “I’m going to come out of this better than I did before.” “The word hard everybody would do it.” “And it’s not the end of the world.”
Now the third thing, the third strategy is to start problem-solving. Sometimes when we’re stuck in a rudder frustrated, we get overwhelmed. We have no idea what to do or where to start. So to be a better problem solver for yourself, start by identifying what kind of a problem solver you are right now. There’s the impulsive problem-solver who jumps out the first idea that pops into our heads without really thinking about unintended consequences that that might play out, or there’s the avoidant problem solver, where we tend to avoid actions and problems and decide to just ignore them, which then leads us to never really getting to a better outcome. I get it, facing the long road ahead can be daunting, but by avoiding our problems, we’re also avoiding the road to the solution and that feeling of success, or perhaps you’re the rational problem solver who takes the time to prepare and look at the journey ahead.
Now, these types of problem solvers tend to use a four-step problem-solving method to ensure that we reach the goals. First, we need to define the problem and obstacles. Now, this can be something as specific as, when I get buying signals from my buyers, I tend to get wrapped up. Continue to narrow that down and identify what is it specifically that gets you wrapped up and excited. Now that you’ve aided it, you can come up with a variety of solutions and generate as many of these as you can.
Look at this as, like a brainstorming session, no solution is too silly or ridiculous. Maybe it’s as simple as putting a sticky note on your screen with the buying signal that you’ve identified, that trips you up with a big red X on it to remind you to stay present. Or if you find yourself wrapped up in your head, you might pinch yourself to keep your mind from wandering, or you might practice with your coach on what you should do or say in those situations when you start getting wrapped up in your head. And remember, this is not about perfection. This is about trial and error.
So the next step is to assess your progress and then reevaluate, where is it that you’ve made progress? And where is it that it’s not working? Use these tips to help you progress forward through the next time you’re facing a downtime or a wall or a slump. And remember everything is temporary. Until next time.
Scott Ingram: Now if you guest that there must be an entertaining video version of this tip then you’d be right. You’ll find that as well as a link to subscribe to Carole’s monthly newsletter where you can be the first to get her science-based sales tips at DailySales.Tips/825.
Once you’ve done that. Be sure to come back tomorrow for another great sales tip. Thanks for listening!