Customer Experience News & Trends

Turn struggles into positive sales: Here’s how

All salespeople struggle, but the best ones recognize that any difficulty can help them build new strengths. They view struggle as another roadblock to be overcome. 

Some salespeople don’t learn the lessons that struggle tries to teach them. They give into the negative emotions that may arise when problems develop with prospects or customers.

Internal drive

Adaptive energy is the crucial internal power that fuels great effort during struggles. It guides salespeople and tells them when they’ve moved in the wrong direction. It ensures that their actions stay in sync with their goals.

Fear is the nemesis

Fear is the nemesis of adaptive energy. The negative emotions that arise when salespeople can’t get appointments with prime prospects or fail to close a major deal may push them into anger and negativity. Giving into fear can send them down a self-destructive course.

The fixed mind-set

When salespeople with a fixed mind-set fail, they may turn against themselves. They may lose confidence and fall into a self-fueling spiral of negative thinking. They’re less likely to learn new things from their failures or to try new approaches to overcome them.

The growth mind-set

Salespeople with a growth mind-set know they must test themselves to grow. They believe in self-improvement and view failure as an inspiration to gain new skills. They look for and welcome challenges. If they had a good week, they review what they did that brought them the results they wanted. If they had a bad week, they analyze how they may have contributed to that outcome.

Don’t blame others

Salespeople who view struggles as goals to be overcome don’t blame others for their failures. If they feel envy or self-pity, they identify those emotions as such and move onto positive thoughts. They gain focus by taking time daily or weekly to consider their actions and thoughts from a calm perspective.

Staying in the dance

No matter what the circumstances of their struggles, these salespeople don’t surrender. They look deep inside themselves to keep their courage and motivation to stay in the dance. The core of staying in the dance is engaging in whatever struggle stretches before them, learning about themselves as they face it head on and carefully planning their next step.

Repeating past mistakes

Resilience doesn’t mean repeating pass mistakes or forcing yourself to stay in the dance that made you struggle. Sometimes you may need to find a different dance. Great salespeople recognize their mistakes, fix the damage and don’t repeat the same errors.

Scripts to overcome challenges

Here are four scripts salespeople use to overcome challenges:

  1. Proactive reinvention. When salespeople come to understand that old strategies no longer work, they come up with fresh perspectives.
  2. Stumble, recover and learn. Salespeople who see their mistakes take appropriate corrective action, mend relationships and determine not to repeat their mistakes.
  3. Burnout. In the face of conflict, some salespeople may perceive that they have little control over struggles, a decision that drains their physical and emotional energy. Other salespeople reach new heights by confronting and overcoming obstacles.
  4. Mission impossible. Even when some salespeople call on all their skills, experience and energy, they accept that not every battle can be won. They accept failure, find inner strength, own their mistakes and move more confidently toward the future.

Three essential skills

Here are three essential skills salespeople develop to help resolve struggles:

  1. They learn from failure and disappointment. They see problems as opportunities to use their creative energies, and they look upon even the largest of obstacles as challenges to be met and overcome. They’re not defeated by rejection. They get discouraged and disappointed like everyone else, but they quickly bounce back and redouble their effort and resolves. High achievers accept failure as a part of being a salesperson and know there is a lesson to be learned in every setback.
  2. They set goals. They focus on what they want to achieve, establish priorities and know what they have to do in order to resolve obstacles. Their plans are flexible enough to allow for the unexpected, but they always have a specific destination in mind. Goals provide them with purpose and allow them to wake up each morning energized and looking forward to the tasks they know must be accomplished that day.
  3. They surround themselves with positive ideas and role models. They are constantly looking to improve themselves. They never assume they can stop learning just because they’ve reached a certain level of success. They seek out mentors whose wisdom and experience can help them achieve their goals and overcome adversity.

Adapted from: Leadership and the Art of Struggle by Steven Snyder. Winner of the first World technology Award for Commerce, former Microsoft leader Steven Snyder is the founder of Snyder Leadership Groups, a consulting firm.

Subscribe Today

Get the latest customer experience news and insights delivered to your inbox.