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Posted: June 07, 2013

Two keys to survival in the sales jungle

Have you got what it takes?

Merit Gest

Of course, strong selling skills and a consistent plan of action are critical to successfully closing deals, but that's not all it takes to survive today. Those who have strong self-regard and a high degree of flexibility will be the survivors in this wild sales environment.

Self-regard is the ability to respect and accept oneselft as basically good.  Imagine how a sales professional with low self-regard might start to take things personally when results slow down.  Low self-regard shows up in salespeople as difficulty recovering from rejection, and in a down market, the possibilities of rejection are increased.  If it takes longer to get back out there after a “no,” then it will take longer to pull out of a down cycle. Salespeople with high self-regard understand that they have what it takes to be successful and that it’s up to them to turn their results around, not the marketplace.

Flexibility is the ability to adjust one’s emotions, thoughts and behavior to changing situations and conditions.  Need I say more about why this trait is more important today than ever?  It’s not just the level of activity that needs to adjust in this economy, it’s the mindset and emotions that go along with it.  Leaders of sales teams recognize that it’s time to get back to the basics of blocking and tackling, but for sales veterans to do behaviors they have not had to do when times were better is a tough pill to swallow for some. 

Those who are flexible and willing to do what it takes for as long as it takes will survive in today’s world of selling.  Those who can’t adjust emotionally will fall to the wayside and slide down a slippery slope.

To increase self-regard, set some achievable goals, review them and recognize when you accomplish them. Make sure they are realistic and achievable so you set yourself up to win.  Goals should be behavior based rather than results based since you can only control what you can measure and track.

To increase flexibility, consider soliciting the opinions of others you trust and listen to their views on a particular issue to learn how they would handle it. Try to think of all the options you have rather than the first one that comes to you and from there, freely choose the best solution.

Merit Gest is President & Founder of Merit-Based Development, a Denver based firm specializing in on-boarding top sales talent.  She is one of a small handful of specialists in the world certified and trained in Emotional Intelligence and Cultural Transformation Tools, giving her a unique perspective for hiring, on-boarding and retaining top sales talent.  Reach Merit at 720-980-1286 or Merit@MeritGest.com
 

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