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Find Your Sales Bliss

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It is rare that you'll find more ups and downs in a career than you'll find in the selling profession. A prosperous month, and life is good. A down month, and job dissatisfaction reigns supreme. It is so very common that one's job satisfaction is tied directly to his or her production. It's hard not to experience some of this as a professional salesperson. I mean, come on — how many vocations have measuring sticks as clear and defined as monthly sales production?

Are any of these examples found within your sales force?
  • negativity
  • call reluctance
  • lack of motivation/action
  • good month/bad month production
  • lack of ownership/professionalism in their work
And here's the biggie that can bring down the house:
  • lack of enthusiasm for their work
Quite a list, huh?

Many salespeople let their production (the destination) dictate their job satisfaction instead of letting their daily activities (the journey) provide them with the purpose and fulfillment they seek. It's a trap that causes inconsistent production, sporadic motivation, and, in the end, burnout!



So what's the solution for creating a long-term, successful sales career?

Live your bliss!

Your bliss is that activity or experience that makes you feel truly alive. Time slows down, and you find real meaning and purpose in what you are doing. When you find your bliss and incorporate it into the practice of your work, you've just discovered the secret to passion and high performance. Everyone has his or her personal bliss that excites and motivates him or her. When we are engaged in these activities, we find it easy to commit to the practice. Discipline and willpower are not struggles because we love what we are doing.

Are there actual salespeople who live their bliss and excel in the sales profession? Yes. They are called "specialists."

The generalists are the majority; they do what most others do and get similar results. In terms of the 80/20 rule, they make up the 80% who produce 20%. When generalists' products or services are not in high demand, they tend to experience drop-offs in production, which in turn can cause stress. If this lasts too long, they may be forced to exit the company or industry altogether.

Specialists have developed creative approaches to their professions. Specialists enjoy top-of-mind awareness, are the highest-paid salespeople in the world, and exhibit natural passions for their work. When we encounter a person who is passionate about the part he or she plays in his or her work, we are witnessing vocational excellence. Think about it: enthusiasm is contagious, and in a time of similar pricing and products, enthusiasm often makes the difference.

Want to experience a dramatic shift in your passion and performance? Try these tips:

Tip One: Find Your Bliss by Utilizing the 20-10-5 Rule.

20: List 20 things you love to do and gain enjoyment from.

Is it baking, golfing, smoking cigars, swimming, fantasy sports, coaching, public speaking, sailing, technology, running, lifting weights, bowling, pottery, event planning (you party hound!), skiing, gardening/harvesting, playing music, wine tasting, dancing, yoga, etc.? We can add to this list ad infinitum.

10: Choose the top 10 that fit the following criteria:
  1. This activity can be incorporated into the practice of my selling activities (prospecting, presenting, closing, follow-up, client retention, etc.) and have a positive impact on production.

  2. I can see myself doing this activity week in and week out with enjoyment. Said another way: I would find it easy to commit to this activity and make it my specialty.
This is where you really need to think outside the box and be open-minded to develop a creative approach. Here are just a few examples of what top-producing specialists have incorporated into their work:
  • One salesperson loved to cook and bake, so she put her bliss to work and would bake treats of all kinds and deliver them to prospective offices in need of her company's services. As a bonus, she would give prospective clients some helpful hints on cooking or baking free of charge.

  • Another salesperson loved to exercise. A self-proclaimed gym rat, she used her joy of working out to share nutritional information with and even train many of her prospects — and later, clients — a few times a month as a free add-on service to her core business product.

  • One guy incorporated public speaking into his prospecting activities and found various forums to speak at on behalf of his industry as well as his products and services. In a very short time, he built credibility and a large book of business because of his bliss.

  • A golf enthusiast helped his clients with their golf swings.

  • Etc., etc., etc., ad infinitum.
There are probably some clubs or organizations that get together and share your bliss or other places to practice your bliss and develop relationships. The only limits here are your own creativity and imagination.

5: Narrow the list to the top five that you most love to do, and start enjoying your work! The key: get creative!

Tip Two: Declare Yourself a Specialist.

Using one or more of your top five, develop a creative brand message and deliver it effectively — for example, "the technology lady of the _____ industry" or "the friendly fisherman for your financial peace of mind."

Tip Three: Commit to the "Musts" of Your Job.

Company requirements such as attendance at all meetings, completed paperwork turned in on time, parking in designated employee parking, etc., are examples of the "musts." The professional salesperson is the one who complies with the requirements of his or her employer.

Prima donnas abound in the sales profession. Don't be one of them. Selling is one of the most time-flexible professions available — this is good news and a major benefit of this vocation. In a 40-hour week, it's possible that your musts may require only five to 10 hours of your time, leaving 30 hours or more to "live your bliss."

Let's recap:
  1. Utilize the 20-10-5 rule.
  2. Declare yourself a specialist.
  3. Commit to the "musts" of your job.
What is inferred from these three tips is this: do what you love to do, and be of service while doing it. Service to others will make you successful in any endeavor you choose. So go get creative and enjoy the daily journey. Before long, you'll be searching for ways to slow your business growth — not a bad problem to have!

About the Author

Steve McCann is a speaker, trainer, and consultant. He is the founder of McCann Research Corporation, a unique company that helps individuals make change simple. He speaks to more than 80 audiences per year in the areas of change, empowerment, and sales motivation. For more information on his speaking programs or consulting, please contact steve@mccannresearchcorp.com.

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