Working Smarter

How to Get Back on Track During Tough Times


Keeping a positive mindset during these challenging times can be really hard. Especially when top prospects start ghosting you, big opportunities get stalled out, and finding someone new to talk to feels like an impossibility. 

It's happened to me several times in my career. For the record, I thought I was all washed up about 15 years ago. I was scared to death and running low on money. 

So I know how easy it is for fear to creep in. Problems seem to magnify. And then it's just about impossible to think straight. The downward spiral begins—and if you don't stop it, it only gets worse.

Here's what I've done that's really helped me when I've been in these kind of situations:

  • First, I detach myself from the issues I'm facing. Realizing that I wasn't a total loser and that everyone was struggling actually helps me not get so personally down.

  • Then, rather than say "I've got a big problem," I tell myself that it's a challenge. Seriously, that matters. Your brain responds positively to challenges. It wants to find answers. It start searching in your memory bank for relevant ideas. It notices different things online. In short, it clicks into gear.

  • After that, I remind myself that that I've successfully handled other challenges before. And I think of another time when I've turned things around, even if it's not sales-related. It helps with my confidence.

Next, I start posing questions to myself to get me thinking in different ways. So if sales were down, I might ask:

  • What could I be doing differently?
  • How are my colleagues dealing with this situation?
  • What can I do to get more business from my existing clients?
  • How can I change my messaging to get a different response?
  • What would it take to make this decision a higher priority?
  • How can I help my prospects gain consensus on these important decision?

Finally, I start experimenting with different strategies, approaches, techniques. I know something has to change-- but not necessarily what or how. Calling what I'm doing an experiment frees me from failure. Instead I am actively seeking a new answer to an emerging challenge. 

Every time I try something new, I step back and evaluate it. I'm looking for what went well -- so I can repeat it. I also look at where I ran into issues ... then start thinking of possible reasons why.

Was it what I said? How I said it? What I didn't say? The sequence of the conversation? Who was there/not there? Was my business case strong enough? 

It's only when I'm being totally honest with myself that I can find my way to a workable solution. I have to change. I have to get better. I have to learn more. 

Or, I can blame the world, the CoVid virus, and the horrible state of the economy. Yes, that is our reality.

But how we approach these "challenges" is ultimately a big factor in how well we deal with them.

Just my two cents. 

After a successful career in the sales world, writing five books, and speaking internationally, Jill is now tackling an even bigger challenge. She's focused on bringing the "millions in the middle" together to solve some of the biggest issues facing our country and the world. Jill truly believes so much more is possible if we can work together.