The Tough Times Syndrome

I was speaking at a “Managing Through Turbulent Times” conference last week.

While chatting with some of the delegates during a break, it quickly became evident to me that some of the leaders felt their salespeople were really struggling and yet others were sharing with me that their salespeople were having some of their strongest results in years.

Digging a little deeper in conversations, it also became evident to me that some salespeople (and sales leaders) had fallen into The Tough-Times-Syndrome.

Basically, the Tough Times Syndrome is where sales leaders and/or their salespeople (individually or collectively) focus on all the things they can’t do, all the things that are going wrong, all the problems they are facing, and all the reasons why they are not generating the revenue they want or need.

Tough Times Are Tough … And …

Don’t get me wrong here. Tough times are tough times … and I’ve had my share of those over the past thirty years.

However, when we fall into the trap of The Tough Times Syndrome, we lose the capacity to focus mindfully and intentionally on what is in our control.

Here is a question I pose to my clients (and to myself) that might be of help:

If times weren’t so tough, what would you be doing differently to help you Find clients, Win clients, and Retain clients?

In addition to asking that question, I suggest you also consider the relevance of my definition of selling that I’ve been coaching sales leaders and their teams in for the past 30 years.

“Selling is a process of building intentional trust relationships, with the aim to create reciprocal value on a continual basis.”

Some More Questions:

As you consider this definition, here are some further questions that might be of help:

  1. Are you following a sales process? Are you actively Building trust, Asking questions, Showing value, Identifying obstacles, Confirming next steps and Staying in touch to create advocacy?
  2. Are you building intentional trust relationships? Are you clear about what you want FOR your potential and existing customers (or are you focusing on what you want FROM them?) Other than who you are currently seeing, who else do you need to be seen by to build your sales success?
  3. Are you creating reciprocal value? How are you creating value for your clients before, during and after a sale? Revisit your intention … what do you want FOR your clients and how are you sharing and delivering on your intention to make life better for them in some way?
  4. Are you continually striving to be your best self? Are you continually following a sales process, building intentional trust relationships, and creating reciprocal value?

I hope these questions help you regain your focus and avoid falling into The Tough Times Syndrome.

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