Working in a corporate has its highs and lows. And if you are a part of the revenue generating department, it takes more than just thick-skin to overcome the blows. These times when work-from-home feels forced, I came across a lot of people who are facing major crises on a daily basis. A search for a solution took me back to the times when I had created a mental reference list for myself. Trust me when I say that I have never been a gyaan guru, but this list helped me sail through tough times like the lean period and various other storms we face in a corporate life.
However, keeping the current scenario in mind, I now feel it might be useful to people other than Salestors as well.
“You have achieved only 30% of your targets in first four months of joining? Well, sorry to say, we have seen better.”
“Sorry, deadline for the project you had been working on for the past five months has been preponed. Instead of two months later, it is due next week now. We're sure you can do it! 😊”
“So you are supposed to sell this product for INR 100,000 plus taxes. And yes, we know it is available for free in the market. If you cannot do it, please let us know!”
Resilience is needed on a daily basis in general. In these times of work from home, I have felt the need of an extra dose on an hourly basis. Unfortunately, there is no easy way to develop resilience. One can say resilience means thick-skin, which is developed over time. I can say from personal experience that it is a combination of thick-skin and self-motivation. And surely, the latter is as hard to achieve and sustain.
Q3 Targets have been announced and now you have a backlog to clear before you start planning for the next quarter. The economy, markets and client businesses are drooping, but your targets are the only thing aiming higher and higher by the day.
You are trying to hold on to the last iota of strength and self-motivation here, but unfortunately drowning fast!
Your venting/gossip sessions with your favourite colleague in the same boat do no good once you put the phone down.
No need for gyaan here. We all know what self-motivation is, but how to achieve that? Team Outings to the best pub in town every Friyay! evening are out of bounds now, so no one has access to liquid courage in a musical environment anymore. It took me a while to accept what I already knew; that the primary prerequisite for self-motivation is a peaceful mind. While this topic deserves another article, let me try and be succinct here.
To those who are struggling between a yelling boss and a howling toddler, kudos to you. So for you, mini breaks could be 5 minutes long, maybe stolen once a day on bad days and more than once on good days. But if spent doing something that you like, other than social media, you will feel the difference soon.
For those who can afford more than 5 minute breaks, try inculcating an activity that doesn’t take long. In my case, I can steal 15 minutes in scattered breaks throughout the day. I use that at times to do Pranayam (a yoga technique) and the other times to read few pages of a book I like, coupled with a cup of green tea. While none of these can help you survive that Q2 appraisal, it will give you the most needed peace of mind when you feel on the edge.
I ensured taking a mini break at least once after the most hectic call of the day. Be it the longest call, or the not-so-pleasant discussion with a furious client. It helped me sail through the rest of the day.
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It might come as a surprise to many Salestors, but agility does not mean being forever absent in office, rather always being present at the right place, at the right time.
When no matter how many doors you knock, none opens, it is time to make a list of more doors to knock! Keep yourself moving. If one client is taking forever to close the deal, having a back-up helps in the long run. Not only is it a proof of the efforts put in by you in varied fields, but also gives you more opportunities for closure.
I have been in situations when this seems to be just another empty guideline. It might seem easier said than done, but the ultimate goal is to have more opportunities for closure that take you closer to your target. An agile mind always finds the way, even in a lean period.
Keeping your eyes and ears open all the time is part of a Salestor’s job, especially when you are trying to survive a lean period. Different industries demand different levels of proactivity. For instance, in the aviation industry, the job demanded that the Salestors know what all shipments are available in the market at a time and how to divert those to their airline. The Business Advisory corporate, that I worked with, needed me to know about every corporate CXO who can manage to pay the forum subscription fee. Digital Rewards industry demanded updates on competitors and clients alike.
In every industry, a couple of techniques remained common for staying proactive:
1. Staying up-to-date via the news
2. Staying in regular touch with the current and previous clients
3. Networking with your peers from companies new and old.
4. Social media, especially professional networking websites like LinkedIn.
Ultimately, being proactive is necessary for a Salestor to have the answers when you need them (like morning 10 am calls with the Country Head).
It is another skill that makes or breaks deals for a Salestor. Prudence is wisdom and good judgment combined and is required at every step of closing a deal.
One thing that I always experienced in every industry was that your genuine efforts matter. They might not always be acknowledged but they are seen. So if you have given your 100% genuinely to the deal, or task at hand, and kept your seniors apprised every step of the way, your work will be visible. You might not always get a golden star at the end of the day, but the company will value your presence.
If that does not happen despite your best and consistently proven efforts, it might lead to mental discomfort at workplace, which is a topic I am preparing to touch upon very soon.
Conclusively, I can say every profile sees good days and bad, and there are things you can do to make your life a tad easier when the storm hits.