by Corey McKizzie
Could you imagine the legacy of boxing greats like Muhammad Ali – or the fictional Rocky Balboa – if they simply failed to show up for their bouts?
It’s a truism that extends to business: You can’t win the fight if you don’t get into the ring. Though this may seem like a fundamental statement, many sales professionals, in the era of COVID-19, are finding themselves suffering from pre-fight jitters.
Months of reduced selling activity and a self-imposed exile to the small-screen of Zoom can have an impact on anyone’s self-starting ability – but nowhere does this seem to be more rampant than among sales professionals.
In a recent conversation with sales leaders and their teams, I discovered the depths of this malaise. Though it was evident that these pros had the desire and skill to succeed, they found that their drive and discipline has taken a sabbatical.
So, why has their self-starting fire has been reduced to a flicker?
According to Psychology Today, any crisis, such as the coronavirus pandemic, can test resiliency. But when you combine temporary setbacks in resiliency with diminished self-starting ability, we can begin to see why top talent can turn into something unrecognizable. Your top closers and steady performers may be struggling right now figuring out how to pivot, and having difficulty navigating professional social distancing.
Though sales executives – much like boxing trainers -- have a role in motivating their middleweight champions, it’s the ability for sales pros to find the strength within that will ultimately win the battle. This self-starting ability to initiate and sustain momentum without external stimulation is a must. The internal discipline to get up and go is the hallmark of the self-starter – and the reason you hired them to begin with. Winning clients in the “next normal” created by COVID-19 will require the ability to take initiative, work without supervision, and begin projects independently.
So how do we get our sales leaders and teams trained for the bout of their lives, and to again become motivated, confident, ambitious, and resilient? Consider the following:
Has the pandemic affected your ability to self-start? Let us know how, and what you are doing about it in the comments below.
If you would like assistance in overcoming self-starting malaise within your sales organization, I’m happy to help. Reach out today to schedule a meeting with Catouri Sales Consulting Group.