How does the seemingly intangible EQ skill of resiliency drive sales performance?
Picture this: you're a CEO or VP of Sales trying to navigate the whack-a-mole business environment we all find ourselves in. Every time you "whack" a problem down, two more seem to pop up. Supply chain, quiet quitting, managing a hybrid work force, inflation and now bank failures. It’s enough to make a sales leader want to consider a career in goat farming.
Without resiliency, sales leaders and their sales teams can feel like they are at the mercy of macroeconomic trends that cannot always be controlled.
This out of control feeling---emotion---leads to sales burnout and lower sales performance.
So, CEOs and VPs of Sales, take note: it's time to invest in resiliency. Because when the chips are down, you don't want a sales team that crumbles - you want one that rises to the occasion. Equip you and your team with the ability to win the game of whack-a-mole, so be it.
Resiliency isn't just a feel-good trait. In fact, it's a critical EQ skill that can drive sales performance to new heights.
Here’s some serious stats around resiliency and sales results. Kellerman and Seligman's recent book, Tomorrowmind, reveals that resilient organizations see an impressive 320% increase in year-over-year growth.
That is math that works. So, how can you improve your team's resiliency?
Boost your organization sales with these three resiliency strategies.
Resiliency Strategy #1: Improve Your Sales Team’s Emotional Regulation
Without emotional regulation, human beings cannot tap into the smart part of their brain, the prefrontal cortex. The survival part of the brain is directing actions or inaction, which is not allowing the smart part of the brain to deploy other key resiliency skills such as optimism and reality testing.
Without emotional regulation, sales leaders and salespeople turn into reaction machines. They are constantly reacting to external triggers, causing emotions to go up and down like an out-of-control elevator. This constant state of fight or flight increases stress, which depletes energy and resiliency.
One of the key ways to get control of your emotions is slow down and examine your emotions. It’s the old “slow down to speed up” approach. If you are not aware of why you are getting repeatedly triggered, you will continue to get repeatedly triggered. Once you are aware, challenge yourself to reframe the situation. This can be as simple as asking the question, “What’s good about this adversity?”
Resiliency Strategy#2: Hire For and Develop the EQ Skill of Optimism On Your Sales Team
Research shows that optimistic salespeople outsell their pessimistic peers. Pessimists are too busy sweating every small thing that could prevent success instead of focusing on things that create success. This constant sweating---stress---takes a toll on their resilience, making it harder for them to bounce back. We can all agree that stress and anxiety are not the skills that support a thriving sales career.
Invest in optimism coaching during your next group sales meeting. Ask the team to think critically about their current challenges. Then ask:
Is this adversity temporary or permanent? Often tough times are temporary times and the question will remind your sales team that tough times don’t last forever.
However, if the adversity or change is permanent, tap into the third resiliency strategy: Reality testing.
Resiliency Strategy #3: Accept the Reality of Life and Business
Reality testing is an emotional intelligence skill, one that allows you to look at things as they are, rather than how you’d like them to be.
So, here’s a tough love reality check:
- There have always been tough times in business.
- Interest rates hit a high of around 16% in 1981.
- Baby boomers were raised by parents that lived through the depression, World War II, not to mention everything after that.
Resilient people accept the reality and then tackle challenges head on. They understand that what you resist persists. Instead of wallowing in defeat, they redirect their energy toward what they CAN change. They use the smart part of their brain.
- I’ll focus on being more efficient in my sales process. Instead of repeating the same selling mistakes, I’ll conduct a win-loss analysis to see where and how I’m wasting time when prospecting and selling.
- I’ll focus on connecting with people for advice and support. I don’t need to be the smartest person in the room. I need to find the smartest people in the room!
- I’ll focus on helping others. And while, doing so, enjoy the associated endorphin bump that comes with helping people.
Drive sales performance by developing the unsung hero of sales success: resiliency. Improve your team’s emotional regulation, optimism and reality testing skills. You can win the game of business whack-a-mole.