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Turning Frustration Into Freedom

“Have patience with all things, but chiefly have patience with yourself. Do not lose courage in considering your own imperfections, but instantly set about remedying them - every day begin the task anew.”

- St. Francis de Sales, Bishop of Geneva and is honored as a saint in the Catholic Church 1567-1622

Boy was I frustrated a couple of days ago. One of the toughest activities a sales pro needs to undertake is making cold calls. It’s hard enough getting your energy levels up in the morning, getting ready for that first dial, but then add to that a few consecutive days of making calls and getting absolutely NOTHING. I mean not even one person who picks up the phone.

I posted a while back that I have an estimated 40,000 cold calls under my belt. With that many calls I can confidently say this wasn’t my first time having a bad day, yet I sat at my desk after making 70 calls and didn’t have one meeting to show for my efforts.

Folks, salespeople are all human (despite what some angry customers might say) and we all have bad days. Furthermore, young or old, greenhorns or veterans, we all get negative thoughts that creep into our heads after a crappy day (week, month, quarter, year). The thoughts that question why we even chose sales as a career, that tell you to quit, that tell you you’re stupid and won’t be successful. I’ll let you in on a little secret: every sales rep has those thoughts from time to time, and if they say they don’t, they’re full of shit.

So how do you overcome these thoughts and bring yourself back to level ground? I’ll tell you how I do it.

  1. Swear at the phone after you hang up. If a call went south - maybe someone hung up on you, told you to go away, or (in my case) threatened to report me if I ever call again - hang up the phone and tell the phone to f-off. Get the emotions out of your system right away so you can go into your next call without the baggage.

  2. Crank your favorite tunes after the call. I have a Spotify playlist for this exact situation. It’s mostly a mix of power metal, classical baroque, and the soundtrack from Pirates of the Carribean, but it works for me. Make your own playlist.

  3. Go for a walk. A change of scenery always helps with re-grounding your mindset. I make a point of going for a 30-minute walk every day and I use that time to clear my head, lower my stress, and get ready for my afternoon calls.

  4. Remind yourself of what’s really important in your life. Perhaps it’s your family, your friends, a favorite hobby - whatever it is that you hold dear in your life, remember that it’s those things that matter most and not the opinion of some grumpy f**ktrumpet that picked up your call.

  5. Take the 5 Year Test. It’s a simple test - all you have to do is ask yourself “Will I still be angry/upset/frustrated about this in 5 years?”. If the answer is no, then let it go and move on.

Try these techniques the next time you have a bad day. Truthfully, the first one is my favorite but I encourage you to find a solution that’s right for you.

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