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Salespeople: 3 Signs You’re Not Working Hard Enough (And How to Keep Going)

Updated: Jan 18, 2023

Not working hard

Salespeople don’t dial it back – we go hard or go home. You know why? Because we love to win. I once worked with a guy that was so full on with his job that we had to force him to go on vacation because we couldn’t keep up with the demand he was generating. He wasn’t even a born sales guy, he just had drive.

Find a Way to Enjoy Working Hard

In this business, you need to find a way to enjoy working hard and putting in the long hours, so when I recently came across a post in The Muse about how to chill yourself out from working too hard I thought to myself about how much it doesn’t apply to what we do…and also that the author has obviously never worked in sales. A sales guy, especially if he’s or she’s legendary, knows you have to work your ass off to become legendary because a) it’s just par for the course and b) the payoff can be spectacular.

Here are some signs you might NOT be working hard enough and how to kick it into gear.

You’re Socializing Too Much

Going out for happy hour is fun, but making that extra call to catch up with a prospect or do some research to get a competitive edge is better in the long run. If you’re not prospecting at all times (even while socializing), you’re missing out on valuable opportunities. Of course you should be prospecting to the right people and not wasting your time on dead ends.

Take a cue from our friend Michelle Goyette who is so on top of her game she actually made a deal selling in yoga class. Michelle has used her social sales know-how to land over 100 clients in a single calendar year – I don’t think many of us can say that.

The lesson here is to use your social time to improve your sales skills. Spend time with prospects and expand your network. You can also try working on your psych sales game by practicing the six principles of influence like authority, reciprocity, and commitment. Knowing how people think and being able to use it to persuade them is a huge part of what successful sales guys do.

You’re Not At the Top of The Leaderboard

The guy I mentioned at the beginning of this post was making way more money than I did just through sheer determination. And let me tell you people envied him. While we can’t all be supernovas like that guy, you should always strive to be the best version of yourself. Even if you’re feeling stressed out, knowing that you’re operating at max capacity and doing some of your best work is a great reward. You’ll know you’re peaking when you reach a state of flow – the mental equivalent of planets aligning and angels singing on high.

You’re Not Feeling It In Your Bones

Everyone talks about how bad stress is for your body, but the reverse is often just as true. Low levels of stress can actually make you smarter by boosting neurotransmitters, it can also boost your immunity (temporarily) and make future stressful situations easier to manage. Plus you’ll be riding that adrenaline high that makes closing those deals soooooo much more fun.

There’s No Way Around It: You Need To Learn How to Manage Stress

Learning to manage stress is an essential job skill in our industry. Tim Ferris, author of The Four-Hour Workweek, has some simple productivity hacks on his website that any glory-hungry, pre-legendary sales guy can use.

  1. Don’t check email as soon as you wake up. Set aside two times a day just for reviewing and responding to email – say 12 and 4 p.m. You can use a tool like Yesware to schedule emails ahead of time.

  2. Make a prioritized list and pay attention to the items that cause the most anxiety. They tend to be the one’s you’ve been putting off for far too long. For each item, ask yourself if it were the only thing you accomplished today would you be satisfied and will completing it make everything else easier to do later.

  3. Prioritize the ones you answered “yes” to and set aside 2-3 hours to focus on one for the day.

  4. Avoid procrastination and download an awesome app like Spiro to make your life easier (okay that last one is our own suggestion).

At the end of the day, a sales guy is only worth as much as the time and effort he or she puts into the job. You just have to learn how to deal – the payoff will be worth it.

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