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Recapturing Your Selling Spirit

Running low on motivation? It happens to the best of us. These 6 tips will help you get moving in the right direction.

We all get burned out at one time or another. The mind gets overwhelmed with all the activities we're involved in during the day, and we find it difficult to reach our sales goals.

The next time you find yourself in this situation--frustrated, burned out and not performing at your peak--try the following tips. These actions will help you get back on the path to reaching your sales goals.

1. Slow down. Take a minimum of 10 to 15 minutes each day to sit in total silence. Get back to a clear picture of why you're doing what you're doing. Once you quiet the mind, you'll be able to clarify your goals and start to rethink what you need to do to improve your situation.

2. Prioritize. Start putting your accounts in order. Give your projects deadlines. Outline your game plan for expanding your business. Having a specific written direction for your actions calms the nerves, lets you sleep better and sets up a plan for getting what you want.

3. Visualize your success. Have you ever seen the high dive in the Olympics? Watch the divers seconds before their dives while they stand still, sometimes with their eyes closed. They're visualizing the entire dive in their mind's eye. Then the body physically executes what the brain already completed. There's no difference when visualizing your sales goals and how you're going to achieve them. We do this all the time and don't even realize it. We start to think of the people we need to call or see to help get our project or sale moving in the right direction. The mind can make all the connections before we run out the door. Like a chess move, this initial visualization of our next step allows us to rearrange our actions to avoid mistakes.

4. Create added value. Product parity creates price wars. Why would someone buy your product over the competitor's? What makes your company different? What does your product or service deliver that's unique? Sometimes we miss our sales goals because the customer just doesn't see a reason to choose us. Start to think of ways to stand out in a positive way, and it will make your sales efforts pay off in the long run.

5. Move beyond your circle of activity. One thing I see a lot of when working with salespeople and their managers is 30-60-90-day closing forecasts that become nothing more than wish lists. Every month it's the same accounts, with maybe a few changes. Breakthroughs happen when we leave our comfort zones to go after new business and new industries. Create a top 10 list of new businesses you'd like to close, and aggressively go after them.

6. Push the limits. Do you think it's good to be dissatisfied with your performance? I do. That's what keeps me pushing myself every day to outperform the previous one. Pushing ourselves higher is what accounts for more progress in this world than any other factor. You, too, can benefit from pushing yourself a little harder. True growth comes from sacrifice--and maybe even a little pain. Make more calls each week. Spend more time on customer follow-up to ensure results. Set your sights a little higher. Taking these steps will propel you forward and provide you with the energy and enthusiasm to fuel each new day.

Quick Pick
Appearing on TV talk shows can mean a big boost for your business. But how do you get booked? Get on TV: The Insider's Guide to Pitching the Producers and Promoting Yourself by Jacquie Jordan (Sourcebooks, $14.95) shares the Emmy-nominated daytime TV producer's top tips. If your goal is to hit the morning shows, The Publicity Hound offers the $39.95 CD How to Get Booked on the Morning TV Talk Shows. Of course, the holy grail of publicity is The Oprah Winfrey Show. Susan Harrow, author of The Ultimate Guide to Getting Booked on Oprah ($99), says hers is the most comprehensive guide to attracting O's attention.

Barry Farber is the author of 11 books on sales, management and peak performance. His latest release, "Diamond in the Rough" CD program, is based on his book, radio and television show. Visit him at www.BarryFarber.com, or email him at barry@barryfarber.com.

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This article was originally published in the July 2006 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Step Right Up.

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