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Power to the Salespeople

What's the one thing that'll keep you going when you want to give up? Energy--and lots of it.
Magazine Contributor
3 min read

This story appears in the June 2008 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

If you look at the common traits of successful salespeople, the most vital one is energy--the ability to go the extra mile and still have energy in reserve. Sure, some people succeed without tremendous amounts of energy, but countless others achieve sales success because of it. Energy is what gives you the stamina to not give up on a goal you've come so close to reaching.

Being at your best all the time requires constant energy. The following four factors will help you increase your energy level for peak performance and sales success.

1. Physical conditioning: Being in good physical shape has a huge impact on your ability to sell. It affects your attitude about what you do, what you're selling, how you feel about yourself and the way you approach new customers. Have you set aside at least 20 minutes every day to do some type of aerobic sport? At first it may seem like it takes time out of your day, but eventually you will realize how much more energy and drive you have to push yourself farther when you may have just packed it in for the day. Your physical shape is the foundation for your mental toughness.

2. Mental focus: Focusing on the moment with a clear mind is crucial. Right before you take action, visualize your activities--meetings, presentations and any event where you need to perform at your best. Too often, we think about all the things we have to do instead of focusing on the moment. Another way to focus is to take a deep breath in through your nose and hold for two or three seconds, then breathe out slowly through your mouth. This is the single most powerful way to calm your mind, not to mention increase the oxygen in your blood and boost your energy level.

3. No limits: Think back to a time when you were exhausted but needed to continue. You probably got a second wind and finished the job. But here's what happens most of the time: Energy begets energy, just like success breeds success. It adds fuel to the fire for the next time you need to sprint that extra mile. When you stretch and struggle, you grow. When you push yourself, you build a greater capacity for doing more work the next time.

4. Your attitude toward change: When changes occur, you have a choice about how to react. The true strength of entrepreneurs and great salespeople is the ability to adapt to a changing environment--whether it's a tough economy, the changing needs of buyers or plain old adversity. Life is like a grindstone: It either wears you down or polishes you up. It's all in how you look at a changing situation.

So ask yourself these questions about what's impacting your sales energy: How am I moving, thinking, challenging myself and dealing with change? Mastering these four factors will give you extra energy for stronger efforts and higher income.

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