The Journal The Authority on Global Business in Japan

The dark morning gloom of rain clouds, snow drifts, or driving sleet can have an impact on our sales mood. We may be thinking that it is a lousy day to have to run around town juggling umbrellas, trains, taxis, and bags of samples for clients. The next day, the rains have departed. Brilliant blue skies and a warm sun seem to say, “What a beautiful day to make sales calls!” Neither comment is acceptable for the pro salesperson; they cannot afford to be controlled by a random force such as the weather.

These are not the only mood bear traps we need to look out for. Does your mood impact the completion of unpalatable tasks or, conversely, do these tasks impact your mood? For example, does that proposal you have to get out, but don’t want to start because it is time consuming and difficult, bring you down? Doing the customer relationship management (CRM), which you consider a major time-waster because it feels slow and is boring, becomes a lower priority item. You whine later about the lack of leads from the marketing effort, but your moodiness meant you didn’t help with the CRM, did you?

Where is your sales discipline for doing the dull bits of the work? A coffee break, a catch-up on email, posting something on your business social media, etc. all look a lot more appealing than this piece of tedium you are facing. The sales pro doesn’t put the reward first, they put the task completion ahead of the reward. They don’t stand in front of the empty fireplace bellowing about what they want: heat. They put the logs in first and then light the fire. They understand the natural order of the sales universe.

What about when buyers let you down? You find out they went with a competitor when you thought it was in the bag, they canceled their order due to spending constraints at headquarters, or reduced the size of their purchase. You have already spent the money from the expected commissions. Whoops! Hero to zero in two seconds! What is the impact on your self-esteem, your fighting spirit, your motivation?

Living an intentional life means controlling both the head and the heart. The bigger picture makes the bump and grind of the everyday palatable, because there is a higher purpose in our life. If we are dedicated to serving, we can absorb the fluctuations in the weather, the unreliability of people, the changing fortunes of the market. The size of our WHY in the fight makes all the difference.

If we decide that we will determine our own mood, our feelings, our orientation, and not let externalities invade our feelings, we can keep doing what we need to do. We won’t be running for cover trying to find a million other things more appealing to do than this task in front of us. We need to keep reconnecting with our WHY and see our activities as a calling through which we can help people. As American author, salesman, and motivational speaker Zig Ziglar said, helping others is how you ultimately help yourself and—sales being a numbers game—the more people you help, the better you will do.

Our mood control in sales is a critical function of our sustained and consistent success. The stronger our WHY, the less relevant our mood cycle. There is a great Winston Churchill quote that brilliantly summarizes what is needed to succeed in sales: “Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.” There are always going to be more “nays” than “yays,” so we better harden up and look to our WHY to control our moods.

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Living an intentional life means controlling both the head and the heart.