Panic on the Sales Force and What to Do About It

What gets you in a panic?  When I was  young, height, water and people were enough to cause shortness of breath, a lump in my throat and a stomach ache.  Today, I still have the symptoms, but not over any of the things that used to bother me.  Today it would take somebody or something threatening harm to my wife, son or me.

What about for you?  What causes a panic of that magnitude for you? I’m asking because I want you to know what it feels like, how difficult it is to function, concentrate, or breath.  Have you been there?

Now let’s take your salespeople.  The economy and how it impacts them, either directly or indirectly, is having this effect on about one third of your salespeople right now – today.  Some are worried about job security, some about declining income, others about job performance, and others about their debt.  Some are worried about their retirement plans, others their investments and a few the health of themselves or someone they love.

If at least one third of your salespeople are in this state of panic right now, how effective do you think they are when attempting to sell right in the middle of all this negativity?

Your role changes because of this.  It is now your job to keep their heads on straight, to calm their nerves, to help them function, to keep them positive, to get them motivated, to challenge them to perform, to urge them to fill their pipelines and hold them accountable to all of that.

So far, the only thing that has changed significantly is that the combined pipelines of many companies have been thrown into a holding pattern. The business hasn’t canceled or been lost to competitors; it is simply delayed.  The sooner that everyone gets over their initial reaction to the recession and gets back to just doing business, the sooner that money will loosen up and start changing hands again.

It has to start somewhere.  Why not with you?