Today we're all under an increasing amount of stress, none more so than sales teams trying to reach targets before the end of the financial year. Take 3 minutes to read how Ryan Verba, Senior Sales Professional at HubSpot uses mindfulness as a tool to help him exceed his targets each month.
Stress, anxiety, deadlines…so many deadlines. They’re creeping up and they’re not going away until the work is done. Send help....SOS...
I know that feeling all too well.
The life of a salesperson
A life in sales is not a life that one goes into without frequently second guessing their career choice. Whether it’s, “sorry, they’re not available right now. Can I take a message?” or that annoying *click* of a phone being hung up in your face, sometimes it can feel like the whole world is out to get you and that sweet, sweet commission might as well not exist.
It’s not all bad though. If you find yourself in a good team with a good leader, you’ve generally got people to lean on when the going gets tough. Sometimes you contact that one lead who you may not have managed to convert, but just speaking to them brightens up your day a bit because they treated you like an actual human being. Good times!
I’ve come a long way in my sales career and learned a whole lot along the way, but it’s still not easy work. The mind is a funny thing and does it’s best to work against you sometimes. In saying that, you just need to know how to defend yourself against it. After all we are our own greatest enemy!
The best weapon we have is a little thing called mindfulness.
What is mindfulness?
Mindfulness is described as “paying attention to the present moment with openness, curiosity and without judgement” and I can confirm, if used correctly, it helps...like A LOT!
Everyone practices mindfulness differently. Mindfulness can be taking a walk, reading a book, cooking a meal, getting out in nature...it doesn’t have to just be meditation! You can practice mindfulness anywhere at anytime, just pay attention and be present in what it is you’re doing!
How I practice mindfulness...
To me, mindfulness is just taking a little time to refocus and reset. Sometimes I’ll take a walk in the park or I’ll put my headphones on and listen to some music, all the while focusing on exactly what I’m doing in that moment and nothing else. An easy way to do this is to engage your senses, take a big deep breath through your nose, what can you smell? Or simply notice the smallest beat in the music you’re listening to.
Here’s 8 practical tips to bring mindfulness into your workday:
- In the morning take 5 minutes out of your routine and do a quick meditation, I like the Body Scan in the Smiling Mind app.
- When you have your morning coffee try and sit in, engage your senses and enjoy every last sip.
- Set a list of tasks to complete each morning and cross them off as you go - the sensation of crossing things out really helps me.
- Get out for a walk at lunch - fresh air is important!
- Turn off email notifications - did you know that it takes you a whole minute to get back to what you were doing if you look at a notification? If there's one thing I've learnt, it's that no one can mutli-task...it's not real.
- Have an internal meeting? Do a Smiling Mind Meeting Starter meditation with the team!
- Listen mindfully - I cannot stress this enough, but all sales people know we have 2 ears and 1 mouth for a reason but it’s what you do with your ears that really helps you to build great relationships with clients.
- Above all I think the most important thing is to not lose perspective, we’re not curing cancer here...and if you are KUDOS to you! Above all, have some fun, don’t take yourself too seriously.
What I've found...
Being behind on sales targets is frustrating, I know, but the brain doesn’t like to be overworked. What I’ve come to realise is that taking 5 minutes out of my day to stop and reset is the best thing for it.
Since adding a little mindfulness to my day I’ve proven myself an absolute asset as a salesman by consistently exceeding my yearly targets, resulting in a promotion (that’s the dream, isn’t it?). I’m less stressed which means my head is clear and I can forge more meaningful, valuable relationships with my clients. I’ve even gone on to win a corporate fundraising boxing match. That may not seem like the most mindful activity, but I swear my mindfulness techniques came into play in the ring and helped me think more clearly while being knocked about.
I guess what I’m trying to say is, it’s ok to take a bit of “me” time. That’s the only way your brain can keep up with a hectic sales lifestyle. Give it a try. You might just notice a difference!
Want to get your team recharged, reset and refocussed heading into FY20? Click here for more info on what Smiling Mind can deliver to your sales team!
Ryan Verba looks after HubSpot's operations for direct enterprises across ANZ. Using 10+ years of knowledge and experience around inbound marketing and sales growth, he helps large companies transform the way they engage with their prospects and customers online.