BEWARE THE DOWNHILL STRETCHES… a Coaching Client of mine recently took part with 4000+ other athletes in the Québec City Marathon. As luck would have it, the event was particularly grueling because the temperature soared that day to in excess of 30°C (86°F). On face value it doesn't seem that hot until you try and run 26 miles 385 yards under those conditions. Whew! What he told me was that the last 6 miles was particularly difficult. Here's what he said:
"The organizers told me that the last stage was easier because much of it was downhill… what they neglected to share was that there were still lots of "uphill sections" in the downhill part."
Does this sound familiar? In your Sales Business do you often feel that you are "on the home stretch" only to run into unexpected adversity (uphill challenges)? Sometimes the uphill portion that shows up when you are running downhill is the toughest to overcome. It's especially difficult when you presume the toughest part is over, that it's clear sailing from here on until the deal closes. As we all know, that often isn't the way things work. Nevertheless it does make things tougher, doesn't it?
Here is your ACTION STEP… the Business of Sales requires a considerable amount of mental toughness. You need to be able to "roll with the punches" and keep moving forward to see things through to the end. Look at this approach to help you cross the finish line:
DEALING WITH THE UPHILL STRETCHES
1. Recognize first of all that you are not done until you are done… expect the unexpected
2. When an uphill section appears don't make a big deal out of it… when you think about it, it's not really that unexpected, is it? It happens all the time.
3. Keep reflecting on the big picture, you've come this far and you're near the finish line… let nothing deter you, you must finish the race
4. Critical Point: avoid drama at all costs! Moaning and groaning about how "this isn't fair" and "why is this happening to me at this point" is not part of the professional Sales Process
5. Bring in the troops…you don't have to run uphill all by yourself. Take advantage of the resources you have available to you. Get some outside support when you need it. There is no prize for doing it all on your own. The prize comes from actually finishing the race! Sometimes an outsider's view will give you the solution you are looking for. Maybe it's not such a big hill after all.
One last thought as you tackle the unexpected uphill challenges near the end of a particular Sales transaction… keep Momentum on your side. Because you are near the end, there are lots of downhill sections to keep you going. Use that Momentum to keep moving you forward. If a problem pops up, the magic word is always NEXT! Now that you are so close to getting things done it is critical that you keep the process moving forward. NO Excuses.