Brutal Honesty: How Self Reflection Is Essential To Becoming A Better Sales Professional

 
"Without reflection, we go blindly on our way, creating more unintended consequences, and failing to achieve anything useful."
Margaret J. Wheatley

You make the calls, you take care of your clients, you prospect, you lose some opportunities and you close deals as it’s the never-ending cycle of a hard-working sales professional. However, most in sales find themselves repeating the same sales tactics over and over again expecting different results. Quite frankly, the definition of sales insanity.

As a sales professional, you should constantly reflect back upon your personal performance. What helped you to succeed during the day, week or month? What caused you to lose a deal?

How are you as a sales professional continually evaluating yourself to improve to become better at what you do?

Allen R. McConnell, Ph.D., the James and Beth Lewis Professor of Psychology at Miami University, noted the importance of self-reflection several years ago stating it is also a necessary part of attaining goals, self-improvement and positive change. In order for change to occur there must first be awareness – a state of being that can come through self-reflection.

"Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes."
 Carl Jung

EARLY MORNINGS AND SELF REFLECTION

Benjamin Franklin said it best, "early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise." I have learned to enjoy early mornings. I found going to bed earlier and training my brain to wake up earlier has led me to become more productive.

Think about capturing the first hour of every morning to set aside and self-reflect.

Every day ask yourself...

  • Who am I?
  • What am I most proud of?
  • What am I most grateful for?
  • What did I actually do yesterday?
  • What did I learn yesterday that I can apply to today to become a better person?

Self-reflection allows us to understand what is important, and focus on what might be done differently.

If I can’t lead myself, how could I possibly lead other people?

It is so easy to get caught up in the day-to day aspects of life that we forget to pause, self-reflect; taking a look at the bigger picture - life. Slow down by taking time early in the morning to think about your life is extremely helpful in creating a better sense of you are, who you want to be, and how you will get there. 

KEY AREAS OF SELF-REFLECTION

Each person has their own way of self-reflection. For myself, self-reflection is about letting my past experiences, endeavors, encounters, or actions pass within my mind, form an opinion so I can learn from it.

More importantly, it is a way to uncover whether I am still on track or what needs to be done to refocus. I find not self-reflecting every morning means accepting risk, the risk that I will not be able to learn from my failures or that I might lose track of how I want to develop as a person.

Think about leading your life as opposed to life leading you.

SUCCESS AND FAILURES

Take a pen and a piece of paper out daily and journal as you self-reflect. In quiet solitude, reflect on your successes as you uncover what led to them. What was it you did which led to your success?

The same goes for failure; what did I do which led to the failure? Most importantly, how can I avoid it in future?

Contrast what you did in order to achieve success as a sales professional versus what you did that ended in failure, uncover what did you do differently?

Look to uncover why you “failed,” were you less motivated or less excited thus you weren't working as hard, lacking the dedication needed to achieve your desired level of success.

GOALS

What are your personal and business goals? What do you want to achieve in 1, 3 and 5 years? I find it important to review and reflect upon both short-term and mid- term timeframes. Looking too far ahead can be a distraction since many things in your personal and business life can be influenced by many different factors.

Goals can include your career or business, your social life, improving your health, sports and fitness, even improving your mindset as the list could be endless.

Ask yourself the following question...

  • Are the things you are doing right now are they likely to help you reach your goals?

Setting the time aside to self-reflect, reviewing your goals regularly as you evaluate whether these are still realistic and obtainable.

HOW AM I HELPING OTHERS?

Give, and you shall receive. As a sales professional how are you helping your clients do better business? How are you giving back to the community you live in?

My motto has always been to help first as this comes back tenfold in return.

Self-reflect, ask yourself... Am I doing what I can in my community to help those in need? Try giving something back to your friends, colleagues, family and most importantly your clients. Help where they all need it the most. Don't ask questions, just do it!

Self-reflection is never easy, but for sales professionals this is the difference between just getting by and making it happen. Self-reflection is hard work. It's like looking into the mirror and asking the questions and having to answer them. You're in charge of your own sales career.

What's your plan, what do you need to do and when will you get there? It is totally up to you! Now go open the door to success!

I understand, I get where you all are coming from. Every day, I walk in your shoes. I am fully committed to helping your sales team integrate social aspects and modern strategies into your current sales process to grow new business. I want you to get results. This is why I am passionate about doing this the right way, the genuine way, the authentic way!

In 2016, I was recognized by ENX Magazine as, “The Difference Maker,” as someone who is making a difference inside the copier channel. I am passionate about helping sales reps succeed in creating their online brand image

You can find more advanced training material inside the Social Sales Academy website.

I appreciate getting the opportunity to share my LinkedIn stories. Integrating the use of LinkedIn was my “game-changer” in the highly competitive copier world. With great pride I transform, challenge, coach and inspire B2B Office Technology Sales Professionals to grow new business by helping them tell their story and communicate integrating the use of social media. My commitment is to help office technology dealers thrive in a drastically changing marketplace. You can follow me on LinkedInTwitterSocial Sales Academy and on my podcast at Selling from the Heart.

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