Overcoming the Daily Grind in a Sales Job

How stress can be your greatest ally

Portrait of worried salesman with takeaway coffee in car dealership
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For those new to sales, the multiple daily responsibilities may seem overwhelming. In general, the daily expectation of all sales professionals boils down to two things: Starting new sales cycles and advancing those already started. Sounds simple. Just two things to do everyday.

And for those searching for a sales job, you have just two daily tasks as well: Finding a sales company looking for sales professionals and advancing yourself through the hiring process.

Again, two seemingly simple tasks. However, what is involved in these two simple tasks can be anything but easy.

Completing these two daily tasks can wear a professional down, causing diminished motivation levels, decreased effectiveness and often grinds some down to the point that they choose to leave their employer or are asked to leave. Fortunately, there are a few strategies that can help sales professionals overcome the daily grind.

Clear Goals and Self-Expectations

It is often said that if you do not know where you want to go, any road will get you there. This is very true when it comes to sales and job searching. Starting everyday with a clear desired outcome will keep you focused and directed.

If you set daily goals that accomplish your two daily expectations, you won't experience the stress associated with not knowing what to do everyday and why you are doing all the tasks expected of you.

Remember this simple saying: "Clear goals clear your path."

Mini Vacations 

Whether you are already in sales or searching for a sales job, taking a vacation can do wonders for your effectiveness. However, week long vacations often create more stress than they relieve. A week out of the selling or job hunting field can have a negative effect that lasts several weeks.

Not only will you spend at least some of your vacation time wondering what your competition is doing, but you'll also have a challenge truly enjoying your vacation is you have any pending work waiting for you back at the office.

Taking long weekends as opposed to full weeks gives you a much-needed break and the chance to re-focus your goals. When returning from a mini-vacation, your missed workload will be much easier to bear. Usually, while getting back in the game after an extended vacation takes several days, getting back up to speed after a long weekend takes just a few hours or a full day at the longest.

A Commitment to Personal and Professional Development

Author, speaker, and business coach, Stephen Covey, preaches that one of the most important parts of your life, whether professional or personal, is to take the time to "sharpen your saw." What this means is that if you do not take time out of each day to work on self-improvement, your effectiveness will slowly but surely fall off. Think about it, if you drove your car every day but never took the time to make sure the tires are properly inflated, that the oil was frequently changed and that the scheduled maintenance was completed, how long would your car keep running?

Eventually, your car would experience a serious issue.

Your body and your mind are the same. Neglect your body, and your energy levels will suffer. Never take "mental health breaks" or neglect to feed your mind with new ideas, thoughts, and challenges, and you'll either never keep up with the inevitable changes in your industry of burn out under the stress of the daily grind.

Give Everyday Your Best

Singer/songwriter Harry Chapin once told a story about the two types of tired. One type of tired is experienced after a day that you didn't give your best to anything. And while the end of the day may find you exhausted, the exhaustion comes from knowing that you still have much to do and that a day was wasted. When you go to sleep, you toss and turn and do not sleep well. The other tired is felt after you gave your best to all your tasks.

And while you may not have accomplished all your goals and may have even lost some of your battles, you rest easy in knowing that you gave 100% of your potential.

Giving your best to your day may seem like a great way to add to the effects of the daily grind but produces the opposite effect. You'll feel better about yourself and your opportunities. You'll find areas that need your attention and discover talents that you didn't know you possessed. Giving your best puts you beyond the reach of guilt and from reproach. Giving your best every day, whether at your sales job, your job search or during time away from your tasks, is the most effective way to grind away the daily grind.