How to Recharge your Sales Career

man with batteries in his chest

Contributed to by Kim Evans

Have you noticed recently that your sales performance has been on a steady decline? Do you dread leaving home each morning to hit the sales field and close deals? Are you thinking of calling it quits as a sales professional?

If you answered "yes" to any of these three questions, you might be dealing with burnout.

There are many factors that can lead to burnout, including working too hard for too long, working with the same products day after day for too long, or working in the wrong field altogether. Whatever the reason, burnout is a serious matter that cannot be ignored and you need to do something about it right away. Let's take a look at some tips for how you can rejuvenate your sales career.

Make sure you are cut out for sales. Experts have identified certain skill sets that are essential for sales professionals; these include empathy, persuasion, and resiliency. It's possible you possess two of these skills but lack the third skill. If this is the case, ask yourself if your weakness can be turned into a strength, or if your skill set might be better suited in another profession–and if not another profession, perhaps simply another industry. Having this honest conversation with yourself will help you regain your focus and determine a proper course of action.

Shift to a more suitable environment or skill set. Maybe there is something that you are exceptionally passionate about but have not yet integrated into your sales career. Do you possess a specialty that has yet to be used? You might be very well suited for a career in sales but maybe you lack a strong connection to what it is you're selling. If you sell tangible products, consider switching to selling intangible services. If you work in inside sales, considering making a move to an outside sales position. You'll increase your chances of recharging your sales career if you can engage in a new aspect of the sales field you have yet to explore, or by using skills that have thus far been untapped.

Take advantage of your age as an asset. If you're experiencing burnout because you are among the older sales representatives in your field and you've been at your job for a very long time, consider taking your career in a new direction. Perhaps your years of experience, not just as a salesperson but also in the world, would give you an advantage in a different environment. For example, prospective clients might be more receptive to medical sales representatives or long-term care insurance representatives with real-world experience, as opposed to someone with mostly theoretical knowledge of these products or services.

Re-examine your physical condition. It's also possible you feel burnt out because you've lost sight of taking proper care of your health. Are you getting enough sleep each night? Are you consuming a healthy diet and exercising every week? Your mood and your energy can certainly take a dive if you neglect your health, which ultimately leads to a negative outlook toward your job.

Re-examine your intellectual condition. If you've been working in a sales position for a lengthy period of time and simply following the same routine you've always followed, perhaps it's time to sign up for some workshops or attend a trade show related to your field. You are responsible for staying on top of your knowledge and familiarity of the products or services you sell. Make sure to prevent your sales career from becoming stale; ongoing learning will keep things fresh and go a long way in helping to prevent burnout.

If any of these tips resonate with you, it's important to take action as soon as you can to remedy your burnout. The best way to get through a period of burnout is to commit yourself to making the changes necessary to recharge your outlook on your sales career and your life.

In your opinion, what's the very first thing you should do to pull yourself out of burnout? Start right here by sharing your thoughts in the comments below.

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