Have you ever heard the song “Whistle While You Work?” Some salespeople answer, “Remember THAT is make believe and NONE of those dwarves has EVER had to make a cold call.” Often times salespeople are taught to put on a smile and be happy. Present yourselves in a friendly manner. Too often salespeople are told that they need to suck it up and “Don’t worry be happy.” Sometimes, that is just not realistic. In Victor Frankl’s book “Man’s Search for Meaning”, he discusses the fate of the optimists. Because they were often unrealistic about the reality surrounding them, they were often the first to perish. Sadly, this is true in sales as well. If you haven’t closed any business in your expected sales cycle, you should be angry and unhappy. If you keep getting think-it-overs instead of decisions, then you better be depressed. It’s OK to get depressed and is often necessary to facilitate change.
Unfortunately, many salespeople believe that saying anything negative about their performance on sales calls is a bad thing. There are a few reasons that this misguided optimism is a problem. First, an unrealistic sales person cannot be effectively debriefed, nor can he effectively plan. Because he is not willing to look at current results in the cold hard light of reality, it will be almost impossible to guess where corrections need to be made to the sales process being used. Second, because they are unwilling to accurately measure the connection between activity and results, it will be a guessing game to decide what behavior needs to change to create the right amount of new sales. Finally, many sales people who are always happy seem fake and shallow to their customers. Since people buy from people who are like them, it is very difficult to sell to a prospect that sees you as shallow and fake.
Be yourself. If you are depressed about your performance it is OK. Take action to change it. Don’t force things into a positive light. If something is negative rather than ignore it and be positive, confront it. Depression is a human response. Don’t allow it to mire you in self-pity but pay attention to it. Attack the things that are causing you to be depressed. Change behaviors and techniques to get results that you will be positive about. If we do that effectively we will be depressed less often and not because we are faking it.