If you go ahead and subject your sales reps to an EQ test, the results are bound to shock you.
You will be surprised to find that the average EQ of your sales reps, and by extensions reps across the globe is quite low.
Before we explore what this means for your sales results and how you can overcome this challenge, let us first strive to understand the factors driving poor mental health in today’s day and age.
Although technological progress and human intellect have advanced significantly in the last 2 centuries, this has also come at the cost of personal well-being for every single being on the planet.
The nature of human intellect is such that it dissects everything and wants to fit life into its logic. It drives human beings to exploit the world around them, while making them forget that true happiness lies within.
Moreover, technological progress has also wreaked havoc on the natural environment. Today, we are facing several catastrophic calamities such as global warming, soil extinction, and more.
Scientists estimate that if we do not respond appropriately and deploy remedial measures to tackle these issues over the next 30 years, life on this planet may cease to exist altogether.
As a generation of human beings, psychologists have proved beyond a shred of doubt that we are also the most narcissistic beings to have ever existed.
To put it simply, human beings today chase their own selfish agendas and lack a larger sense of inclusiveness towards life, and this attitude is naturally bound to have a detrimental impact on mental health.
The misuse of gadgets has also led human beings to isolate themselves from life in its totality, and this unnatural seclusion is another factor that negatively impacts mental health.
If mother nature has proved anything over time, it is the fact that life only happens well when we operate out of a larger sense of inclusiveness towards life. Ambition, greed and narcissism are surefire recipes for self-destruction.
Having said that, let us dive into the mental health scenario that prevails in the sales industry and examine factors that drive poor mental health in sales circles!
Mental Health in Sales:
If you are in sales, you are familiar with the constant anxiety of not meeting your quota. You worry that an account you have been working on for weeks or months might drop out of the negotiations.
You also struggle to strike a balance between your professional and private lives since you are always chasing after prospects and trying to close deals.
If you do not find effective solutions to manage your daily stressors, these could affect your performance and overall health in the long run.
Anxiety and depression are common in the sales industry due to the high demand and cut-throat environment. The chronic feeling of ineptness and the constant battle with the insecurity of not being able to deliver triggers fatigue, stress, and burnout.
It is a known fact that sales is a highly emotional job as employees are expected to constantly be confident, energetic, extroverted, and on-the-go.
However, this is not always the case. Closing a deal can be relaxing, but losing a prospect that you have worked on for months on end can cause depression, which then affects your current disposition and mood.
Below are some common mental health problems encountered in the sales industry:
- Behavioral and Emotional Disorders
- Clinical Depression
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorders (OCD)
Creating a culture where work-life balance is prioritized is the first step to tackle this problem.
Having dedicated support and medical staff who are trained to handle such cases is the next sequential step to ensure the well-being of your employees.
All this being said, managing mental health in sales is possible. Here are some tips to nurture a culture of mental well-being as a sales leader:
- Build a support system
One of the first things you should do is to cultivate positive relationships with those around you. That means making an effort to do things with your coworkers outside the office.
Take people up on their invitations to movies, lunch, or an after-hours video conference to just chat. It’s a great way to let off some steam and share stories with the people that stand by you as you strive to grow professionally.
- Understand that you’re more than just your job
Sometimes the best thing that you can do is have a little perspective. Even if you don’t make your sales quota, it doesn’t define who you are as a person. Your job is not your identity and it doesn’t dictate your worth. You would never tell your friends they’re defined by their work performance, so why do you hold yourself to a different standard?
Also, keep in mind that not meeting your quota isn’t always on you. Markets these days are highly volatile and there are tons of factors that affect whether people are prepared to buy— a global pandemic, summer vacations, an alarming news story, or maybe your customers are just busy!
If you don’t hit your numbers this month you can still spend that time strengthening relationships with existing customers and finding new leads that will result in you exceeding your numbers next month.
- Enhance your physical fitness
The very act of staying indoors all day long, not getting enough movement and fresh air into your lungs can have a detrimental impact both on your mental and physical health.
The recipe for sound physical and mental health is quite simple: Maintain a consistent sleep schedule, include pure, natural and wholesome food items in your diet, and exercise.
Yoga, walking, trekking, light weightlifting, calisthenics, gymnastics, martial arts and swimming are some excellent options to help improve your strength, flexibility, and mental well-being.
Meditation is another excellent way to improve your inner well-being and health. Download Sadhguru application on your smartphone, and practise Isha Kriya, a basic guided meditation that can surely boost your health, energy levels and balance.
In a nutshell
Human beings are complex psychosomatic beings. Everything that happens in your body affects your mind, and vice versa.
Mental health is as important as physical health, and taking small positive steps to enhance the well-being of your mind is extremely important as you grow in your sales career.
At the end of the day, we work to live and don’t live to work. If we fail to invest sufficient time and energy in cultivating joyful relationships, bonding with mother nature, exercising, eating well, performing social service and living a full-fledged life in general, all the economic activity we perform will amount to nothing and our lives will dwindle down to mere survival dramas.
In the next blog of this two-part series, we’ll share additional tips and ways to enhance mental well-being while also examining strategies that you can deploy at an organization level to eliminate the root causes of poor mental health.
Your sales reps will be all the more grateful, but above all you will have the satisfaction of putting your people first and helping them lead happy and harmonious lives. As a natural consequence, this endeavor will surely turbocharge your sales results.