Are You in Control?

Dear Sales Community,

I was having an interesting conversation with (an overwhelmed) client recently. He was struggling with how to balance the many demands on his schedule and feeling anxious and stressed out. No kidding! We are getting busier and being asked to do more with the same or fewer resources. This is the way things are now, and there ain’t a whole lot I can do to change that. However, during this conversation, I asked this sales professional one question “Are you in control?” For about 45 seconds, I had silence on the other end of the phone (remember, the first one to speak loses the deal). Then the response was… “No.”

When I probed what he meant by this what came from him was the notion that what was driving so much angst was not that he did not know how to get the deals done, or how to coach his people, but he felt as if he wasn’t in control of things he could control! A hallmark of a great sales professional is that we have a finely honed sense of controlling the controllable and not trying to manage and control things that are outside of our scope! Further to the point, you must be aware when you are out of control.

This is not a challenging concept to intellectualize. It can be one that is much harder to execute on. Make a list. Learn to say “no” to things that create roads to the uncontrollable. Leverage the virtual team and make your sales culture work for you. Focus on the critical activities that will make you a great sales professional through great coaching. These are just a few tips, and there are of course many more. I am not a time-management expert, and believe me I have had my challenges with this issue.

Remember, if you are IN control, your clients and prospects are much MORE likely to do business with you.

Next time you are overwhelmed, just ask yourself “Am I in control?”

Good Selling!


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