Many reps struggle with end of the year burnout and fatigue. The new economy has made selling hard again and 2011 has been a tough year. For the reps that have survived to sell another day, the physical, mental and emotional toll is no joke and you may be feeling pretty burned out.
Rep self-care is one of those topics you never see addressed in sales meetings or sales manuals, yet it is one of the most important elements to sustaining success in this business.
Sometimes the most effective way to serve our customers and our manufacturers is to serve ourselves first. For many reps, Q4 is make it or break it time and you don’t have the luxury of taking it easy or coasting.
So, whatta you do?
Here are 5 Ways to Power Thorough When You’re Powered Out.
1. Get physical.
Start incorporating some type of physical activity into your day, above and beyond walking from your car into an appointment. Moving your body helps ward off depression and will build your physical stamina so they show don’t physically wear you out as much. Even a 20-minute walk around your neighborhood will help clear your head and reduce anxiety.
2. Plan a Winter Break.
Reserve a block of time between Christmas and the first of the year for vacation. This can be a couple of days or even a few weeks if you can manage it. Notify your manufacturers, set an auto-responder on your email, change your voicemail and unplug. The decompression will do wonders for your state of mind and ability to focus. Having these days reserved will also give you something to look forward to.
3. Eat Your Wheaties.
When schedules get crazy, it’s easy to skimp on eating or fall back on quick and easy food choices. Make a deliberate decision to eat as few processed foods as possible and lay off the booze. Your ability to keep your head in the game is directly linked to what you’re putting into your body.
4. Reserve time for paperwork.
Whatever it takes, make sure you do not get behind on your administrative work. Incoming orders should never sit more than 8 hours on your desk before being submitted to your manufacturers. When things heat up, customers expect (and deserve) immediate responses and piles of paper prevent this from happening. Carve out dedicated administrative time on your calendar every day. This might mean getting to your desk an hour earlier or staying an hour later.
5. Kill the emotional vampires.
Surround yourself with positive people and make a point to only expose yourself to positive things. Unplug your television, the 24-hour news feed on your desktop and ban any newspapers or magazines that dwell on the crappy state of things. You need a positive infusion, not the poison of the media right now. If you want to watch tv to relax, pick something funny and lighthearted, like Bugs Bunny or old “I Love Lucy” episodes. Yeah, really.
No matter what, don’t just disappear on your customers or manufacturers. It’s one thing to recognize you’re worn out. It’s another thing to get stuck there. Sometimes you just have to power through, knowing your reward is on the other end.
Taking care of yourself mentally, physically and emotionally is not selfish or slacking. In fact, every sales manager and group principal should encourage it. When crunch time is on though, you may just need to position yourself as best you can and power through.