Ever feel like your enthusiasm for what you’re selling has just gone missing in action? Your passion has hit zero? Well, don’t worry, you are not alone. I’ve been there and many others before you, and I’ve got you covered. This episode is a game changer. I’m going to reveal practical tips and tricks to revitalise your sales skills and reignite your excitement no matter what you’re selling. Sit tight, I’ll be right back.
Now, somebody left a comment on a survey that I sent out to my email list once in a while saying that they had zero passion for what they sold. And I thought this would make a really interesting topic for the podcast because I think it’s not an uncommon challenge. It’s not an uncommon situation that we find ourselves in. Either we lose passion for what we’re doing, we were never that invested in the first place, or we’ve just run out of steam. We’ve hit one brick wall too many and realised that we don’t really enjoy or have any affinity with the products that we sell or the solutions that we sell.
Now, listen, if the world turned on people doing jobs they loved or selling things they loved, it would grind to a halt. So first we need to get to grips with that myth or that mindset that it’s our God given right to be passionate about what we do. In fact, there’s a great book by Cal Newport called So Good They Can’t Ignore You, which I loved.
And it’s all about how actually following your passion is a misguided notion and very rarely leads to anything worthwhile in terms of a career. It’s usually hobbies, not certainly money making hobbies either. And that actually we should take pride in just being good at our jobs and getting better at our jobs. And by being better at our jobs, the opportunities materialise, they appear.
So check out that book. I highly recommend it. That’s a good place to start if you’re starting to feel like your career path is maybe a little bit diverted from where you thought you would be.
It is not uncommon for salespeople account managers to feel a lack of passion for the products or services that they sell. As a sales manager, it can really be challenging to motivate yourself to generate leads and close deals when you don’t have a genuine interest. And it creates this downward self fulfilling spiral where because you don’t really like your solutions or your products or your services, therefore you don’t actively sell them. And because you’re not selling and you’re not motivated, then it starts to impact your career and you start to feel negative and demotivated and on and on it goes until you feel really bad about yourself or bad about your career or just very depressed. So it’s important that you address it.
Now, I did a LinkedIn poll on this very subject. I’ll pop a link to that in the show notes, which, by the way, you can grab at tkcpodcast.com/031
. In this LinkedIn poll, I asked, do you have to be
passionate about what you sell in order to sell it? 47 % said yes, 9 % said no, and 44 % said it helps.
So the audience was divided, the participants were divided. James Muir said, who’s also author of the fantastic book, The Perfect Close, check that out too, link in the show notes. James Muir said, “You don’t have to be passionate about the product, but you can always be passionate about the results it delivers for others. And James Bearing said, “You’d need to love what it does for your customer.”
And that’s what I firmly believe. I think we can be lukewarm or even cold about the products and the services, but we need to be excited about what results those solutions can deliver for our customers. That’s where you find the passion, not in the products themselves.
Now, there’s a great book. Again, I’m full of books here. I read quite a lot. This one is The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle. And this really speaks to the mindset and why this can create a problem if you really start to focus on the negative aspects of your solutions and what you don’t like about them. Eckhart Tolle says:
This is why for so many people, a large part of their sense of self is intimately connected with their problems. Once this has happened, the last thing they want is to become free of them. That would mean loss of self. There can be a great deal of unconscious ego investment in pain and suffering.
Essentially, what it’s saying is you almost become identified by the fact that you’re miserable, that you don’t like your solutions and services. It defines who you are. And then by letting that go, you start to wonder, “Well, who am I? What do I have left? If I’m not hating on my products, what else is there for me to do?”
So you want to avoid that trap. You want to avoid being so attached to the misery of not liking the products you’re selling that essentially you can no longer let go of that. You become bitter and twisted because that’s all you have left. That’s all you’ve got to cling on to just to survive.
So if you are in this situation, please address it and take heed of some of the suggestions and tips and tricks I’m going to share with you now.
15 ways to find passion for what you sell
So I’ve got 15 ideas to help you get that spark happening and get you focusing on the right things, which is the results that it delivers for your customers, regardless of what the solutions actually are. So here are 15 ways that you can turn things around. You can find that passion, again, that enthusiasm.
[05:26] First, identify your current mindset.
Start by identifying the negative thoughts and beliefs that you have about your job, your industry, your products. Write them down and then take a good, hard, long look at them. Are they actually objectively genuinely real or have you created this monster? Just challenge yourself on what’s reality and what you’ve latched onto or potentially invented or focused on that actually may not quite be true.
[05:56] Number two, evaluate your job.
Take a good look at your job from a different perspective. There will be people in your organization that could only dream of having your job, that aspire to be in your job, that are actively learning and trying to navigate the career towards your profession, your job. Look at the things that you enjoy, try to find some balance between the things that are great about your job and that you love and the things that are challenging. Because we all have things that are difficult in our jobs. It doesn’t matter what profession, what industry, what role you have, there will always be things that we like, always things that we don’t like. So if you can start to build that list, the pros and cons list, hopefully you’ll start to see that there’s more things to enjoy than you perhaps initially realised.
[06:42] Number three is to learn about your industry.
Research. Take some time to look at competitors, look at industry analysis, look at the trends, the challenges, the opportunities, what’s moving and shaking. Understanding your industry better can help you appreciate the products that you sell and where they fit into the bigger picture. And even if some of this innovation isn’t happening in your own organization, it can just reignite a bit of a passion for what the industry can offer customers. And I think that’s a nice place to start.
[07:08] Four is to focus on the benefits.
Think about the good things that your products and solutions and services deliver to your customers. What positive impact does it have, whether it’s at an individual level to your key contact or whether you’re helping their entire business get better results and make an impact. Focus on the benefits.
[07:26] Number five, get to know your customers.
Make an effort to get to know them better, understand their needs, their challenges, their goals. This is going to help you personalize your approach and find solutions that will help fit their needs. It’s that problem solving, that strategic positioning, that value creation that can really start to get you enthusiastic and motivated and inspired about the things that you’re selling.
[07:47] Six, is to celebrate success.
Make sure that you celebrate those wins. No matter how big, no matter how small, they are going to help you stay motivated and stay positive. Remember, it’s not just the destination, it’s the journey as well.
[08:00] Number seven is to surround yourself with positive people.
Now, I know this from personal experience, you can have that one Debbie Downer, Negative Nancy, that is always glass half empty. They’re always moaning and groaning. And I tell you what, negativity is contagious. I have been there so many times myself where I’ve been perfectly happy until somebody has suddenly convinced me that I’m not. Just because they’re so unhappy, now I’m moaning, groaning, gossiping, bitching because they’re sucking all the life out of the room. They’re literally sucking my life force with their negativity. So if there are people like that in your office, move away from them, distance yourself from them or call them on it.
[08:40] Number eight, set realistic goals for yourself, for your team, and for people around you.
These goals should be challenging, of course, but also achievable. This is going to give you a sense of purpose and accomplishment if you know that you can achieve these goals along the way, that it’s not insurmountable because there’s nothing worse than you’re pushing shit uphill, basically, where you feel like everything is stacked against you.
So if you can set little mini milestones, little mini goals, little mini markers along the way, even if they’re not official ones that you’re managed in terms of performance or KPIs, but your personal ones, you’ve set them. You’ve got these little project plans and you’ve hit some of the big markers that are helping you determine that you’re making progress. That’s what you want to do.
[09:23] Number nine is to learn from others.
Learn from successful people in your industry. Attend conferences and workshops, read books and articles, network with others in your field. I can’t tell you how many times I have been able to get a different perspective or rethink my approach because of things like that. I’ve already in the opening of this first 10 minutes, I’ve mentioned three books From Good to Great, The Perfect Close, and also The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle. That’s three books alone. I’ve read so many of them.
Not to mention conferences, not to mention just being inspired by the people around you. You must work with some intelligent, inspiring people that you can learn from. I remember my old boss, Sasha, she was fantastic. Some people didn’t get along with her, but she just seemed to put every foot right. She just seemed to be really above it all. She was able to rise above the challenges, the difficulties. She was very, very focused, very organized, very disciplined. I just was in awe when I was around her. I just was so inspired.
And she was very direct, too. She would pull me up on some of the things that I was not doing well, but I valued her opinion, so I was ready to receive it. But even without that, I just became better by osmosis by just observing her.
So don’t be shy, learn from other people. If you go to the office and you’re hot desk, sit next to somebody different, sit next to the smartest person, even if they’re not in your team. Find ways to eavesdrop, to listen in, to shadow, to overhear what people are doing, or ask questions, how would you approach this? I couldn’t help but overhearing. What’s the background to that? How did you approach that problem? Gold.
[10:58] Number 10 is to practice gratitude.
Focus on the positive aspects of your job, industry, and products. Be thankful for the opportunities and the experiences that your job provides. I have a little end of day reflection where I think about what went well, what didn’t go so well, what could I do better? That’s it. And what am I grateful for? Takes me five minutes at the end of the night, but honestly, it’s such a nice little close of the day.
Even if you don’t do it daily, you can do it weekly. A weekly reflection. I have this little tea and me session on Friday afternoons where I just jot down my ideas, think about next week, close off this week, and get myself all ready for the weekend and think about my accomplishments. Whatever form it might take, I think gratitude is a nice way to actually re-centre into your mind and focus on the things that matter and remove negative thoughts from the foreground.
[11:51] Number 11, take regular breaks.
You want to avoid burnout. That simple 5, 10, 15, 20 minutes, half hour, whatever it might be, that time that you take is yours to recharge and refocus. This will help you stay energized. It’s going to help you stay motivated, and it’s going to help you, particularly when those frustrations hit, when you feel like banging your head against a brick wall or slamming something or breaking something, those breaks are going to help you calm down, get a bit zen before you go back and face whatever it is you need to face.
[12:21] Number 12 is to develop new skills.
Look at the knowledge that’s related to your job and industry. This is going to give you a sense of growth and progress and help you find new ways to approach your work. In key account management, you need to know teamwork, you need to know collaboration, you need to know creativity, you need to have business acumen, you need to have commercial acumen, you need to have negotiation skills, sales skills, account planning skills, teamwork. I mean, the list goes on. There are a huge number of competencies that I am sure, no matter how experienced you are, you can brush up on or you can learn new skills. You don’t want to be a dinosaur or a relic. You want to stay current and employable and valuable and also challenged and motivated. I am a huge fan of that.
[13:03] About The KAM Club.
And while I’m on that subject, I might as well take a little break to give a shout out to our sponsor, me. The KAM Club is the world’s most amazing community of key account managers. Inside, you’re going to find courses, coaching, one to one with me, training, articles, podcasts, book summaries, and a whole bunch of other templates and guides. I mean, the list goes on. We’ve got something like 40 courses right now. It’s crazy the value that you get starting at $24.99 a month. So it’s an absolute bargain.
And you’ll also be joining 160-170 plus account managers from around the world, all with one thing in mind to get better results, to get better results for their clients, for their companies, and for their careers. So check it out, www.thekamclub.com
. Let’s get back to the episode.
[13:51] Number 13 is to connect with colleagues.
Look at who in your organization or even past colleagues or networks within LinkedIn, wherever it might be, connect with people that share your interests and values. This is going to help you get an outsider external perspective, fresh set of eyes on some of your problems.
It’s going to give you a support network when the going gets tough, and it’s going to help you find people that you can trust and people that can help you stay motivated. Very important that you develop your network of colleagues because they will really be a vital asset to you, not just now in your current role, but throughout your career.
[14:28] Number 14 is to embrace challenges.
See them as opportunities to learn and grow. This is going to help you overcome obstacles and develop that more resilient mindset. A lot of people shy away from challenges. They don’t want to rock the boat. They’re happy in their comfort zone. I love to be challenged. It helps me expand my way of thinking. It helps me learn new skills. I’m just a big fan.
So if you see opportunities to take on a project, if you see opportunities to fix something that’s broken in your organization or to try something different, go ahead, go for it. I encourage you.
[15:02] Number 15, lucky last is to find purpose and meaning in your work by connecting it to something larger than yourself.
It’s not just about you. You have a positive impact on colleagues, on your company, on your clients, on the people around you. You can look at yourself as part of the bigger picture. You play a pivotal role. No matter how big or small, there is something that you’re contributing that only you can contribute to the larger mission related to your company’s values and vision.
Now, I know for a fact there are things that I did in some of my jobs 10 years ago, the seeds that I planted, that the traces of those are still there today. Whether that is somebody I mentored and has gone on to be promoted, whether that’s somebody that I gave a job to, whether that’s a client that I worked with, whether that’s a procedure I developed, whether that’s a form I created, whatever it might be, those little journals have sprung into gardens, but they can be traced back to some of the things that I did.
And I feel like I have left my legacy or my mark in my previous roles by leaving it in a better place than I found it. And that attitude of finding purpose in that sense has really helped me find fulfilment in my work. And I’m sure it will you as well.
All right, here, as well, that’s a wrap on this episode of The KAM Club podcast.
I hope you found our discussion insightful and empowering. Remember, even if you’re not passionate about what you sell, there are still plenty of strategies to find some enthusiasm and some motivation in the world of sales. So it’s time to put that you found knowledge into action. Take a moment, reflect on the key takeaways from this episode, and see how you can implement them in your own journey.
Check out the show notes at tkcpodcast.com/031
, where you will find links to everything linkable, plus a complete transcript.
If you’re listening on iTunes and are so inclined, I would love it if you’d leave a rating and or a review that really helps the podcast grow.
And until next time, I’ve been your host, Warwick Brown. I’ll see you in the next episode real soon. Bye, heroes.