Stuck in a Rut? What NOT to do! and what I would do - Essential Skills

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Stuck in a Rut? What NOT to do! and what I would do

Stuck in a Rut? What NOT to do! and what I would do

This morning I am reading through various groups that I follow and a question came up about how to get out of a rut. I realize that everyone has this problem from time to time no matter what kind of job you are in. It is worse in sales because a rut equals no money!

Here is some of the terrible advice other sales people offered:

-Force myself to do what I hate.. I won’t allow myself to leave my office until I’ve got 2 NEW leads

-Go spend some money!

-Get back to basics

-Double your daily goals. Sales is a numbers game, just make the numbers.

-YouTube some Tony Robbins videos

-Get laid. It works.

This is why you should never ask salespeople for advice.  All this advice falls into 3 categories.

1. Increase effort- Because if course when you feel like crap working harder will be easy. The fact is you will spend more time and be less productive.

2. Pump yourself up- Even if you manage to watch puppies, motivational videos and success stories until you feel a  bit better. The second you turn them off the feeling will fade.

3. Do something that feels good- Yeah most drug addicts will tell you that this is a good idea. Chase a good feeling by running away from a bad one has never ended well.

So what can you do?

First, let’s understand what is really happening. Your brain is a prediction machine. It is constantly trying to predict what will happen next. It does this by looking at what is happening, what has happened and your current state. Then it uses those three things to decide what will happen next.

Example: You blow a sale. You feel bad. Your next call is made while remembering how bad if felt to blow the sale. Your brain predicts you will blow this one as well. Your voice quivers. You mess up your presentation. You overcompensate by talking faster and louder. You try harder. You fail again. Now you feel worse and your brain has more evidence that you are in trouble. You begin predicting that you will blow every sale even before you start.

Your brain is now firmly stuck in a fight or flight primal brain loop. You either are overly aggressive or overly passive. The more emotion you have the dumber you get because you have no access to the information you need to accomplish your goal.

What happens next is awful. You get into a reactive loop where you are just reacting to everything around you instead of being creative. You are running on pure emotion. What little logic you can dredge up has not real impact. You are spiraling out of control.

The bad part is that this can last a really long time. In sports, they call it a slump. In sales, they call it a rut. No matter what you call it, it sucks.

What can you do? 

You have to reactivate the creative/ adaptive part of your brain. You have to get it working together with the emotional part of your brain so that you can get moving.

Let me give you a simple thing you can do. 

Think of a recent pleasant experience. Notice how it feels. Notice what thoughts you had at the time. Make a note of those things.

Now think of the last experience you had with your rut. How did it feel? What were you thinking? Make a note of these.

Now clear your mind. Get up walk around and get out fo where you are having the problem.

Think about the feelings you had when you were having the rut. Then think of the feelings that you had from the pleasant experience, at the same time. Notice how that changes the rut feelings.

Now bring up the thoughts you has at the time of the rut experience. Then think of the thoughts you had from the pleasant experience, thinking of both at the same time. Notice how the thoughts change.

Now think of making that call or doing that thing that you were having trouble with. The only thing you want to notice is if it feels different.

You don’t need to turn into superman to get out of a rut. You just have to change how your brain is working so that you change the prediction.  Even the slightest change can make the biggest difference.

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