What to Do When You, as a Salesperson, Are Experiencing an 'Off Day'
I had a horrible experience recently. I had an "off day." That is, I was off my game. Way off. I sat at my desk paralyzed, completely and utterly useless. I was devoid of my usual passion and self-motivation.
I wish I could blame it on the NyQuil I had taken the night before to fend off the cold that I had picked up. I wish I could blame it on working too many hours. I wish there was a cause that I could pin this horrible experience on, assign it 100% of the blame, and then learn from it so it never happened again. But I can’t.
I simply had an off day.
An off day is different from a day off. A day off is an intentional choice to skip work and do something else. We all know what to do with a day off. That’s easy. Whether it's golf, exercise, or even doing a lot of nothing, finding something to do on a day off isn’t difficult.
But what can be done with an off day?
Maybe it’s because I have statistically lived more than half of my expected lifespan, but I absolutely hate wasting time. My goal is to look back on the events of the day knowing that I made the most of the hours that I had. Off days are simply unacceptable.
If I lack the drive to do anything meaningful on my task list, I still try to salvage something of value from the day:
- Are there articles or books to read, material that will help me to “sharpen the saw”?
- Are there clients to call, past or present, for the purpose of just checking in?
- Could my office use a cleaning?
There must be something … anything … that will keep me from feeling as though a day was wasted.
Here’s the thing: the life of a sales rep has its high highs and low lows. There are times when opportunities abound and it’s raining business. Similarly, there are stretches of time where things are quiet. When those off days occur, we need to do what we can to bear it.
What I wish I had done, in hindsight, was to recognize the fact that there was no there, there, and go rake the yard. At least then I could have felt better about the day.
Look, we are all going to have an off day. Not every work experience will result in a sale. But don’t let that ruin your day. Make something of it. Educate yourself, quit early if you have to, recharge, and come back stronger tomorrow.
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