If you’ve been in sales for any real amount of time, then there’s no doubt you’ve experienced some version of “burnout”. For some, burnout can last a day or two and then simply subside, whereas for others it can last for days, weeks or longer causing serious problems for their careers.
What is burnout?
Burnout is a sense of apathy. You’ve lost your motivation to succeed. You’ve worked so hard for so long, and now you don’t seem to have the same passion or drive that you once did.
Burnout can easily cause you to lose a sale. If it persists, it can cause you to lose lots of sales and eventually even your job. For most, burnout is a one or two-day occurrence and then things level out, motivation returns, and they reengage in their work. It’s when burnout goes on for a longer period that it can cause serious problems that sometimes cannot be rectified.
For those dealing with a sense of burnout that doesn’t seem to be fading, we’ve put together our top four tips that can help you to recover from burnout.
Tip 1: Pace yourself
For many salespeople, their pace is set to full speed. They feel an urgency to be everywhere, with everyone, attempting to close as many sales as possible. It’s totally understandable – the more sales they close, the bigger their paycheck is going to be.
BUT … that pace may actually be what is killing their desire to continue. If you’ve found yourself dealing with burnout, the best place to start is to step back and take a look at your work life. Is it spilling over into your personal life? Do you make time for breaks? Are you able to be healthy while at work? What is your typical stress level?
It’s often the case that a change in pace at work can be the key to bringing that motivation back. Once you’ve identified where your workday may be contributing to your unhappiness, make the necessary tweaks. Even if it means one less sale that month. If your burnout is a result of working too much, it’s absolutely worth it to lose one sale while you regain your balance, rather than to risk losing many sales, or even your job, to serious burnout. Get yourself back to a pace that is sustainable, and your burnout will likely lift.
Tip 2: Keep work at work.
I’ve run across a lot of salespeople who take their work home. When they get home, they continue to talk about their sales, what they have in the tank, and what they expect to do for the rest of the month. Their life revolves around sales, to the point that it eclipses other areas.
If you’re feeling burnt-out, try keeping work and work-related discussions and thoughts restricted to the office. It may feel strange at first, but it’s really worth a try. Life is about balance, and if you’re constantly bringing work home, it’s likely that the balance is off. Fill this new non-work time in your day with things that matter to you – family, friends, hobbies, even just personal relaxation.
Tip 3: Find an outlet
For many, sales started out as an exciting and exhilarating career. They were energized by the successful deals. If that energy at work has been zapped, sometimes finding a new activity to channel energy into can be a great tool. Physical outlets can be quick to dissolve a burnout. Exercise, yoga, even regular walking can help get your energy back up. Other hobbies are great too – whatever interests you. Getting your energy up through a non-work outlet can often lead to more energy at work.
Tip 4: Seek positivity
Nothing can kill your mood more than negative people. It doesn’t take much for a good day or week to turn into a bad day or week because of someone’s negative words or actions. Some people may not believe it, but it’s absolutely worth trying out for yourself: if you are around positive people, you’ll likely feel positive, and if you’re around negative people, you’ll likely feel negative.
Take a close look at your work environment. If you see a lot of negativity, can it be changed? If you can’t directly change your surroundings to eliminate certain negative influences, how can you introduce more positivity? This could mean getting out of the office at lunchtime to meet a friend or do something you enjoy. A negative environment can easily suck you into a burnout. It’s really important to look at how you feel in your workspace, and if it isn’t positive, be open to some changes. They can be as small as bringing in a photo of your family to keep on your desk.
These are some of the best ways to recover from a burnout in sales. What’s great to recognize is that they are also great ways to prevent burnout. So whether you use them to recover or you just want to avoid the trap, implementing these tips in your daily life can increase your immunity to burnout.