5 Tips to Survive Your Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Sales Day

By Ryan Taft

​“The same wind blows on us all; the winds of disaster, opportunity and change.
Therefore, it is not the blowing of the wind, but the setting of the sails that will determine our direction in life.”
Jim Rohn

Have you ever had one of THOSE days? A terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. You know, the day where EVERYTHING goes wrong? I just did.

It was over the holidays and, on this extra special day, nothing seemed to go my way. My wife and I were traveling from Albuquerque to Los Angeles, and from the minute we woke up, everything seemed to go wrong.

I won’t go into the details but I can honestly say I was extremely frustrated. I felt like Steve Martin’s character from the movie Planes, Trains and Automobiles.

I am sure you’ve had sales days like this. The type of day where everything goes horribly wrong and you feel like there’s not a stinkin’ thing you can do about it.

But there is a silver lining in the middle of all this.  Sure, you probably can’t change what’s happening around you, but you certainly can do something about the way you handle what’s happening around you.

So, here are five tips to help turn a bad sales day around.

Tip #1: Realize that YOU are the problem

I know that sounds like a smack in the face. But when you decide that you’re the problem, it genuinely empowers you to come out from under your circumstances.

Most people retreat into a victim mentality when stuff starts hitting the fan. You probably hear yourself saying things like, “Why is this happening to me?” or “Is the whole world out to get me?”

The problem with being a victim is you lose the power to control how you’re going to conduct yourself in the situation. But, if you chose to accept responsibility for your behavior, you gain the gift of empowerment.

As Jim Rohn said, you can set your sail differently and get a different result. You — and you alone — have the power to turn your bad sales day around.

Tip #2: Put yourself in time out

A bad sales day is like driving in the wrong direction. Instead of continuing to go the wrong way, pull over and get your bearings.

In other words, take yourself out of the game for a few minutes and get away to calm down. Take a deep breath. Do whatever it takes to reduce your stress. And then get back at it!

Tip #3: Ask yourself a better question

As I mentioned, it’s easy to slip into a victim mentality. This shows up through all kinds of “poor me” questions. Instead of asking, “Why me?”, I recommend asking a better question – a question that will help you to change your emotional state.

Something like, “Okay, this is really frustrating, but I what can I be grateful for right now?” or “This guy’s being a jerk but should I be one, too?” Ask yourself a better question and readjust your perspective!

Tip #4: Look for the lesson

I once heard someone say that you only fail if you missed the lesson. That’s really great advice, and it applies perfectly to those bad sales days.

The lesson may involve being better prepared or how to positively handle a tough scenario. It may be hard to find at first. But it’s there… if you look for it!

Tip #5: Learn to laugh quicker

I could have listed this one first but, in all honesty, it’s a tough one for me – especially in the middle of one of THOSE days. Eventually, I come around and I’m able to laugh about my terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

The problem is, it’s usually a year later when I am retelling the story to a friend. I need to get there sooner. My guess is you do, too.

Laughter is good for our well-being. So, it makes sense that you should start laughing about your bad sales day sooner. Maybe even while you are in the middle of it.

Nobody wants to hang around a salesperson who’s in a bad mood. Follow these tips and you’ll have a much better chance of getting out of your funk and getting back on track to serve your customers.


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About the Author: Ryan Taft

Ryan Taft
Ryan Taft is consumed with a passion for helping others achieve breakthrough results in sales, business and life. With a career spanning two decades training and coaching sales teams from call centers to new home sales to Realtors®, Ryan combines his knowledge of human performance, psychology and sales skills development to deliver extraordinarily engaging, energizing and insightful training experiences that drive peak performance at all levels.  Learn more at jeffshore.com and follow Ryan on Twitter.