This winter the weather throughout North America has been very unpredictable. It isn’t snowing where it normally does, and where it isn’t supposed to snow, it is snowing. The same goes for rain, ice, freezing temperatures and everything else. Some areas have had unprecedented amounts of snow fall and ice, wreaking havoc on commuters, businesses, schools, and city works departments.

For too many salespeople, this winter has been a lot of disruption in terms of being able to see customers and develop prospects — all due to the numerous closings and cancellations because of weather. In situations like these, I see very quickly who has the high level of sales motivation and who doesn’t. The highly-motivated salesperson doesn’t allow changes in the weather to impact their plans. Sure, it may mean they can’t physically make some calls in person, but they are always ready to dig into another activity with excitement. The person with high sales motivation views these challenges not as obstacles to block sales, but merely as obstacles that will ultimately allow them to develop an even better sales process.

On the other hand, I see salespeople with low sales motivation deal with a weather problem as if it was the end of the world. It becomes for them a perfect excuse to kick back and do nothing. These usually are the same salespeople who realize in April that they’re suddenly behind in their yearly numbers and have a lousy set of leads from which to work. What happens for the salesperson with HIGH sales motivation when April rolls around? They’re racing forward and making things happen. Their sales motivation just keeps going up.

What camp are you in? I’ve blasted the slackers, but I’m guessing you are in the other camp. Let me give you a couple additional tips to add to your repertoire in keeping your motivation high. First, always have a contingency plan you can switch to when you’re dealt with an issue you can’t control such as the weather. Second, never allow the issue that is outside your control to impact your sales motivation. You can’t control the weather, so don’t worry about. Spend your time facing and capitalizing upon things you can control. Third, don’t allow others who chose not to respond positively to issues such as the weather to impact your own use of time. Finally, view each obstacle as an opportunity to allow you to find out something new, to uncover a new process, or find new areas for you to grow your sales.

The best contingency plan I know if is to have a “cool/remote prospect” list. Start working this list when you are stuck in your office, hotel or the airport because of weather. This means that if you’re selling equipment parts in your hometown and the snow suddenly shuts down your town, then you immediately shift gears to contacting prospects who you haven’t talked to in a long time. These might be people located in an area not impacted by the weather you are facing. If you have this list developed in the fall or at least know how to develop it quickly, then you’re good to go. Worst thing is to not know what to do when bad weather or other natural situations arise. If you don’t know what to do, you ‘ll wind up doing nothing.

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