“Stuck in a Rut” Selling: A Sales Nightmare…

 “What is this thing that we call a Rut? Is one man’s rut another man’s rapture?”

A few definitions:

  • ‘In a Rut’: Type of habitual behavior. (As when the wheels of a vehicle travel in the ruts worn into the ground by other vehicles making it easiest to go exactly the way all the other vehicles have gone before.)  
  • ‘(Stuck) in a Rut’: Established way of living or working that never changes; a habit; a bad habit; a Rut.                   
  • ‘Be (Stuck) in a Rut’: In a situation where it is impossible to make progress, or doing the same things all the time; a habit, a bad habit; a Rut.

Jeb Blount in his articleBad Habits Die Hard writes: A habit is defined as a pattern of behavior that is followed regularly until it becomes automatic part of our routine. In other words we do things we are comfortable with and we keep doing them. When we do the same thing over and over again an amazing thing happens: “we get the same result over and over again!”  

Kelley Robertson in his articleAre Routines Holding You Back?” writes:  “As a sales professional, you need to recognize that routines can prevent you from achieving your full potential. However, if you persist at incorporating new sales technique into your selling approach, it, too, will become part of your new routine. That’s the great thing about the human spirit and brain, it is very adaptable. The most successful people in business and in sales know that changes to their routine will cause them some discomfort. But, they are also very aware that these changes will become more comfortable and part of their routine if they work at it long enough”.

“Unfortunately, many people become so comfortable with their habits that they will continue the behavior even if that habit is causing them to fail. This is called a bad habit and anyone who has worked to quit smoking or even corrects a poor golf swing, will attest that bad habits die hard. In many ways, failure is just the manifestation of our bad habits.”

“Stepping out of a comfort zone is very difficult and one of the core reasons so many salespeople find themselves moving from company to company and failing time and time again. Despite the training each new company provides, despite the coaching, despite the mentoring from successful sales professionals, eventually these salespeople revert back to their old habits and ultimately failure. The good news is that though difficult, it is possible to break this cycle of failure. But to change your habits, you must first change your thoughts and actions and behavior.”

“People can intrinsically grasp a new concept or principle but experience difficulty trying to actually implement it into the way they sell. That’s why many sales training programs don’t work; you can’t expect to change your behavior or routine immediately. The key is to keep reinforcing the sales process or concept even though it feels uncomfortable and foreign. In fact, in most cases, you will begin to feel comfortable with the new initiative immediately after you experience the greatest frustration and difficulty. Consider learning a new sport, hobby, or task.”

“At first the movements feel uncomfortable. Your moves are not smooth, accurate or natural. And this feeling usually persists for quite some time. However, just when you feel like giving up because it has become too difficult and frustrating, something clicks and the movements start to feel more natural. You have now progressed to the stage of being able to achieve results.”

The same happens when you decide to try something different when selling: Try a new sales process: A well established and systematic sales approach that is customer-focused and embraces the concept that the sales function is a definable, repeatable process that can be tracked, planned, and managed.

Whether you’re stuck in a rut or just a bad habit, it’s worth bearing in mind this quote from well-known author and speaker on personal development, Anthony Robbins: “If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten.”

Another quote; “Whatever got you where you are today is no longer sufficient to keep you there”… Even if you’re been selling for only a few years, the selling environment in which you learned to operate no longer exists. Change in inevitable, and you must change with it to survive. End the Nightmare: “Get Out of the Rut”.