Avoiding the chasm of disillusionment in sales

Avoiding the chasm of disillusionment in sales

We've all done it. We've all started a diet one day and expected almost immediate results the next. 

After all, we just made a huge sacrifice. So, where are the benefits, right?

Well, that kind of thinking leaves you with a deep, churning feeling of disillusionment. 

That's why I want to dive into an area of sales that often doesn't receive the attention it deserves. But something that everyone in the sales game must understand to be successful. 

Because, just like our clients, we have our own expectations to manage. And they can either help us or hurt us.

So, let's jump (or slide) right into the chasm of disillusionment in sales.

Where it all starts

We roll out a new strategy, and everyone in the team is buzzing with excitement. 

We're ready to conquer the world, targeting prospects differently, adding new channels, scaling existing ones, increasing outreach, and putting more energy into events, marketing and content that will build our authority but also be really useful. 

It's a flurry of activity, and optimism fills the air.

Everything feels promising, right?

Enter the Chasm of Disillusionment 

But then, it happens. The initial excitement wanes as we realise sales aren't materialising as quickly as we'd hoped. 

This stage is the Chasm of Disillusionment, the point where the drop-off occurs. And it's a critical phase that often tests our patience and resolve. 

While it's tempting to attribute this slowdown solely to slow sales, there's more to the story.

And it goes a little something like this:

The chasm of disillusionment is a stage in the sales process where perseverance, realistic expectations, and a commitment to the chosen strategy become critical. 

The stages often happen like this:

Excitement: This stage marks the beginning of a new sales initiative or campaign, where you feel enthusiastic and optimistic about achieving your goals.

Reality Check: As you dive into your sales efforts, you start to encounter the real challenges and complexities of the market. This phase is characterised by a growing awareness of the difficulties you face.

Struggle and Frustration: Your excitement begins to wane as you face obstacles, rejections, and setbacks. Frustration can set in you as you strive to meet targets and grapple with demanding clients or market conditions.

The Chasm of Self-Doubt: In this stage, you start having doubts about your team's or your own collective abilities and strategies. You even start to question whether they are on the right track or if adjustments are needed.

Clearly, the chasm of disillusionment isn't a hole anyone wants to fall into. So, if you've felt yourself slowly slipping into it, it's time to reevaluate what can be done. 

Managing your sales expectations (the right way)

Don't be ashamed if you have; Entering the chasm of disillusionment is not a sign of failure but a test of resilience. 

Yet effectively managing your sales expectations is crucial to avoiding disillusionment and maintaining the motivation necessary for consistent success.

Here's how we suggest you do it:

#1. Use the power of consistency

When navigating the chasm of disillusionment, consistency becomes our anchor. We need to stick with the program and keep adding layers of activity to our efforts.

The key is persistence and a commitment to the chosen strategy. Success doesn't always come overnight, but with time, it does come. 

It's about nurturing leads, building relationships, and gradually reaping the rewards.

#2. Understand there's no perfect strategy

When it comes to strategy, there's really no such thing as a perfect or foolproof plan. In reality, it's an ongoing learning process: iterating, optimising and improving. 

However, it often takes a major breakthrough or realization to make significant progress.

That being said, if you've done your research, developed a solid proposition and effectively connected it to your sales engine, you're on the right track. 

So keep going, and don't be afraid to keep tweaking your approach along the way. 

#3. Avoid misinterpreting the results

The most common pitfall during this phase is misinterpreting results. It's tempting to question our chosen strategy when we don't see immediate results. 

However, this is precisely the time to stay the course. Few people endure the tough, quiet phases long enough to truly gauge a strategy's effectiveness.

#4. Extend timeframes

While sales are often seen as a six-month process, we propose extending that timeframe to nine months. 

The extra investment of time pays off, yielding stronger, more rewarding results in the end. 

Final word: Consistency + Persistency = Longevity 

The chasm of disillusionment is a phase that every sales professional encounters. It's not a sign of failure but a test of our resilience and dedication. 

By consistently sticking with our strategies, managing our expectations, and understanding the extended timeframes involved, we can emerge from this phase stronger and more successful than ever. 

Embrace the journey, stay the course, and watch as your efforts bear fruit over time. You can do this! 

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