Frustrated salesperson lost their mojo

When Salespeople Lose Their Mojo

by Chris Young

Have you ever seen a star pitcher or quarterback just lose their IT factor in the middle of the season? Their mojo is gone. They can’t score a touchdown or strike out a guy for anything. But just a week or two (or a season or two) prior, they were at the top of their game.

Sure, there is the inevitable physical decline in athletes, but that’s usually pretty recognizable. This is different. I would even say it is an aura they project.

They lost their mojo.

Frustrated salesperson lost their mojo

Mojo is a funny thing in that a lot of people don’t really understand it. We toss the word around pretty freely without really grasping what it means to have - or especially - to lose it.

Urban Dictionary describes “mojo” as “self-confidence, self-assuredness. As in basis for belief in oneself in a situation. The ability to bounce back from a debilitating trauma and negative attitude.”

In plain language, mojo essentially refers to the state of one’s mental energy and resilience to bounce back from setbacks.

So even when that star QB or ace pitcher has plenty of mojo, the occasional long pass is dropped, or the star homerun hitter bashes a 98 MPH fastball over the wall. It happens even when they are totally locked in.

The mojo lies in their resilience to bounce back. When the ace pitcher strikes out the next three in a row after giving up a home run and your jaw is hanging open. Or when Tom Brady throws the ball back to Gronk for a long TD even after he dropped the last one.

Mojo. Pure, powerful mojo.

All of us burn mental energy at work and at leisure.

For sales people, mental energy burn is accelerated through:

  • Lost sales.
  • Prospecting rejection.
  • Sales Manager holding the salesperson to an accountability standard of performance.

Think about the best and worst jobs you have ever had. Chances are your best job resonated with your passion, purpose, and values. Chances are your manager believed in you and you in them. You probably felt you were fairly treated.

This job had you firing on all cylinders, and you had the support system in place to keep you that way. As a result of this resonance, your resiliency or ability to bounce back from setbacks was high and your mental energy burn was diminished.

Conversely, when you are engaged in a role you do not enjoy, there is likely conflict with the job itself, with the Sales Manager and / or with the sales culture.

I see the result of this in organizations frequently. The outcome is dissonance with the role and others in the workplace. Too much mental energy burn and lack of resilience due to dissonance leads to reduced or lost mojo. This translates directly into reduced quality and quantity of activity levels that are essential to driving sales performance.

The greater the dissonance, the lower the resilience.

Salespeople lose their mojo recovery for one or a combination of the following reasons:

  • Their sales personalities are not a match for the needs of the sales role.
  • Their sales manager is not a true Sales Wolf his or herself.
  • They are unaware and / or unskilled in managing and optimizing their own mindsets.
  • They do not feel fairly treated and / or valued.
  • Something else in their lives is not in alignment with their ideal state.

All problems walk on two feet.

Each of these mojo loss reasons can be a deal killer. The single most important contributor to mojo loss is lack of Job Fit – in particular where the salesperson’s sales personality is not an ideal match for the sales role. Lack of sales personality fit coupled with strong Sales Manager accountability almost always translates into lost mojo and ultimately increased turnover.

Even Sales Wolves lose their mojo from time-to-time. They are human. But strong Sales Leadership helps them bounce back.

All problems (and solutions) start at the head.

It is really the role of the CEO to ensure that only Sales Wolf Managers are selected / hired to manage only true Sales Wolves. Sales Personality Job Fit is essential at the manager and salesperson levels.

The role of the Sales Wolf Manager is to ensure only Sales Wolves are selected and hired. They are to onboard Sales Wolves, share best practices in terms of the role and mindset management to keep their mojo strong. A good Sales Manager is always watchful for the telltale signs a salesperson’s mojo has been compromised.

Mindset hacks are critical to mojo recovery.

Sales Manager encourages her salespeople to perform

True Sales Wolf Managers are familiar with tried and true mindset hacks that facilitate mojo recovery. Mindset hacks are mental habits that foster resilience through the shaping of one’s mindset to quickly recover from setbacks.

True Sales Wolf Managers know what works and what does not through experience. They have used the very mojo hacks they recommend. They know that mojo hacks only work on true Sales Wolves. They are credible in the eyes of those that report to them. Furthermore, Sales Wolf Managers believe in their salespeople because they are Sales Wolves too. Sales Wolves who feel appreciated and believed in by true Sales Wolf Managers have stronger mojos and resilience.

As Sales Wolves learn and adopt mojo hacks, their resilience grows stronger.

Sometimes mojo recovery is a lost cause.

If the salesperson does not fit the sales personality requirements of the sales role, mojo hacks are largely futile and time not well-spent. These salespeople should be humanely-encouraged to seek opportunities elsewhere.

If the salesperson is a true Sales Wolf and their mojo is truly unrecoverable, it is essential to look as introspectively as possible to identify the cause(s) of the Sales Wolf mojo loss. Was it how he or she was managed? Were expectations incorrectly set? Is there an identifiable pattern in the sales hiring scorecard? Is there a culture issue like favoritism, lack of appreciation, lack of mentoring / coaching, etc that needs to be addressed?

A careful, thorough review should be completed to ensure:

  • The salesperson’s personality is / was a match for the needs of the sales role.
  • The Sales Manager is a true Sales Wolf his or herself.
  • Mindset development opportunities were provided / taken advantage of.
  • The Sales Wolf feels he or she was treated fairly and appreciated.
  • The salesperson was provided the support needed to deal with any personal issues.

Protect your Sales Wolves and protect your success.

Prior to Job Benchmarking and sales personality and aptitude testing it was easy for a Sales Manager to place blame on a seeming low-performing salesperson. Sales Managers have a history of being largely untouchable unless their sales performance is particularly low.

Thanks to innovations like multi-science sales personality testing, the ability to quantify job fit and human capital value exists. This innovation effectively changes the dialogue from “You know good salespeople are hard to find,” to “Why did the Porsche 911 go off the road?”

True Sales Wolves represent powerful human capital with a significant net present value of future revenue / margin that must be protected and improved upon.

With experience, Sales Wolves learn to protect their mojo by their thoughts, words and actions.

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