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10 to Zen: An Adaptation to Inside Sales


zen palate resized 600Some folks would describe me as a bit of a hippy in my office. I'm fairly laid back and try to remain as even-keeled as possible. My disposition could have much to do with the amount of times I was hit in the head throughout my younger years... but I guess I have to roll with it. 

The other day I found myself looking at a list pinned to the corkboard up on my office wall that read "10 to Zen."  It was a list of several steps one can take to achieve total zen, and it was recently circulated from the Buddha Heart Facebook page. Don't get me wrong, I'm not the kind of guy who has one of those inspirational posters that says ACHIEVEMENT with a picture of a dude free climbing a 2000 foot cliff. Though the 10 to Zen list may seem to appeal only to the "hippy crowd," I realized how much it can apply to those of us in the sales trenches. 

So here goes, a list of 10 tips to achieve zen in inside sales: 

1) Let go of comparing:

Everyone has a different style when they sell. Your approach may not always be exactly like everyone else... and that's a good thing.  

2) Let go of competing: 

This may seem counterintuitive to super competitive sales reps, but while you could be wasting your time envious of the guy on top, you could be killing your goal, too! I've found if you focus on your immediate universe, then you shouldn't have to worry so much about what the other guy is doing. 

3) Let go of judgments:

I know we can jump to conclusions on a comp plan, a territory or another rep we're "competing" with. Sales reps can tend to be very bratty sometimes. As I mentioned above, focus on what you need to and the rest generally takes care of itself. 

4) Let go of anger:

I think this one speaks for itself.

5) Let go of regrets:

There are many moments in inside sales where we wish we did something differently throughout the sales process that results in a lost deal. Rather than dwelling on it, use it as a learning experience, pick yourself up and start selling again. 

6) Let go of worrying:

I've always liked this quote from Mark Twain: "I've had a lot of worries in my life, most of which never happened." You could sit there and worry about hitting your number... or you could actually do something about it. 

7) Let go of blame:

It can be easy to come up with an unending amount of excuses about why you failed to hit your number last quarter. If you’re going to fall into the blame game I suggest the first place to start is with YOU.

8) Let go of guilt:

If you're guilty about not getting to your number it's probably because deep down inside you know you didn't work hard enough to get there. 

9) Let go of fear:

Fear will most certainly eat you alive in the sales game. I've always said a healthy level of fear can help to provide the necessary motivation, but you need to balance it well to make sure it doesn't overwhelm you. 

10) Have a proper belly laugh at least once a day (especially if it's about your inability to let go of any or all of the above)

Stop taking everything so seriously. Don't be afraid to laugh at yourself every once in a while. 

One thing I would add here is that I'm lucky enough to say that I work around people who make this list easy to follow. Do your best to surround yourself with people in your office culture that can help you get there as well. 

The typical hardcore inside sales rep may not agree with everything on the list, but all I ask is that you open your mind up a bit. Maybe looking at things through the ‘10 To Zen’ rose colored glasses may help provide you with a refreshed perspective.

Optimism Guide for Inside Sales Reps

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