November 12, 2008

Stop Trying to Demotivate Me with Talk of Slowdown

I travelled across town this morning to have an early breakfast with up to 100 management consultants and to benefit from the wisdom of two guest speakers. I should have gone to the office instead.

The breakfast was a solid base for the day (although not one my cardiologist would approve of), the rest was not. It was a diet of 'challenging times', 'slowdown', 'very difficult time', 'worst recession since the 1990s if not before', 'financial turmoil, etc.'

In the only moment of levity one of the speakers (the head of one of the big multinational consulting firms) joked that things were so bad that when another consultant asked how business was and the presenter replied 'challenging' that person whose business was obviouslyin even greater distress expressed surprise and responded 'that good is it?'

Stop right there! I refuse to be de-motivated. It is too easy to focus on the negative. There is a job to be done and moaning about an economic downturn won't help in doing it. Am I in denial (see the psychology of a slowdown)? No.

The facts about the economy are as undeniable, as they are outside my control. What I can influence is the level of sales activity I undertake and the degree of energy and enthusiasm that I bring to it. This is where depressing stories about the economy won't help.

After all, it's not the recession that really matters, it is how you react to it (see strategies for selling in a downturn). Thanks for the breakfast, but I left the negativity at the door on my way out!

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