Business is personal. We might want to tell ourselves that business is emotionless and purely objective, but if we are honest, it is almost impossible to completely separate how a situation makes us feel from what might be the actual facts of the situation.
This is why fields like medicine and science have conflict of interest policies, deliberately removing even the brightest minds from having to grapple with an emotional element to an objective choice.
(Related: When One Idea Is Better Than a Dozen)
In sales, we may not be working in an emergency room, but as the stakes get higher and the sales opportunities get bigger, keeping emotion out of our work becomes more and more difficult.
For many of us, our businesses are our life’s work. We started out in the trenches as young advisors and built our firms up, one client at a time, over decades of difficult work. Our business is our passion, and it’s how we provide for our families. Instead of entertaining the fairy tale that we can separate our emotions from our work, we should learn to recognize when our emotions are running hot and seek an outside perspective.
Our sales coach, Dan Hudock, talks about this dynamic when he coaches our salespeople and when he works with our clients. Sales is hard. Even though we are out there on our own as salespeople most of the time, we should still take the time to step back from a challenge and get another perspective.
As Dan would say, even coaches have coaches. The best athletes, entrepreneurs, and salespeople all still have people they look up to and go to for advice. They have strength coaches, nutritionists, physical therapists, psychologists, and of course their actual team coaches.
You need people around you to help you see the bigger picture. In financial services, this is something you talk about with your clients all the time, but we see advisors being just as resistant to help as their clients might be. None of us want to appear weak. We don’t want to talk about anything that might make us look bad. We don’t want to admit when there is a problem.
If you really want your business to keep growing, you are better off asking for help. Here are some people to consider:
- Your sales coach.
- Your mentor.
- A peer in the industry.
- A family member.
- Your staff.
- A pastor or other spirtual advisor, if that aligns with your belief system.
- A therapist.
- A personal trainer (being healthier helps).
Each of these people will give you a different perspective on what you’re facing, which means they can help you to see the full picture and to identify options that might be clouded by your emotions. Is that prospect yanking you around or maybe is there something you’re missing? Should you jump on tackling that new market or should you double-down on growing in the market you’re in?
When you are making big decisions, don’t make them alone. Ultimately, you will be the one pushing the button on your next move, but you can make that choice with much more clarity if you reach out to people you respect.
— Read 6 Ways to Capture the Rewards Hiding in the Unknown, on ThinkAdvisor.
John Pojeta is vice president of business development at The PT Services Group. Before he joined PT, he owned and operated an Ameriprise Financial Services franchise for 16 years.