Modern Selling: Stay Motivated During COVID-19

June 8, 2020
10 Ways for salespeople to stay connected and on target
This article originally appeared in the June 2020 issue of Security Business magazine. When sharing, don’t forget to mention @SecBusinessMag on Twitter and Security Business magazine on LinkedIn.

During my second year in sales, I was struggling emotionally. A dip in sales had everything to do with my dip in prospecting, and I knew it. I also knew the sales would come soon – I was working hard and my funnel was full; however, no one around me could tell from the constant intense look on my face. I was anxious, moody and scared that I was going to fail.

When I shared this story with a mentor, he shared a statement that has helped me for 25 years: “The longest distance in the universe is between your brain and your heart.”

Salespeople need motivation – it does not matter how logical or predictable your sales process is, it is difficult to stay calm and positive when you are getting kicked in the gut a couple dozen times every day. Add a global pandemic, economic crisis and being required to stay within the walls of your house, and a 1977 version of Zig Ziglar would be challenged to keep you motivated. Here are 10 ways to tackle the motivation issue:

1. What can I do now that will make me proud in a year? During this time, there are infinite ways to waste time, worry about things out of your control, and become someone you do not want to be. Instead, answer this question with a written list of things you can do during this time that will make you smile with pride.

2. Measure what you can control. This may not be the time to try to break your all-time monthly sales record; however, there are many things that you control that should be measured. Are you sending helpful content to customers and prospects? Are you creating unsolicited ideas for your customers? Measure these things and ignore the metrics that are out of your control – regardless of how important they are (yes, you read that correctly).

3. Call one customer every morning as your first task. Three of the best ideas to lift your spirits are to do something productive, help someone else and to chat with a customer. Start your day by calling a customer to simply offer help and you will see your step lift a little bit every day.

4. Create a list of summer goals. What are you going to do by Labor Day? Not just with work, but personally too. Write them down and go after them. Short-term, unique goals will keep you focused and driven during this crazy summer.

5. Beware of Parkinson’s Law. This law states that work will expand to fill the time allotted for it. You have time on your hands, so do not allow a 30-minute task to take up a whole afternoon to justify your time as “busy.”

6. Do something new. I’m cooking, no kidding. I have always wanted to cook well, and I am finally doing it. Every time I get a little bit down about this crisis, I remember that I am home and learning how to cook instead flying around North America.

7. Eliminate negativity. Avoid the news or negative social media. Try to fill your time with positive activities and positive people.

8. Write down every positive thing that happens in a day. When I started Vector Firm, I dealt with a ton of rejection, so I started this daily exercise. By 6 p.m., I usually had a list of 25-35 bullet points, and it made my day.

9. Find positive books and/or podcasts. Do not worry about learning or becoming more cultured – pick things that will lift you up throughout the week.

10. Exercise. If you already workout, then keep doing it; if not, start. There is no better advice I can give anyone about staying motivated than to stay active.

Chris Peterson is the founder and president of Vector Firm (, a sales consulting and training company built specifically for the security industry. To request more info about the company, visit