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Sometimes momentum is positive, helping you to climb to greater heights and produce greater and greater results. But momentum can work the other way, too. Momentum can be negative, helping propel you into a downward spiral of poor outcomes.

The thing about momentum is that once you decide to change direction, it takes a while to notice that anything is actually happening.

Down the Spiral with Negative Momentum

You decide to take the day off from making your calls. Instead, you decide that you will spend sometime at the water cooler, the virtual water cooler, checking out the latest news on the Internet, and avoiding the work that produces sales results and outcomes.

One day turns to two days, and then you receive some requests for proposals and some other busy work that feels like sales work. Soon, it’s been weeks since you have done any real prospecting and you have no pipeline.

Not having done the work that should have been done means that you won’t hit your numbers next quarter. Hitting your numbers next quarter would have been built on the work you did this quarter, but this quarter quietly slipped away.

Now, you are being asked what you can do to produce the results you need to produce. Desperately, you try to cram. You start to take actions directed at producing short-term results at the expense of your real long-term goals.

And down the spiral you go.

Creating Positive Momentum

You decide to hit the brakes. You decide to stop procrastinating, to stop wasting time, and to seriously dedicate yourself to your work. But nothing happens.

Just like a car sliding on ice, it takes a long time for the brakes to catch. But something is happening even when it doesn’t feel like it. You are being carried forward by all of the negative momentum you have created. Turning around and going the other direction, creating positive momentum is difficult; it takes time and effort.

Once you begin to dedicate yourself to daily doing the work that produces real sales results, you will slowly begin creating positive momentum.

You do your prospecting work one day and nothing really happens. Then another day, and you start to identify some prospects. A few weeks of work and your calendar begins to finally take shape.

You start to nurture the relationships you need to open an opportunity with your dream client. You start to make monthly deposits in those accounts by creating value without claiming any, and slowly you are known. As the weeks and months go on, your dream clients begin to experience the trigger event that is dissatisfaction, and you begin to develop and win opportunities.

Soon, your pipeline begins to look like a top 20-percenter, and you begin winning the deals that you have spent months building.

This momentum is also very much like pressing the brakes of a car that is traveling on ice. You can let up your efforts for a while, and your positive momentum will carry you for a while, but not forever.

Positive momentum and negative momentum both require that you continue to take action. Positive momentum is built on the positive sales-related actions that propel your results forward. Negative momentum is built by taking non-sales related actions that cause a downward spiral of poor results—and a poor future. You can go a long way in either direction long after you hit the brakes, but changing direction means changing the actions you are taking until you get new results and build a new momentum.


How does negative momentum get started?

How long does it continue you in a negative direction after you hit the brakes and attempt to turn it around?

How do you create a positive momentum of growing, increasing sales results?

How do you sustain that momentum?

What does it take to change directions?

Sales 2011
Post by Anthony Iannarino on July 30, 2011

Written and edited by human brains and human hands.

Anthony Iannarino
Anthony Iannarino is a writer, an author of four books on the modern sales approach, an international speaker, and an entrepreneur. Anthony posts here daily.
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