Last week, in our sales leadership blog, we wrote about how sleep fuels leadership performance. Specifically, we talked about how sleep is one of the most important things you have control over as a human being; it directly affects your mental, emotional, and cognitive capabilities. (In fact, the average sales team loses 14% of their monthly revenue due to lack of sleep). So, this week, we are diving into the importance of sleep again, but this time from a sales representative perspective.
Many people experience a love-hate relationship with sleep. We hate that we love sleeping when we need to be our most productive, while at the same time, we love to hate sleeping when we are endlessly scrolling our favorite social media or news website when we should be falling asleep. Because, let’s be honest, that one last post you need to read or video you need to watch before putting your phone down? It almost always turns into 50 or 100, and the next thing you know, you’ve sacrificed an hour of sleep.
The sleep you get tonight is the beginning of your performance tomorrow.
We have identified three main areas of your sales “game” that is directly affected by poor sleep.
Let's face it: other companies offer the same products/services as you. Sales reps are always keenly aware of their competition. What makes the difference? How your customers perceive you. The sales professional who shows up and has a passionate attitude about their product/service, and helps their customer buy into their solution, is most likely going to win the business. That’s why your attitude is a pivotal part of defining who you are and how successful you will be as a sales professional. Not getting the proper amount of sleep each night deeply impacts your attitude, your ability to show empathy, and even how positively you view the day. Sleep deprivation also makes you more emotionally reactive, and that might manifest in getting overly defensive about your price or dismissing a customer’s concern over an incorrect invoice.
Tip: Perspective is key. When you wake up in the morning, change your mindset from “I am so tired” to “I feel refreshed and awake." Then get out of bed and get moving. Try jumping out of bed the second you wake up. Or, if you need, you can count backward from 5 and then spring out of bed. Don’t hit snooze or lay there looking at the ceiling. Physically jump up! The day is ready for you to attack it. Plus, what a wonderful blessing it is to open your eyes for another day.
We all know getting adequate sleep is the key to having stable daily energy. But how does that equate to sales success? Being an effective, successful sales professional requires a high level of energy and brainpower. Bringing the right amount of energy to every sales activity during your day is imperative. Without sleep, your ability to actively listen to your customers could decline. Further, your ability to think on your feet in a yearly business review could suffer, your ability to recall critical statistics about your product or service could be limited or your explanation and demo of your solution could fall flat.
Tip: You will have peaks and dips of energy throughout your day according to your Circadian Rhythm, or your body’s internal clock. Familiarize yourself with how your body feels throughout the day to schedule tasks that require high concentration around your peaks, and relaxing activities or more passive work duties around your dips. Further, try getting into a routine when it comes to your sleep schedule. Keeping a regular sleep schedule (yes, even on weekends) maintains the timing of the body’s internal clock.
Studies state that the faces of sleep-deprived individuals consist of more hanging eyelids, redder and swollen eyes, and dark circles under the eyes. Sleep deprivation is also associated with paler skin, more wrinkles and fine lines, and droopy corners of the mouth. These are some of the tangible effects of sleep deprivation on your appearance. But what about the intangible? Each time you conduct an in-person or virtual sales call, you represent your brand and company. Keep in mind your appearance impacts how one perceives your organization.
Tip: Your body recovers and repairs itself overnight; give it 7-8 hours of sleep per night to do so. Be sure to drink lots of water as well. One of my favorite parts of my morning routine is drinking a tall glass of ice-cold water. I also do a two-to-three-minute cold shock at the end of my morning shower to increase circulation. These practices help wake me up and flush out any unwanted toxins released during my sleep cycle.
As mentioned previously, sleep is truly one of the most important things you have control over as a human being. When do you find yourself struggling to get enough sleep, and what impact do you see on your sales performance?