Associate Publisher’s viewpoint


    By Tim Lawlor
    Associate Publisher, Ottawa Construction News

    Our friend Kevin Dees recommended this great article on Linkedin from Chris Spurvey, vice president – KPMG and I wanted to share it with you.

    Last month I (Chris Spurvey) had coffee with a friend I had not seen in a while. She had read my book about cultivating the sales mindset and wanted to pick my brain about how to break out of a sales slump.

    If after reading this article you conclude that you found it helpful, please feel free to share it with your network. Perhaps we can all learn from each other. Thanks, Chris!

    * * *

    Kerry is a marketing strategist who, after spending more than 15 years working for a large firm, decided to go out on her own. She told me that business had seemed to fall into her lap out of the gate but that recently, given the demands of her current clients, she has had difficulty staying on top of business development. She also complained that the little business development she was doing was not producing the desired results. During the first half of our coffee chat, she spent a considerable amount of time beating herself up for the situation. She questioned her abilities, not only in the area of sales but also in the area that she had hung her hat on for so many good years—marketing. She said she was considering a return to the large firm, where things had been more predictable.

    I told her that if she indeed wanted to go back to a more predictable environment that she should do so with her head held high but that she should leave to move on to better things—not to escape the failure of not being able to sell. She agreed with me on this point and asked me for suggestions about how to break out of the sales slump.

    Here are a few suggestions that I gave her:

    1. Relive your past successes on the screen of your mind

    Put together an inventory of your past successes in situations when, despite things being stacked against you, you came out on top and made the sale. If it helps, tell stories to a friend and then write them down. Play these mental movies on the screen of your mind as you start your day. Instead of starting your day by questioning your abilities, you will start your day by proving to yourself that you are perfectly capable of helping your clients to solve their most taxing problems.

    2. Relax

    Take time out in between client discussions to relax and defuse any negative self-talk. By relaxing your body and mind, you will become more present and less uptight. Prospective clients will sense tightness. You are less likely to be the type of person that your clients want to do business with if you are uptight and testy.

    3. Do something certain to reinforce positive self-image

    At the start of each day, in addition to reliving your past successes, put yourself in high-probability situations, situations in which positive things are likely to occur. Maybe you have a half dozen past clients who really benefited from your work. Ask them if they would like to go to breakfast to talk with you about their current situations.

    Ottawa Construction News Associate publisher Tim Lawlor can be reached at (613) 699-2057 ext. 111, or by email at


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