When I was a frontline manager, every second or third one-on-one would be attempting to quell a rep’s frustration around repetition. As a manager, the challenging part was trying to get the person to understand that most situations we face in business are not inherently frustrating. It’s a feeling we create ourselves. We don’t get as frustrated when we are doing something new as we are too busy chasing novel techniques and having fun through the thrill of accomplishing the work. Unfortunately, in sales, the “new stuff” quickly becomes the “old stuff,” and we come to experience it as a burden, causing us to lose patience.
Let’s say it is your first quarter on the job, and you are asked to make 50 calls a day. No problem - you blaze through it. The following quarter, expectations are then set at 55 calls a day. What was no problem three months ago is now tedious & tiresome. We deem the repetitious practice as something that is not helpful, fun, or interesting.
In sales, practice is important, and the way to practice effectively is through repetition of your process: prospecting, pitching, following up, etc. If you want to be good, you will have to do these things over and over again. The decision to become frustrated is our own, and shifting how we approach repetition as part of the process towards mastery and away from something that causes boredom and grief will allow us to develop skills AND patience. Not all the “old stuff” has to be tedious. Just look at the Olympians. Most are spending time perfecting the basics of their craft.