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  • Brett Zalaski

Hungover...and Selling


Before we even get going here, I want to issue a bit of a PSA. We are going to tackle the topic of finding success when you're not at your best, and there will be moments where we'll be a little tongue in cheek...but this is a serious topic on a macro level. While the expression 'work hard, play hard' exists as much in sales as any other profession, and we work in a very demanding job that needs outlets at times, if you are finding yourself consistently hungover at work...that's a problem. I'll be the first to say that I'm not pitching a perfect game on this one. Everyone needs to look internally. Being cool is not being the last one to leave the party. Being cool is being the person who kicks ass and takes names at their job.


No on to the topic itself! An MLB Account Executive who was recently promoted from inside sales wrote in with this question:


I just got promoted from Inside Sales to an AE and I'm really excited. The problem is that now I'm hanging out with my Inside Sales friends, AE's, and I have a life outside the office. I find myself hungover at work at least once a week, and those are always the days I get the least done. I'm not going to stop going out, so what can I do to find more production during those days?


Sometimes we just don't feel our best...and that's not just when we're hungover. There are plenty of days that we didn't get enough sleep, or had something bad happen in our lives...and our desire or ability to interact with our fans just isn't there. There are a few things you can do when you know that interacting with your fans isn't going to go well.

  1. Organize Your Business: On my best days, I wanted to jump in to the office and jump on the phones. On my worst days, I took a step back and organized myself. Where did my pipeline management document say I was vs. where I needed to be? Who do I need to get in contact with? What people do I need to break up with? Spend some time organizing yourself so, when you're ready, you can launch into real action that will help your bottom line.

  2. Prospect: Take a look at your team's social media pages. What fans are communicating? Are they in your database? What companies do you want to reach out to...and who there should you be reaching out to? What do your parents, siblings, friends do for work? What companies locally have similar industry ties to them? What alumni from your college are local? There are a million things you can do to generate NEW opportunities. Take some time, do some research, and create a list to attack.

  3. Create a Touchpoint Plan: Just because your brain is foggy doesn't mean it doesn't work. One of the biggest challenges reps write in about is engaging ticket buyers and just getting people on the phone. Create a plan that includes a combination of email, phone, and social over a couple weeks that proves to your fans that you want to speak with them. Be creative, have fun with it, think about what you want to say in the individual touchpoints. A smart touchpoint campaign can yield huge results.

  4. Create a Mail Merge: Just because you may not be your best on the phone doesn't you can't create activity. Isolate like leads. They could be new ticket buyers. They could be old clients. They could be a list of everyone who's said 'no' to you. And create a communication email that's fun, engaging, and informative...and send it. If you aren't going to hit 100 phone calls, get 100 emails out before 10 am.

  5. Stay Home or Work to Manage It: If you're only going to hurt yourself, or pull your peers down around you...don't go to work. If you decide to go to work, load up on water, drink caffeine, work out during lunch, take a walk during the day, etc. Get your body and brain moving and the rest of you will (hopefully) follow.


I'm not a doctor. Everything above comes from some conversations with friends I had since I got the note, or past personal experience. I love this quote on the right. Just because you aren't bringing your fastball doesn't mean it's an excuse to cease being active. Being hungover can be a mistake...but it doesn't mean that you can't pull yourself closer to a sale. There are very specific things you can do...but you have to decide to do them. Deciding to be active doesn't have to mean picking up the phone. It's deciding to move your business (or yourself) forward. That's where the magic occurs.