Getting Mental Health in Sales Right – Episode 2

Every salesperson probably has at least one nightmare Mental Health story from working in sales.

However this series is about sharing stories from contributors about when we as a community got Mental Health in sales right.

Times when our Mental Health was suffering and our workplace, leaders and/or peers did the right things to support us so we could recover.

It’s within these stories where we can find answers to what workplaces and leaders can start doing tomorrow that actually WORKED.

Behaviours that will improve the Mental Health of their sales teams and salespeople.

Story of the Week – Submitted by Ann Kramer

“In December 2009, I was diagnosed with Stage 2 breast cancer. The first person that I emailed was my director.

Mostly because I didn’t know what to do.

Could I still work? Should I still work? I emailed him from the doctors office, and then sat down with him and our RVP. 

I really couldn’t talk. 31 years old, doing really well in my sales career, and I’ve got cancer?!?!?! WTF?!?!?!

I sat in front of both of them and just asked “What do I do?” 

They both said, we are going to call HR, we are going to make sure you get disability, and then you take as much time as you need to get better. And don’t come back until you are!”

That was on 15 December. My last day before leaving for treatment was 30 December. As you can imagine, I really was not in the head space to do my job at all.

I did not originate one loan, hardly made any calls, or even pulled a credit report in those two weeks. Not once did I get flack from either my director or RVP. Not once. 

I am forever grateful to both of them for not wondering how me getting sick was going to affect their bottom line. They wanted me to get better and make sure I was getting paid for as long as it took me to be ok. 

9 months later, after all chemo, surgery, and radiation, I was back at the office. And whatever support I still needed, they gave me to make sure I was still successful.”

Key Learning:

When we’re facing a serious health crisis like cancer, our Mental Health suffers and our logical brain can shut down.

It can often feel like we’re alone and at the mercy of the universe.

In this vulnerable state, there is no more hiding. We have to trust our support system and open up to our family, friends and work team.

Some challenges are simply too great to face on our own.

But it’s within these experiences, when we can finally see the strength of the relationships we have built. When we can see if the people we’re surrounding ourselves with every day are going to be there in our darkest hour of need like we would be there for them.

It’s enlightening and humbling to see how much people care when distractions are removed and focused on one thing.

Our health.

But it shouldn’t have to be this way.

It shouldn’t have to take getting cancer for these relationships to show through. It’s ok to show weakness in sales and to let people know when we’re struggling.

This means being compassionate and facing the challenges that arise on the sales floor together as a team.

There is an opportunity every day to be vulnerable with each other. To trust and share how much we care about the people around us and the people we work with.

If you’re a manager or an individual contributor make an effort to show you care about the people you surround yourself every single day.

That way when the big stuff hits – there won’t even be a question of doubt.

Your net and your team will be there to support you – no matter what.

Tell Your Story

If you have a story about a time when you were struggling with your Mental Health and you found support in your workplace we’d love for you to share!

Your story can help create hope for people in toxic environments and provide direction on how we can improve workplace Mental Health together.

To submit your story please click on the button below.

Submit Your Mental Health Story


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