This is a short story to illustrate the massive opportunity organizations have within workplace mental health and sales.

Many years ago, a company sent two salespeople to two small towns in Africa to evaluate the market opportunity for their burgeoning shoe business.

During their first two weeks, each salesperson explored their territory and spoke to potential customers.

After their territory planning and evaluation were complete, each salesperson sent a telegram back home explaining the opportunity that their company had in this new market.

The first salesperson sent this message:

“No opportunity here. No one here wears any shoes!”

The second salesperson sent this message instead:

“HUGE opportunity for growth. No one is wearing any shoes yet!”

Mental Health Changes Perspective

I love this adage because it eloquently describes the importance of perspective and the influence it has on how we experience the world around us.

Two people in almost the exact same situation or environment can have two wildly different beliefs, attitudes and opinions based on their mindset and what they perceive.

When we fail to recognize this phenomena is happening in every interaction we have with other people throughout the day, we become less curious and less empathetic to others.

We immediately begin to assume the worst in people when they are rude, reject our email or cut us off while we’re driving.

Yes – there are some people who are certainly assholes.

But most of the time, when we get upset by others, it’s usually because declining Mental Health (anxiety, depression, burnout, etc) has clouded our perspective or the perspective of the person we’re interacting with.

It’s in these moments when we’re emotionally triggered. We must remember to become curious and empathetic to each others situation so we can understand each other better.

Someone might just be having a bad day.

Massive Opportunity Within Workplace Mental Health and Sales

I also like the adage because it clearly describes the Mental Health situation within sales right now.

Very few companies are prioritizing this topic in their day to day operations – even though more than 2 in 5 salespeople struggle with their mental health.

Sales is a Mental game that requires training, coaching and additional resources to help keep the mind healthy. As organizations continuously try to accelerate the speed at which we sell – burnout is increasing in teams without proper support.

The data is clearly showing that Mental Health issues have been increasing significantly across the world over the last decade. Even more so now with the impact of COVID-19.

Simply because “no one is wearing shoes yet” and the Mental Health conversation isn’t mainstream in sales yet… It doesn’t mean a MASSIVE opportunity does not exist for the companies and individuals that start prioritizing it first.

If you believe you are like salesperson two in the adage – you might enjoy the online course below. It is your opportunity to work on a part of your craft that has likely never been developed. Improving your Mental game and sales performance through better Mental Health. Check it out below!

Online Course: Improve Sales Performance Through Better Mental Health

About The Author

mental health advocate Jeff Riseley

Jeff Riseley is currently the Founder of the Sales Health Alliance and Mental Health Advocate. With over a decade of sales experience – Jeff understands the importance of Mental Health in achieving peak sales performance.

Jeff combines his sales (Sales Knowledge Institute) and Mental Health expertise to improve sales performance through a mix of sales mentorship and mental health best practices. His strategies have helped sales teams improve their sales process, while helping them become more motivated, resilient and better equipped to tackle stressful events within sales.

He is currently delivering these strategies through on-site workshops, coaching and speaking engagements. To explore working with Jeff contact him at [email protected]


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