Navigating your way back to success in sales can be challenging. Knowing whether or not your autopilot settings need adjusting can make things easier!

Autopilot no longer getting you results?

Many of us have been here. You are supposedly doing all the right things, but the results aren’t coming and may have even stopped. It’s as if you’ve lost your magic, lost your mojo and you’re only a short skip away from hitting the panic button as you come to realise “I’ve got to get it back!”

Simply, autopilot is when you aren’t actually piloting. You’re not consciously thinking about what you’re doing or saying. It’s your comfort or default mode of thinking. It is, according to the brain experts, very necessary because it allows the brain to deal with the 35,000 or so decisions it is going to need to make today and still have energy left over for the good stuff.

What are the top clues you’re selling and or working in autopilot mode?

  1. You’re doing the work but not getting the results.
  2. You’re not making any/enough progress.
  3. You finish the call, the meeting, the action or worse the whole day and your achievements are vague and fuzzy at best.
  4. You’re struggling to remember enough detail – what exactly did I do?
  5. You’re finding it hard to remember the names of people you’ve recently met (hello all my real estate agent friends & clients at open homes this week).
  6. You find yourself going off on unrelated tangents or quests.
  7. You say yes” to requests that aren’t really related to what’s at hand or that you later wish you’d said “no” to.
  8. You walk into the kitchen, or another room, and you can’t remember why!
  9. You go onto your phone to check some emails or messages and the next thing you know you are lurking around inside of your social media feed an hour or so later!

We’ve all got a long to do list – there is a lot to get done, So, your brain creates a default mode network, or sub routines, for all the actions, processes, systems and the like that are important. Now these are your friends in efficiency and if mastered wisely they will serve you greatly. However, their trickery is that sometimes you become so familiar and comfortable with them that you aren’t actually ‘present’.

As an interesting reminder of how easy it is to “wander off” and be distracted, while I was researching into some of the science behind this phenomenon, I found myself following a thread of research well outside the parameters. An absent mind wandering around dazed, confused and after a few minutes of learning about logic patterns and brain anatomy (I also learned how Jimmy Page/Led Zeppelin was inspired to write the song “dazed and confused”) I got back to the task at hand – this article.

Happens to the best of us, I hear you say!

Quite likely the biggest consequence of being on autopilot, of operating in default mode, is that you end up making mistakes – bad decisions, not listening properly, forgetting things and poorly managing your time. Which means, you don’t end up getting the results!

What are some tips on how you can challenge your behaviour and get out of selling and working in autopilot?

  1. Let it go – what’s done is done, move forward but with intent and purpose.
  2. Write it down – take notes during your meetings and your phone calls, real notes not scribble or funny doodles of your colleagues.
  3. Reset your GPS – centre yourself before you start making calls, go into the presentation or meeting by first writing down – why am I doing this / why is it important, what’s the purpose / what do I want to achieve here?
  4. Stop & Reflect – hit the pause button or create yourself some space by asking for or looking for additional detail. If someone asks you to go to lunch while you are half-way through something simply ask them “where are you thinking of going?” – buy yourself the time to genuinely consider what’s the best use of your time.
  5. Respond not react – challenge yourself to stay silent for a second or two when you notice that you’re about to react to a situation. Be aware that your behavioural biases are judging, and the lazy efficient bits of your brain are about to jump to a conclusion that may or may not be good.
  6. Share your story – let others know, me included (comment below or private message me if you want) and accept the lesson as per point one above.
  7. Test yourself – challenge your self-imposed limits and get a little uncomfortable with those routines and processes. Try something new or different.

Learn to know when autopilot is helping or hindering, skill up on how to adapt to suit the situation and the results will be just that – results.

Phill Broom

Phill Broom

Chief Trouble Maker, CEO & Founder


Ever since I was old enough to talk I have been selling things and over the last twenty-five years I’ve invested a lot of time into researching, developing and putting into practice ideas and strategies for stronger sales performance.

Understanding the technical aspects and evolving the practical side of sales is my why. I love it. I love learning more about selling and I love helping others acquire and develop strong sales skills so that they go about improving themselves and having remarkable businesses.