Stopping Stress for Sales Success
Your palms are sweating, your heart is pounding, and your
shoulders and jaw feel tenser than a suspension cable on the Brooklyn Bridge.
We all go through moments of stress, some short lived, while
others last for days, weeks and months.
Whether it’s from the pressure of meeting targets, an overly
demanding customer spoken to previously, difficult workplace dynamics, or stress from your personal life;
stress can sabotage your success in selling.
Let’s face it: stress can reduce your ability to “connect” with
customers and clients, and it can sap the energy needed to think creatively and form deals that work on both
When you are stressed, you are less able to focus on targets and
be fully present mentally, and it increases your need for down time- for breaks throughout the day, and
alcohol or other relaxation methods at the end of the day.
On the flip side, handling stress well helps you be in the
mental place where you can perform at your peak and ‘keep ahead of the pack’. You are more likely to stand
out to management, meet sales targets, and get those commissions rolling in.
So how do you handle on the job
There are two effective approaches to handling
“Lions” see stress as a distraction and disconnect from it
during a selling situation. Having the ability to switch out of stress mode and into sale mode is a skill
that sets many good salespeople apart. Despite the stress from work or in their personal lives, they drive
home the sales, day in, day out.
If you don’t naturally have it, develop the ability to go into
the ‘zone’: the selling zone, the customer zone, regardless of the circumstances around
However, this is not a permanent solution. Even great sales
people can be brought down by acute situations and long term, chronic stress. So while we should learn the
Lion approach, we need something else as well.
“Eagles” rise above stress and make it work for them. Like
Lions, they can ‘switch out’ of stress mode and into selling mode. However, instead of just ignoring stress,
they learn to override their stress response and stay calm in stressful
Eagles truly rise above stress by resolving major sources of
stress in their lives, and learning and growing from them. With the burden of stress resolved, staying in the
selling zone is easy. Eagles have full energy to put towards selling, work, and life in
So how do we become
The first step is to stop stress when it is small. Instead of
allowing stress to build to the point that you can’t focus or sell effectively, rise like an Eagle when you
notice the early signs: shoulder or neck tension, feeling irritable or frustrated, wanting to be somewhere
else, or feeling the need for a quick pick me up (coffee, alcohol, or
If your stress has already gained momentum, notice it and act as
soon as you can. Even just a quick walk around the office can help you unwind and
The second step is to harness in that stress response. Sure, you
can’t bust out in yoga poses or take a walk during a big presentation, but you still can de-stress, even at
the time of the stressful situation.
Ultimately, the third step of resolving major sources of stress
in your life will give you the most freedom from stress. This is the step most of us miss out on, because it
seems difficult. Yet it can be easier than we think. While we can’t always change every stressful situation,
we can stop that situation from causing us stress. And with stress gone, we have more power to
change the cause of stress.
DeStress to Success, by Leo Willcocks, clearly lays out
how to resolve the internal stress caused by challenges in life. He also gives effective and discreet techniques
for stopping stress in the heat of the moment, without anyone knowing. You can use these techniques to quickly
unwind and return to your calm frame of mind, the selling zone.
Get a free copy of first chapter, which includes two powerful, stress reduction
techniques for intense situations, by entering your information in the yellow box at the top right of this