Dealing With Sales Stress & Worry

A long time ago in a different decade and in a different job something very stressful happened to me and it lit up a few dozen bulbs in the ole brain. I don’t remember what city this event occurred in but it’s not relevant anyway. I was working with a salesperson and the wake-up call came in about 6AM. Now, I will be completely honest and tell you that I may have had several glasses of Pinot Noir the night before, but not to excess.

As I swung my feet over the side of the bed I realized that I had no idea what city I was in or who I was working with. I’ve got to tell you that this event scared the heck out of me. At 42 I thought I was losing it. I had to look at the phone to see what the area code was before I knew where I was. Very sobering! At the time I had been traveling for about 9 months straight without a break. These were 3-5 day weeks working with salespeople and coaching them, sprinkled in with several nights each week entertaining customers.

I pulled myself together and got through the week but I learned a valuable lesson. Our bodies and minds need to recover from long periods of intense activity.

Here’s the second thought. I know that each of you have experienced this. You’re a salesperson and you have a sales target to hit quarterly or at the end of the year. You wake up to that every day until the target is reached and then the same thing starts over. What a crazy life!

What I am going to tell you will sound simplistic but it works. Think of the first Star Wars movie when Luke Skywalker is being mentored on the use of the light sword. Obi Wan Kenobi hammered into Luke’s thick skull that he needed to focus but not force the focus. Obi was trying to get the Jedi newbie to have a feel for his surroundings and block everything else out.

Back to sales. Try not thinking about your sales target; instead, focus on the sales behaviors that you need to do everyday. If you have identified the right behaviors and you know that these behaviors will lead to sales then focus your attention on the behaviors and you will always make your sales goal. Easy? No! It takes practice and faith in what you do every day. Try it.

The Final Thought: “My thoughts before a big race are usually pretty simple. I tell myself: “Get out of the blocks, run your race, stay relaxed. If you run your race, you’ll win….channel your energy. Focus. Carl Lewis.


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