I recently had lunch with a colleague that also is in the sales consulting/business development business. We talked about how many salespeople are under stress and are ill-equipped to handle it.
There’s stress everywhere, both professional and personal.
- Am I going to hit my fourth-quarter and year end goals?
- Am I doing the right activities to fill the sales pipeline for the first quarter of next year?
- How do I keep up with all the information coming in so I remain relevant?
- How can I possibly get everything done when I am caring for my aging parents?
- I am exhausted -- love my newborn but also would love some sleep.
- And the list goes on …
Teaching salespeople how to deal with and manage stress usually isn’t on a sales meeting agenda.
We focus on teaching our salespeople selling skills. Perhaps it’s time to teach them how to deal with stress in order to perform at their optimum level, regardless of what’s happening in their personal and professional lives.
One way to help your sales team handle stress is to teach them the power of control. Focus on what you can control instead of dwelling on what’s out of your control. The latter leads to feelings of helplessness, despair and in the worst case, a victim mentality.
An early mentor gave me great advice about managing stress. When I started in this business, I was struggling and under stress. I was working straight commission, was single and didn’t have a clue about how to sell sales-training services. My very smart mentor noted my stress and changed my perspective. He made me focus on what I could control instead of what I couldn’t.
“Colleen, I want you to change your goals,” he said. “Instead of trying to close business, I want you to get to 100 no’s as fast as you can. Because once you get to 100 no’s, you will have heard every objection and question, and encountered every kind of selling situation. With that information, you will be set-up to succeed.”
Getting 100 no’s was a goal I could achieve! That was a goal I could control!
The shift in mindset started generating sales results and 20 years later I am still in business, proof that controlling what you can control works.
Sales managers, I encourage you to teach and coach your sales teams about how to better manage stress, because it’s not going away. Control what you can control and achieve better sales results.