Wise words to handle sales pressure

How do you handle pressure in sales and sales management?  It’s one of the supreme causes of salesperson and manager burn out.

Once the rugby season finishes in April, my wife’s face lights up and she hands me a list of jobs for me to do around the house and garden. The first Sunday was the turn of the strimmer. Unfortunately it happened to be the hottest day of the year and regrettably you have to dress for the occasion.

Boots, thick trousers, combat jacket, hat, safety glasses and rigger gloves protected me from the flying shrapnel of weeds, stinging nettles, grass, weeds and other garden dangers which were being sent swirling through the air at rocket velocities. 

I was sweating buckets underneath it all and must have lost pounds in weight…but I was protected and that was all that mattered. Strimmer shrapnel hurts a lot.

But how do you protect yourself from the pressure and stresses associated with your job?

Yesterday I was coaching a top salesman who happens to be the number one performer for his company. His greatest challenge is maintaining this position and handling the pressure put on him.

Curious as to how he intended to handle the pressure, he replied “I’d rather be top and have to handle the pressure than be mediocre and have no attention on me at all”

Clever way of putting it.

But I was still inquisitive to see how he handled the pressure, because he obviously could. “What’s the worse that can happen”, he began “I ask myself what’s the worse that can happen so I put the pressure into context. If something goes wrong, I have a bad meeting or I lose a deal, I’ll put it to the back of my mind and deal with it another time. When I get home I put it to the back of my mind and say to myself – what’s the worse thing if I leave it to tomorrow morning to deal with it. I just won’t get down on it; mentally I’ll not worry about it…what’s the worse that can happen?”

“How do you handle the voices inside your head?” I asked.

“I guess I’m quite tough mentally and don’t let the voices get me down. I know some of the guys get down with their voices but I guess I just stop them and ask myself to look at the positive side all the time…to move on and move forward.”

The lesson from my sales friend. Look for the positive, learn how to park things, handle the self talk.  Easier said than done but it’s important we all have strategies to protect ourselves when the going gets tough.

And if you ever want to let off some steam, get yourself a 50cc petrol driven strimmer that just wades through weeds and nettles like butter. And with debris flying through the air I just know that my boots, thick trousers, combat jacket, hat and safety glasses will protect me…what do you have to protect you from the debris that sales and management throws at us everyday?