Salespeople take sales too seriously. I used to be a sales stress head too.
I once cried in front of a girl on our 3rd date because I was so stressed from my sales job. We’d only nipped to the pub to get a quick couple of drinks and I ended up in tears.
I woke up from my puddle of self-pity after realizing she was a Doctor and was under genuine stress. She put my sales job into perspective.
No one is going to die if –
- You don’t close THAT deal
- Your sales manager shouts at you
- Your customer doesn’t get their delivery one time
They are all problems that happen in the moment but are forgotten about a week later.
Whereas she was dealing with real life and death situations multiple times a day.
It was then that I committed to not letting day to day shit bother me anymore.
Of course I fail on this all the time…
A Salesman and his ego
“The Ego”: the part of the mind that mediates between the conscious and the unconscious and is responsible for reality testing and a sense of personal identity.
Salespeople get stressed when their outer world doesn’t fit their inner world. The ego is the space between what they want to happen in their brains and what the real world does.
It’s when you want a customer to close a deal but they’re not ready to yet.
It’s when you want your boss to understand that you’re going to miss target this month but smash it next but they seemingly don’t care.
This happens to everyone but as salespeople are constantly relying on other people’s actions to move closer to closing deals it happens to us more often than most.
The thing is, you can’t force someone to do something they’re not ready to do. I don’t care what any sales book or training program tells you.
It’s just not possible.
Influence perhaps. But nothing more than that.
This is what I struggled with and it’s why I cried in the pub.
I wanted a hospital CEO to OK my big project. I wanted my sales manager to get off my back. I wanted my Dad not to have killed my goldfish by using double the amount of fish tank cleaning solution.
Damn I loved that fish.
My stress levels were high because I what I wanted to happen, wasn’t happening and there wasn’t much I could physically do about it.
3 Hacks to Reduce Your Sales Stress
Since then I started doing the following 3 things to manage my levels of sales stress and I’ve never looked back –
1) Acknowledge your ego
If most sales stress comes from our inner world not matching our outer world then perhaps just understanding this concept can help.
Once you know what makes you stressed it’s easy to accept that you can’t directly control other people (unless you’re Professor X) and work this into your assessments of why things didn’t go to plan.
Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Albert Einstein
If you understand what is making you stressed and you continue to do it over and over you might be insane.
2) Put things in perspective
Want a shot of reality right in the arm?
This is the front page of Google News as I write this post –
Missing quota isn’t half as bad as; being in a plane crash, being burnt alive, being tortured in Guantanamo Bay, being held hostage by a man wielding a machete…
Heck, if you’re missing quota it means you have a job! Millions of people in the western world would fist fight you for that opportunity alone.
Millions more would give anything for a roof over their head, a warm meal and the ability to get onto the internet to read a post like this.
3) Lighten the hell up!
On paper it’s simple!
You can see the cup half full/empty in nearly every stressful situation.
I vowed to always take a positive spin on my sales experiences even when to other people it might have looked painful.
But it’s tough. It’s very easy to get wrapped up in the moment or to let others try and pull you into their little crisis’s.
To help with this I’ve created a daily sales comic strip.
I’m channeling all of my personal sales screw ups, weird interactions with customers and screaming sessions with CEOs into a quick cartoon each morning.
Hopefully the quality of the drawing will improve over time but if you’ve worked in sales for even a little while I’m certain you will enjoy the stories I’m sharing.
Hopefully I can put your stress into perspective and put a smile on your face.
You can see the comic (updated daily) here – Salesman.Red/Comic
And this is todays post –