The sales journey is full of highs and lows. Have you ever felt the stress of the long hours, hard objectives, and difficult prospects?
It’s no secret that sales are one of the most stressful careers you can pursue. Extra hours, rejection, and a quota make it difficult to stay calm on the job. If you’re serious about your sales career, consider stress your biggest opponent.
On the bright side, stress can be one of your greatest opportunities to crush your sales quota. There are no big wins without some hardships along the way. Successful salespeople know how to navigate through adversity and turn any situation into a positive one.
With these 10 tips, you can turn these tough situations into a pathway to success!
10 Ways Successful Salespeople Keep Calm and Crush Their Quotas
“Tough times never last, but tough people do.” –Robert Schuller
Isn’t selling exhausting? Forcing yourself to operate at a professional level nearly 24/7 takes a toll on anyone.
In fact, salespeople are more likely to burn out due to their high stress and emotional environment.
So, how do you respond under pressure?
Feeling anxious, ineffective, or burnt out is completely normal, but what’s important is acknowledging these emotions. Pay attention to the things you do in response to negative emotions. Do you ignore your emotions, let stress build up, or handle it from the start?
The best thing to do is to take a moment and think about how you feel. What’s causing you to feel this way? How is your body responding to your emotions?
The more you practice being aware of your feelings, the easier it will become to manage them, and your stress, in a natural way.
Give yourself 15 minutes at the end of the day to sit with your thoughts. No screens, work, or distractions. You’ll be shocked at how much better you feel when you give yourself time to think about your day.
“Most people think ‘selling’ is the same as ‘talking.’ But the most effective salespeople know that listening is the most important part of their job.” –Roy Bartell
Listening is great, but understanding is profitable. Sales conversations tend to take longer than they need to when one side is listening without actually understanding.
Active listening (mixed with a few probing questions) prevents misunderstanding and cures most sluggish sales situations.
Salespeople, especially if they’ve been around the block a few times, tend to go on autopilot mode, simply waiting for the signal to speak. This can be a drawback for the salesperson as he can miss some key points.
Active listening sharpens your sales instincts and helps you avoid stressful missteps during sales conversations.
When the client has finished speaking, it is helpful to summarize their thoughts. By doing this, you show that you’ve been listening and have their best interests.
“To build a long-term, successful enterprise, when you don’t close a sale, open a relationship.” – Patricia Fripp
Sales can be very ego-driven. Closing a big deal makes you feel like a champion, but losing one makes you feel like a failure. If you plan on making sales a long-term career, do you want to keep being on this cycle forever?
A healthy dose of reality will keep you grounded, humble, and hustling. Enjoying a win is one thing, but letting it get to your head can hurt future wins. Ditto for losses, you can’t afford to let a loss throw you off your game.
Controlling your ego isn’t easy, but with practice, you’ll decrease how reactive you are to emotional situations. Practicing in everyday scenarios will prepare you for the real tests.
For instance, don’t make any assumptions about your buyers. Even if a lead is “qualified,” don’t act like they already signed the check.
Think of every conversation as an opportunity to grow your relationship with your client. Selling them a solution to their problem is a natural part of that. Taking yourself out of a one-sided sales mindset helps put sales interactions in perspective.
Building relationships will create better results than pitching blindly. You’ll never hit a home run every time, but your batting average will increase if you make each swing count. Staying grounded forces you to give each prospect your best, a win for everyone involved.
Think of the relationships you’ve built with your clients so far. What are their expectations? How can you over-deliver on your next interaction? Focus on the process instead of the outcome to improve both.
“Resilience is not what happens to you. It’s how you react to, respond to, and recover from what happens to you.” –Jeffrey Gitomer
You’re going to get thrown off balance every once in a while. Unpredictable situations are part of life, and they’ll derail your progress if you aren’t prepared for them.
Clients cancel meetings when you’re 10 miles away, contracts need to be renegotiated, and deals fall through at the end of the quarter. Sales is an unpredictable game and you have to play smart to win.
Successful salespeople are always ready to adapt to new situations. By controlling as many variables as possible you’ll avoid the stress of surprise setbacks.
Transportation is one of the most unpredictable variables in your day. Traffic, car trouble, and poor route planning can create unforeseen emergencies quickly. Avoid problems like this by planning your trips with Badger Maps.
Badger Maps is a great tool that helps you be more flexible by optimizing your daily routes to fit both your clients’ needs and your own.
Organize your appointments with the in-app tool to manage your accounts and optimize your route in a way that will allow you to drive less and sell more!
Treat your objections, or any unexpected change, as simply a request for more information or more work. For example, if someone writes you off because they decided your offer is too expensive, show them value. That’s the best way to crush your sales quotas.
“Saying, ‘I don’t have time for a CRM.’ is like saying, ‘I don’t have time to look at my GPS because I am too busy trying to figure out the best way to get from here to there.” –Bobby Darnell
Sometimes it is simply the anticipation of work that causes stress. If you have a lot on your plate, It can be helpful to put your goals into a tangible form, like a list. If you take a moment to organize the chaos and compile your tasks, your work will seem less daunting.
This way, you will have an easier time prioritizing what you need to get done and you can avoid multitasking. Essentially, your life will become less stressful and your work will be enhanced. Another trick to stay especially organized is to use a mapping software application.
For example, Badger Maps allows you to compile your CRM information onto a map, and then provides you with route optimizations. With Badger, you are also prompted to log information about your client immediately after a meeting, so you can avoid procrastination.
Make a list of the variables in your life. What regular, everyday, situations do you find yourself in where things could go wrong and create stress for you? How can you prepare beforehand to avoid the negative effects?
“Humor can give you the edge you are looking for” –Jeffrey Gitomer
Who doesn’t need a good laugh every once in a while? As you approach more difficult situations, you should have some inside jokes that are just between you and your network. These will lighten the mood, and remove the stressful intensity of the situation.
Not only should you rely on your network for some comic relief, but also you should have them as a support system.
Try to seek help from your network and get insight into how other sales reps deal with similar issues to you. Don’t be afraid to admit you don’t know something, because chances are your network will have their own questions as well. Their advice will hopefully make you feel better. And also, building relationships with others will foster better work.
Whenever you have a spare moment, reach out to someone you haven’t connected with in a while. Taking this time to seek advice, bond over common issues, or just to joke around will be helpful.
“It is not your customer’s job to remember you. It is your obligation and responsibility to make sure they don’t have the chance to forget you.” -Patricia Fripp
Sometimes sales interactions can make people seem robotic. Always remember that your clients are people . Everyone is different, so it’s important to empathize and be able to put yourself in their shoes.
When you are dealing with an angry person, speak with an even tone. Remember this client is angry at the situation, not you. Make them feel like you are on their side by expressing sympathy and summarizing their points. And try to make them happy by giving them options, offering a refund, or complimenting them.
Overall, these tactics will soothe the tension in these situations. And ultimately, you will feel better.
Learn and remember a few personal facts about each client. Referencing an anniversary or big trip will help you maintain rapport in your relationships.
Look for details to remember – not only will your client appreciate it, but you’ll stay engaged too.
“There’s no lotion or potion that will make sales faster and easier for you – unless your potion is hard work.” –Jeffrey Gitomer
It’s easy to obsess over lost deals you almost won, but don’t fixate on failure. Instead, remember what went well and what you should improve next time. Your worst days aren’t so bad if you learn from them.
This mindset will help you close future deals too. Imagine all of the things that will go great, not what could go wrong. You’ll naturally focus on the things you can control instead of worrying about the things you can’t.
Your positivity should shine during client meetings. Show interest in your client’s problems and excitement for their potential solution. They’ll feel your passion and be much more likely to buy.
If you believe that your solution is the best one for your buyer, your attitude will seem genuine. How to stay positive in sales? Be honest. Integrity, ideas, and solutions sell themselves.
If you find yourself fixating on negative thoughts, stop what you’re doing. Take a quick break to get coffee, go on a walk, or listen to some music.
Giving yourself a chance to take a step back from the situation is key. You can examine your negative thoughts and make them positive more easily.
“In sales, every prospect is a potential customer.” -unknown
Putting all of your eggs in one basket is a surefire recipe for stress.
When you focus on your existing deals and forget about the rest of your pipeline, you’re forcing yourself to be reactive and focus all of your energy on stressful, last-minute prospecting later on.
Balance the time you spend between active deals and generating new ones. Keep your opportunities in the back of your mind, even when you don’t need any.
Creating this safety net will foster your work. You will be less likely to ambush your current prospects. With this backup line up of prospects, you will feel less pressure to close a deal immediately. Instead, you can take your time and be patient with these clients. And as a result, you can stay calm and confident, knowing that you will reach your sales quota
Devote 30 minutes a day to these prospects. One method you can develop is a cold phone calling project. Even though it can seem like a daunting process, there are some easy-to-apply ideas that you could learn today to improve your cold call game.
Success Starts by Taking Action
95,000+ field salespeople love our newsletters where they get actionable advice from top sales experts
“It’s not what you are that holds you back, it’s what you think you are not.” – Denis Waitley
Remember that you have your job for a reason. Remind yourself that you are good at what you do. As you already know, confidence is key to being a good salesperson.
Sales stress is normal, but don’t forget that you can conquer it. When you feel overwhelmed, try to take a few moments to gain control of your emotions and empower yourself.
This confident attitude is essential when you’re with a client – try not to seem anxious. If you fidget, touch your face, or look away, you will seem insecure.
Instead, stand up tall, widen your shoulders, and make sure your nose is pointed up. These mannerisms will communicate power. And if you convey this confidence, you are more likely to crush your sales quotas.
So that's it! Consider all these actionable tips, and you will find yourself in a much better position to deal with negotiations when they seem to go sideways. Don't forget a positive and empathetic approach is the way to go.