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Confessions of a Stressed Out Sales Guy

March 23, 2015

If you don’t like stress don’t go into sales. It’s part of the job. Some people that are not in sales think it is an easy job with a lot of autonomy. However, let’s think about what creates stress in salespeople, which really can adversely affect the bottom line, if management does not recognize it and does something about it.

  1. Self-Imposed Stress – this is the one that I always suffered from, because I wanted to be the best. It had nothing to do with the money, I just wanted to be the best at what I did and out-perform everybody else.   Everybody finds their own stress points. Isolate what you do to cause your own stress.
  2. Lack of Organization and Time Management – Most of the better stressed out sales people I know are lacking in their organizational skills and time management. Especially those that do not accept technology as their friend. The need to answer everything at that second is not realistic, and has developed more in the age of e-mails, cell phones, and texting.
  3. Personal Issues – People think that they can leave all those personal issues at home, and do not think it affects their work, but salespeople are especially susceptible to this affecting their work. I have seen it others, and I have seen it in myself. It’s one thing to have a job where your contact with people is not a daily 8 hour necessity. It’s another to have a sales job where you should be having constant interaction with people.
  4. From Management – The good and bad about sales is that it is transparent and numbers are so easily applied to performance. How much stress is management putting on you, and how can you handle it better?

What can you do as a Sales Person to reduce the Stress?

  1. Managing expectations of customers and Sales Management is critical to reducing stress – You finally get that sale and the customer seems to demand delivery yesterday. How do you manage that? Do you try and make yourself a hero to the new customer, or do you go back and kick everybody to get things going? What happens? Mistakes. You can’t say NO. However, you can manage their expectations and the customer will appreciate the honesty. I guarantee the honesty will not only be appreciated, but it will also help you build long term loyal customers.
  2. Identify all those things that cause you stress, write them down, and prioritize them. Make a short bullet point plan or strategy on how to handle the stress. Writing brings clarity
  3. Make appointments with yourself and stop Multi-tasking – Procrastination on projects, or doing unpleasant tasks like daily cold calling causes a great deal of stress. If you make appointments with yourself and do not allow anything short of a National Emergency to interrupt you, you will get a lot more things done. Just imagine if you were sitting in front of a customer and another customer called, would you answer your phone. Of course not. Do the same when you make an appointment with yourself.
  4. Take some personal time every day for exercise and self-reflection – This has been and continues to be the most effective way of handling stress. Find some activity that will not let you think about work and the issues for at least 1 hour. It will give you some new perspectives on the issues at hand.

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