Beating Stress for Sales Success

As a salesperson, there are many skills that give you the edge for beating stress:

  1. Persistence
  2. Sales prowess
  3. Finding out and meeting your customer’s wants and needs
  4. Looking the part and
  5. Being organized

These skills are all important and no doubt you’ve got these bases covered. So what else can you do to have more selling success?

Do those things and beat stress. Why is this so important?

Sales FrustrationStress shows in your body language. Your posture, tone of voice, and your very demeanor are all impacted by stress.

And, they are noticed by your potential customers. We humans have the ability to unconsciously pick up on another’s stress levels.  This can make it hard for your customer to relax and trust you. It can be harder to connect and establish rapport when you’re under stress or your clients think you are.

Another way stress impacts selling is that all of your higher faculties are negatively impacted by it. When you are stressed, your problem-solving, creativity, memory, and communication skills are partially “off line.” This can make it harder for you to think quickly and communicate when it comes to resolving concerns.

So what can you do?

  1. Go in the Zone – the Lion Approach

Lions have an amazing ability to block out distraction and focus on one thing: their prey. Even other zebras from the same herd will not distract a pride of lions from the one specific zebra they have chosen. This gives them a much higher success rate when hunting, than if they were to be distracted by every zebra that crossed their paths.

While your customers are definitely not prey, having lion-like focus can help you better communicate. When you go into the selling zone, block out all distractions, any stresses, any frustrations from the office, and just be present with your customer. In this zone you can connect with your customer and use all of your sales skills to your full ability.

  1. Rise Above Stress – the Eagle Approach

When eagles hunt, they rise above obstacles that would stop land animals from reaching their prey. No ravine or valley is too deep, and no mountain is too high for an eagle to conquer.

Likewise, rising above stress by resolving it removes the distractions that could otherwise impact your selling.

When your stress is resolved, going into the selling zone becomes even easier. And, you keep your creative and problem-solving skills throughout the whole day, not just when you are in a selling situation.

Aside from doing the basics (living a balanced life, getting enough sleep, exercising, breathing deeply), these tips will help you to rise above stress:

  1. Notice when you first become stressed. When your stress levels are low, you still have your problem-solving skills and creativity. You are better able to find solutions before problems build momentum.
  2. Learn how to stop stress in the heat of the moment. When you can effectively press pause on your stress response itself, you can think clearly even during times of stress. You feel fine, despite the difficult situation.
  3. Resolve the issues that are causing stress. If something causes you stress repeatedly, it is time to work on the problem that is causing stress. What action can you take to change the situation for the better?

Whether you use the lion approach, the eagle approach, or a mix of both, beating stress will help you be at your selling best.


Leo Willcocks is the author of DeStress to Success: Solving Stress and Winning Big in Relationships, Wealth and Life Itself, which is endorsed by Tom Hopkins, Harvey Mackay, Brian Tracy, Stephen M.R. Covey, Doug Wead, Denis Waitley, Sean Covey and others. Find out more at

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