Mental Toughness Training For Sales Professionals
by Bill Cole

   How well do you sell under pressure? Does your mind game hold up? Do you choke? Your sales performance is only as good as your mental game.
   You know what choking is. The basketball player misses the critical free-throw. The golfer misses the money putt. The sales professional chokes during a sales presentation and fails to close the sale. You know you can perform, but the pressure of the situation gets to you. Your mind fails and you don't come through.
   When I coach world-class business executives and international pro sports figures and teams, mental toughness training is a central theme cutting across everything we do. The essence of being mentally tough in sales is being able to maintain your focus to perform the way you know you can.

What Happens When You Choke In A Selling Situation?
  • You distract yourself by worrying about your performance.
  • You become self-conscious.
  • You over-react emotionally to your mistakes.
  • You over-analyze your errors.
  • You think your way through your performance, instead of being natural.
  • You worry about and try to control things you can't control.
  • You tighten up your muscles and your breathing is disturbed.
  • You think you're in trouble when you're not.
  • You freeze up or rush, or leave things out.
  • You try too hard to succeed.
Choking Begins For One Or Both Of These Reasons
  • You make a personal assessment that the selling event is extremely important, and that failing would have seriously negative consequences.
  • As a negative reaction to an error you make in that event, and that negativity amplifies to cause a downward spiraling disruption of your performance.

   A mental toughness program trains you in anti-choking skills. Mentally tough sales pros maintain peak performance skills under pressure.

Mental Toughness Lets You Perform Under Pressure
  • our performances are consistent.
  • ou handle pressures well.
  • You don't blow up the importance of the event in your own mind.
  • You know how to access and stay in the zone during a performance.
  • You have faith that things will work out.
  • You reduce worry to a minimum, and actually channel the nervous energy into positive uses.
  • You handle pain and discomfort well.
  • You tolerate frustrations and inconveniences well.
  • You are not emotionally reactive to errors.
  • You maintain focus on your performance.
  • You are flexible and adaptive.
  • You thrive on stress and challenge.

   Sales choking can be minimized by learning peak performance mind tools through proper mental practice strategies.

Five Mental Toughness Selling Strategies To Prevent Choking
  • Make your selling and sales presentation practice situations as similar to the real thing as possible to simulate pressure. Include every realistic detail you can think of.
  • Make practices more pressure-filled and demanding than the real thing will actually be, and the real deal will seem tame.
  • Practice with real people in your "pretend audience" so you can feel the pressure and learn how to deal with it.
  • Have your practice audience "throw curves" at you and create tension so you learn to overcome objections, handle tough questions and deal with audience hecklers. � Develop the mindset of "I love pressure" and then jump into it and enjoy the challenge of winning in that situation.
  • Develop the mindset of "I love pressure" and then jump into it and enjoy the challenge of winning in that situation.

   Remember, no one can make you choke without your permission. The power to control choking is within you. You can't find that mental power anywhere else. Take charge of your selling and build the mental toughness that all top sales performers have.
   Stop choking and start selling to the potential you know you have in you.