Sales Success

by Bill Cole

   As a sales and executive coach, I am often asked about the relationship between stress, anxiety and selling success. These can be complicated questions, but often the solutions can be quite simple, yet powerful. This month I reveal my most frequently-asked questions about stress and selling.

Q. I heard someone recently say there is a difference between Stress Exposure and Stress Response. What are these?

   A. Stress exposure are the challenges that come your way in life. Stress response is how you choose to handle that stress.

Q. I enjoy competitive sports away from work. They excite me, but I somehow don't seem to come back to the office rested or re-energized. Why don't these thrill sports take the edge off my work and life stress?

   A. Two kinds of rest, active rest and passive rest, both help us recover from stress. When you play competitive sports, you are actually increasing your stress, not relaxing. It's almost like having another job where you have to perform, because results count. Consider active rest activities where you run, walk, swim or play recreational sports for fun, not to win. Check out passive rest activities like meditation and lounging, and you may find yourself more refreshed.

Q. When I am working out with weights or running, I know when I am pushing my body too hard. But in the office, I often have to push past discomfort and pain to get all my work done. Does the old saying "No pain, no gain" still hold true in sports and in work

   A. The old "No pain, no gain" concept is a relic of the past. Some discomfort is OK. Pain means there is something wrong. It means you should stop or modify what you are doing. You do need to stress yourself some to see results. The stress pushes you past your comfort level and the recovery allows you to build back up.

Q. Can you give me a list of stress-busting tips I can post in the office? I need to get my mind right to handle my stress better.

   A. Sure. It's really helpful to read a list like this every day, to make sure your mind is on track so you can be strong to handle all the stress that comes your way.

  • Use task lists with visible check-offs to get a sense of accomplishment.
  • Note and celebrate each milestone reached in your work.
  • Re-establish your vision of success at each milestone.
  • Remind yourself that everyone is under stress´┐Żeven bosses.
  • Get out of the office at lunch to get a change of scenery often.
  • Remember you've survived stress like this before, and you will again.
  • Take a break to clear your mental clutter and start afresh on each task.
  • Remember that moment to moment you have choices of everything you do, think and feel.
  • Reach out to others you see struggling with stress.
  • Post and look at pictures of loved ones and spend more time with them every day.
  • Remember you are human, so don't expect perfection in everything.
  • Own your stress and your problems to be able to change them.
  • Don't sweat the small stuff. Remember, most of life is the small stuff.
  • You often cannot control your stressors, but you can almost always control your response to them.

   Embrace difficulties that come your way, and view them as teachers. Learn in them what you need next in life. Use this knowledge and turn it into the wisdom that will help you sell more. Then what were once obstacles turn into stepping stones to success.