Do Salespeople Get Butterflies?January 26, 2023
Sales can be an incredibly nerve-wracking experience. For one, it is a situation in which potential customers often feel like they are being approached by someone who is trying to take advantage of them. The assumed likelihood that the salesperson may have little regard for their time or feelings can create a sense of unease and agitation. Additionally, a lot of salespeople tend to employ aggressive tactics which can leave customers feeling overwhelmed. These experiences of dealing with the pushy and intimidating make it difficult to respond in kind or reject their offer.
Remember that most people want to be left alone to go about their business for the day. They rarely like interruptions, especially when unsolicited. Customers nowadays have smart camera doorbells and will go so far as to duck behind the couch quietly until a salesperson leaves. And out in the wild, they will fast-walk past anyone who seems like they may be on their way over to sell or even talk. They would rather go to the dentist than deal with salespeople, and it’s honestly less painful sometimes.
Even the Grinch Has Feelings
Not only is the situation potentially painful for the customer, but believe it or not, salespeople can get nervous and anxious too. They can get butterflies in the stomach just like you and me. Imagine having the feeling of “asking the prettiest girl to the dance” each and every customer, because that’s essentially what they’re doing. If this continues week after week, year after year, the built-up stress is enough to become very unhealthy.
If you’re the salesperson and are able to get your foot in the door of a home visit, or you find yourself face to face on the car lot, remember that nerves diminish the longer you’ve been doing the job, and the longer you’ve been good at it. Confidence comes with experience and sharpening your saw so you know how to easily and calmly overcome objections.
Spoonful of Cod Liver Oil
There are several ways to reduce nerves when selling:
- Practice: Rehearsing your pitch and anticipating potential objections can help you feel more confident and prepared during the actual sales conversation.
- Focus on the other person: Instead of thinking about yourself and your nerves, try to focus on the needs and interests of the person you’re selling to.
- Take deep breaths: Taking slow, deep breaths can help calm your nerves and reduce stress.
- Use positive self-talk: Telling yourself that you’re capable today and will be even more so tomorrow.
- Build a rapport: Building a good relationship with the person you’re selling to can help put you at ease and make the conversation feel more natural.
- Be yourself: Be true to yourself, and don’t try to be someone you’re not. Just be authentic, that will help you to be more relaxed and confident.
- Seek feedback: After a sales conversation, ask for feedback from your manager or mentor, this will help you to identify areas for improvement and boost your confidence for the next time.
The longer it takes to master nerves, the more compounded the stress becomes, so it’s in your best interest to find your way through them. Nerves are only one of many stresses in a sales career.
The stress of a job in sales is compounded by the fact that most jobs are commission based. When targets are missed or deals don’t close as expected, it can mean a decrease in income for sales professionals. Even if they meet their goals and earn a healthy commission, there is always a manager to remind you that more could have been accomplished. It can be difficult to shake off this feeling of disappointment when performance falls short of expectations, especially when the expectations keep increasing.
Less is More Desirable
One key to reducing stress is to become a student — to first learn your product or service inside and out, and secondly to learn sales techniques in your industry. Knowledge is great, but can only take you so far. You’ll find the most satisfaction when you’ve relieved your nerves and stress and actually look forward to the opportunity of delivering a superior product or service to someone.
The least-stressed salespeople are usually:
- The most prepared
- The best listeners
- The best problem solvers
- The best distributors of information
When customers deal with this type of salesperson, they will see past the negative reputation garnered over decades and will no longer feel threatened. They become customers who can make well-informed decisions. And if your product or service is as promised, well, you’ll have a lifelong customer.
This is merely the tip of the iceberg regarding stress in sales, so no worries, we’ll cover much more in future articles.