Working in sales is hard.
You have a quota that you must hit every month. Missing this quota will not only result in you not getting paid, but losing your job. The ever-changing environment forces you to constantly adapt just to keep up. The competition is always looking for ways to gain market share and steal your customers away from you. Every year your company wants more and more out of you in terms of performance. Leaving work for the day is not the end of your work day; after-hours work is often necessary just to keep up. Your daily success is not measured by the amount of hours you put in, but by the amount of sales you get. In short, sales is not only difficult, but very stressful.
I remember the first sales slump I was in. I went a solid month and did not close anything, which meant that I did not get paid anything. As much as I wanted to, I could not write an excuse letter to my landlord, my student loan lender, or the utility companies. The bills had to be paid, yet I was not. The stresses of that situation are very real, and have been felt by every single performance-based salesperson in the game.
Working in the field of sales is difficult. It’s unlike anything else out there. Often times giving 100% is not enough. It requires you to put in your heart and soul. The benefits, of course, can be very lucrative and rewarding. If you are reading this now, you have chosen one of the most financially rewarding and stressful jobs that exist.
They key to overall, sustained success in business is having the ability to manage and relieve the stresses that come along with it. Here are my top 6 ways to relieve the stresses of working in sales.
My number one tip in relieving stress is to simply get everything organized. This can mean a few different things: it can mean organizing your work space, cleaning your car, or even organizing your home. Having a clean environment is crucial in relieving stress. Simply put, working in chaos is not ideal for a stress-free day.
When I was working as a travelling salesperson, my office was my vehicle. It was a mess. Papers everywhere, business cards thrown around all over the place, and my sales materials were scattered all around the trunk. Nothing was organized and it was a gigantic mess. This resulted in me feeling overwhelmed all the time. One day, I took the initiative to clean it – I was amazed at how radical the change was for my outlook. If you have a work space or a living space that’s unorganized and dirty, I urge you to clean it. You’ll be surprised as to how much it can change your outlook.
Plan and Prioritize
Planning everything out is another crucial step in relieving stress. The act of planning your entire day out puts you in the driver’s seat. When you feel like you are in control of your day, you will feel as if you can get everything accomplished with relative ease.
Writing down your entire day and prioritizing your activities is a good way you can plan it all out. Crucial activities, such as important sales meetings, go to the top of the list. Paperwork and filing goes to the bottom. My suggestion would be to put the money-making activities at the top of the list. Completing those means you get paid – everything else is just secondary to that. Once you prioritize everything in those terms, you will be less overwhelmed.
Being a lone wolf is a risky thing. When things are going well, it’s not that bad. However, when things go wrong and you have nobody to turn to for help, you’re literally on your own. This is not the best place to be when you fall in to a slump or a rut. Being a lone wolf puts extra pressure on you to constantly perform or else.
Rather than being by yourself all the time, be a part of the team. Open up to coworkers and managers. If you are having a hard time with something, don’t bottle it in. Talk about it with others. I promise – nobody is going to laugh or judge you, because they have all been there. Sometimes talking about your stresses and your problems can make all the difference.
This goes beyond your coworkers too. Opening up to your spouse/friends/loved ones about your day is important. Bottling your stress in without telling anyone is very damaging, and will only hurt your performance and your physical well-being.
Take a deep breath. Relax. That thing that you have to do right now can wait a few minutes. Just take a deep breath and relax for a few minutes. Do some quick meditation to slow your mind down. Just, chill.
It can be overwhelming when you have 10 things to do at once. When you are on a deadline and have to multitask just to get it all done on time, it can be stressful and insanely overwhelming. The problem arises when errors are made because we are going too fast – which leads to more stress. Slow down, press pause, and just take a minute to reset yourself. You’ll be surprised at how much a one minute rest can change your attitude.
Surround Yourself with Positivity and Motivation
I was talking to a top performing sales executive the other day. This person seems to always be ahead of everyone else in terms of closed sales and seems to be never stressed out. I asked this person what his secret was. He told me that he constantly surrounds himself with positivity and motivation. He does this by talking to only the most optimistic people in the office, listens to the best pump-up music, and watches the most inspirational/motivational videos he can find. He says if there is ever a hint of negativity anywhere, he promptly removes himself from that situation.
Being optimistic is important in sales, but it’s equally as important as being positive. The best way you can do this is to surround yourself with positive coworkers and positive people who inspire and motivate you. People who spew negativity will only hurt you and cause you to become more stressed out. Attitude is everything in sales – surround yourself with only the ones with the best attitude and you will flourish.
Take a break every once in a while. I am friends with a top performing telemarketer who closes more people than anyone else in his office. His secret? He occasionally walks away from his cubicle and just aimlessly wanders around. This is his opportunity to take a mental break and remove himself for even a few minutes – just enough for him to not get burnt out.
Taking breaks during your day is important. It’s even more important to take a longer break, such as a vacation. It’s vital that you take the time and remove yourself from the stresses of the job. Even if it’s just for 5 minutes – breaks are important and should be taken advantage of.
Sales is hard enough as it is. It’s even more difficult if you are stressed and feel under duress most of the time. If you find that you are always stressed out, consider trying out the above tips for relieving stress. You might find that getting rid of your stress can be the key ingredient to success.
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Author: Jason Karaman
Hello! I’m a marketing, sales, and customer service expert, trainer, author, and doer. I live in the South Carolina Lowcountry with my wife, Ashley. I enjoy reading (history, philosophy, and science are my favorite topics), writing, hiking, kayaking, and all things beach.