Putting Undue Pressure on Yourself is Not Conducive to Sales Success

Robert Terson

Let me ask you a question: When you go on a typical sales presentation, are you under such self-imposed pressure that in your own mind you “have to” make the sale or else your professional world may come to a screeching halt? Does this pressure you create (“There is nothing good or bad, but thinking makes it so,” Shakespeare said) for yourself cause you to actually have physiological reactions to the degree your nerves are on edge, you have sweaty palms and sweat is pouring down your brow? Are you sitting there so fearful of another loss, of not making your numbers and not bringing home the bacon, that your head is pounding and there’s a nauseous gnawing in your gut?

If this is what’s happening, if you’re working under this kind of self-imposed pressure, let me suggest you’ve put a 500-pound weight on your back that’s destroying you and your sales career. It’s certainly costing you a lot of sales. Now, some people claim that they work best under great pressure, and perhaps for them it’s true (although in most cases I doubt it), but for the vast majority of us, that kind of mountainous pressure is not conducive to success. On the contrary, it kills success.

A batter at the plate has a much better chance of getting a hit if he’s relaxed, as opposed to being all tensed up. It’s the same thing for a salesperson. I never put an iota of pressure on myself when I went out on a presentation, and I gave over 12,000 presentations in my advertising career, my friends. I went out fully prepared, and my goal, what I demanded of myself, was an Oscar-winning performance each and every time I sat down with a prospect, but that was the extent of it. I refused to allow any one presentation to be so important that it was going to take over my mind and body. I was there to give it my all, yes, but that’s it. I knew I was going to give, say, ten presentations that week and I would allow the numbers to take care of me. If I didn’t make this sale, I’d make the next one, or the one after that. Out of the ten that week, my closing percentage said I’d have six sales.

That’s how I worked: relaxed, calm, no pressure except to be on my game 100%, to be the best I could be every time out. There was no compromising about that.

In Selling Fearlessly I have a chapter entitled “Success is a Byproduct of Preparation and Execution.” I want you to prepare to the Nth degree, so you can execute as close to perfection as you possibly can. I want you to give an Oscar-winning performance every time you open your briefcase—but in a relaxed, calm manner! You’re going to give the requisite number of presentations a week (this is vital; you can’t work calmly if you’re not giving yourself enough chances to succeed!) and you’re going to let the numbers take care of you. Never again is any one presentation going to be so important that you’re going to surrender your power to it.

If you’ll pay heed to this, great success awaits you!

 

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