Mastering Your Emotions When Selling – by Andrea Waltz

In his book, “How I Raised Myself From Failure To Success In Selling”, Frank Bettger wrote:

“I firmly believe enthusiasm is by far the biggest single factor in successful selling”.

Enthusiasm is one thing and you better have it!  However what happens when your enthusiasm and therefore, your emotions – get completely tied up in the sale, or non-sale?

It gets ugly!  You get on an emotional roller coaster that becomes almost impossible to get off.

Granted, sales means money. And money is an emotional thing – it makes or breaks survival and defines lifestyle. So we can’t help but allow our feelings get in the way when it comes to sales.  And yet, to be effective in virtually any endeavor, including sales, it is good to have less passion regarding the outcome of the situation. Not zero passion… but probably less passion than you’re experiencing currently.

Consider how a doctor must remain unemotional and somewhat dispassionate.  It’s not that doctors are completely uncaring. Certainly if they are doing surgery – they care about the outcome, they care about the patient, but make no mistake: a certain amount of DETACHMENT is required to be effective.  In fact, it is common practice not have doctors operate on relatives and loved ones. Why? Because they are too close, too emotional, to remain detached enough to do the job efficiently.

And the same is true for us as sellers, too.   Our attachment to the outcome, tend to make us less effective.  For example when it comes to selling, the ultimate place you can get to is where the words YES and NO contain the same emotional charge.   And this means being more dispassionate when it comes to selling your product, service, opportunity, and even yourself.

There is no denying that there is some part of us that will always be happier when we hear ‘yes.’.  After all, we’re human!   We will never be able to be totally dispassionate about some outcomes.    But the goal is clearly to reach a point where the difference between the elation of hearing ‘YES’ and the deflation of hearing NO is minimized… even if it can’t be eliminated entirely.

Most salespeople see ‘yes’ as positive and ‘no’ as negative.  It is entirely natural of course since we’ve all been trained to see “no” not as a good thing – but as a failure.  While there’s no denying that there will always be some part of us that will be happier when we hear ‘yes’ (after all, we’re human), top sales performers have learned to avoid the emotional yes/no rollercoaster by being somewhat dispassionate about the outcome of a presentation.

Ironically, one of the side benefits of selling with less emotion is that others are actually drawn to us by our perceived lack of concern about the outcome. Too much emotion comes across as desperation.  And customers don’t see desperation as a good sign. It does not instill a level of confidence in you or in the product. Ironically that causes the customer to back away and you lose the sale.

So get excited about your mission, about your product, and about LIFE. Let that come through. But when it comes to the excitement regarding the customer’s decision… that is when you need to relax and let the “chips fall” where they may.


From Richard Fenton & Andrea Waltz
Authors, “Go for No!”