The modern world we live in can be the cause of stress, anxiety, and overwhelming feeling we get. Thus, in this Expert Insight Interview, Deborah Riegel discusses how we can handle stress and anxiety in the sales business. Deborah Riegel is a keynote speaker and leadership consultant who teaches at Wharton and Columbia Business Schools and a regular contributor to Harvard Business Review. She is also an author of the book Overcoming Overthinking: 36 Ways to Tame Anxiety for Work, School, and Life.
The interview discusses:
- Buyer perspective
- Seller perspective
- Management perspective
Empathize with the Buyer
Salespeople usually find themselves dealing with stress coming from both sides, their managers, and their clients. We hear so much about the importance of empathy towards our clients for the successful closing of a sale. But it is crucial not to confuse being empathetic with being sympathetic. By being empathetic, we understand the client’s circumstance. Human emotions are valuable data because they can provide us with information about the client’s needs, values, and interests. So, if we manage to use that information in the right way, we can create a strong relationship with the client. Making a sale decision can be very career-enhancing or career-limiting for a buyer, so that decision causes a lot of stress and fear. And the more fear we feel, the less we can use our rational thinking and problem-solving skills. Thus, understanding our clients’ circumstances can help us to help them to make a purchasing decision.
Accept Different Outcomes
From the seller perspective, we cannot allow ourselves to attach to only one possible outcome. We need to allow ourselves to accept other end-results as success as well. For example, maybe we would not close a sale, but we would get a referral or contact information for the future. Also, when we receive a rejection from a prospect, it is useful to ask for feedback on what that no means. That way, we could try later in the future again if the client said that now is not a good time, or we can move on if the client shows general disinterest in our service. Sometimes, a prospect will be willing to explain and sometimes not, but that rejection usually has nothing to do with us personally.
From the management perspective, we first need to learn which function the stress we feel serves us. What does that stress remind us to do? Furthermore, regarding our employees, we need to show them that we have been in the same situation and that we do understand the stress they feel. We need to show them our authentic and vulnerable side as well. Also, we need to reach out to them to see what we can do that will be the most helpful and beneficial to them in overcoming stressful situations.
John is the Amazon bestselling author of Winning the Battle for Sales: Lessons on Closing Every Deal from the World’s Greatest Military Victories and Social Upheaval: How to Win at Social Selling. A globally acknowledged Sales & Marketing thought leader, speaker, and strategist. He is CSMO at Pipeliner CRM. In his spare time, John is an avid Martial Artist.