Many salespeople get nervous. Doesn’t matter how big you are. Knowing how to develop the selling mindset you need to keep yourself calm can make a big difference in your sales results.
I still get nervous from time to time in some selling situations and I’ve been in the profession for over 30 years.
Getting your selling butterflies under control starts with an understanding of the physiological process that’s actually taking place.
According to the Learn.Genetics Center in Utah – a genetic science learning center – butterflies in the stomach are associated with your system’s fight or flight response.
When your brain perceives a potential threat to survival, it heightens alertness by increasing blood pressure, heart rate and the breathing rate.
Meanwhile, your nervous system stimulates the adrenal glands, which releases the hormones cortisol and adrenaline that turns some of us into a tense, sweaty mess. Perspiration is a natural response to cool down the body.
The smooth muscle lining in your stomach is extremely sensitive during the fight-or-flight response and helps keeps you alert.
This added sensitivity can be blamed for that fluttery sensation.
Got that? Don’t worry, you don’t have to be a genetic scientist to start calming yourself down.
Getting control of those selling butterflies is all about having the right mindset.
Here are some strategies and insights you can use to conquer your fears:
- Most people won’t notice. We are always our own worst critic. You’ve probably listened to a presentation at some point where the speaker revealed how nervous he was. And your immediate response might have been, ‘Huh, what…you’re kidding…you didn’t seem nervous to me’. And that’s the point. Hardly anyone will spot it. Think of any nervousness you feel as being your insider secret. In most cases, it will be.
- Practice your sales process. Visualize your sales conversation going exactly as you want it to go – the way it’s probably gone many times previously. Go over your selling sequence over and over. And if you don’t have a basic structure to your selling strategy, develop one. That way, if you’re ever put off track, you just come back to the section you were in engaged in. This will keep you from getting lost in a panic.
- Unfreeze your prospect with humour. You don’t want to overdo it but if there’s an opportunity to lighten things up with a little humour, dont be afraid to take advantage of it. Especially if you are naturally funny. This will diffuse some of the anxiety you might be feeling. If you don’t feel comfortable with it, then simply avoid it.
- Be ready. Make sure to get the proper amount of sleep and eat the right foods. Particularly the day before a big presentation or meeting. Feeling lethargic or tired can make any anxiety worse. Keep your energy level high. This will be contagious with your prospect and elevate enthusiasm on both sides.
- Mentally rehearse. If you’re expecting to talk with a prospect on the phone, think about what you’re going to do – before the phone rings. What questions will you ask? How will you take control of the sales inquiry? If you’re having a face-to-face selling meeting, think about what you’ll say. What potential problems might arise? What solutions do you have to offer?
- Accept the fear. The worst thing you can do when you’re feeling nervous is to focus on your anxiety and allow it to take over. Just accept any nervousness as part of the process. When you consciously try to calm down or disguise signs of nervousness, you can make the problem worse. I know. I’ve done it. In fact, before one important sales meeting, I worked myself up so much I actually had to go buy a new shirt 30 minutes before the meeting.
- Understand you’re not alone. Almost every salesperson experiences the selling butterflies at some point.
Although the #1 long-term solution for controlling your selling butterflies is experience and knowledge, here are some short-term, easy ways to deal with anxiety:
- Understand, that no matter how anxious you feel in a selling situation, you are not in any serious physical danger.
- Take deep breaths and relax, sit back and sip a glass of cold water.
- Eat healthy meals; get plenty of good sunshine and fresh air, so your mind is equipped to produce natural feel good chemicals.
- Being prepared will help you reduce anxiety. Practice before a presentation or sales letting with a prospect.
- Meditation and yoga can offer tremendous potential benefits.
Although the fear and anxiety you feel may “seem” real, that fear is simply an emotion. One you can learn to control.
Often, a little bit of deep breathing coupled with positive thinking will be enough to help you cope with the selling butterflies.