The panic button sits on my desk. And its a fantastic reminder that in sales staying calm is the way to go, even if you want to panic! This is especially true when you are waiting for a contract.
Hoops and Yo Yo (the characters on the button) sum up the emotional roller coaster salespeople go through. "Shit! What is going to happen! I'm freaking out!" We let our emotions get to us just like second graders. It's time to stop the madness people!
There are lots of sales discussions on LinkedIn. One sales person asked, "How do I pick myself up after a big sales disappointment?" There was lots of advice but the simple answer is: don't get excited in the first place. Be realistic. Don't let hope cloud your vision. Be a pro.
Easier said than done. Especially when you consider that panic or irrational fear or behavior is hard-wired in our psyche. What's also true about panic is that its contagious. And that can bring the whole team down. You start freaking out and chances are others are going to freak out too. The good news? You can train yourself to control your emotions.
Guess what? You have lots of practice. Remember fire drills or disaster drills in second grade? Yep, they were training you to control your emotions, especially when your mind is getting all primal and deciding to "fight or flight" when in many cases neither is the best option.
Every now and then you lined up, calm and in an orderly manner with your buddy and walked out to your pre-rehearsed spot. This taught you to stay calm, stay calm and not panic! Becuase when you panic, bad things happen!
This couldn't be more true in sales. What happens when you start freaking out about sales numbers, or letting your imagination get the best of you in a contract negotiation? You may do something stupid. Like bug the heck out of a prospect instead of trusting them to do what they said and building the bond that gets a sale.
Or freaking out could make you worry so much that you don't do other vital aspects of your job, like prospect and create smart proposals and communications. Or worse yet, cause you to say or email something you may regret! And you know what makes it worse? Stupid bosses who only ask "when is x contract coming in" rather than helping you in a useful way -- like reiterating their faith in you and your skill.
So how do you control your emotions and stay calm under all circumstances? You will find out in my next post. But for now, print these words and post them in your office: "Its never as good or as bad as it seems."