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6 steps to cope with anxiety in sales

4 minutes
Shelley Lavery

Everyone who works in sales knows the pressures of the industry.


Our job is full of ups and downs. With the role being incredibly measured, and performance levels being so tangible, it’s easy to feel like your abilities as a salesperson are equal to the results you’re delivering.


The role of the salesperson is fundamental to any business. At the end of the day, we’re the ones responsible for growth of the business. 


It’s easy for anxiety to manifest itself in the role on a day-to-day basis. So how do you deal with it?


I’ve always been quite an anxious person, and I’d be lying if I said I don’t feel it in my role from time to time. But these are things that help me to deal with anxiety to ensure I’m still enjoying my job everyday:

6 steps to cope with anxiety in sales

  1. Control the controlables


There are so many factors that are not in your control when selling. It’s not the right time, it’s not a problem they’re looking to solve, not the right product... these things happen, and you will come across them. 


You can’t always be everybody’s cup of tea. You can be Steve Jobs, and someone will always choose Bill Gates. 


The best thing to do is not worry about the factors that aren’t in your control and focus on what is.


I know that when it comes to demo-ing a product, showing the prospect areas of the Jiminny platform that are relevant is the most important thing. Keeping demos fresh, and doing my best to build a rapport with the prospect and understand their needs is what I can control. This is where I place importance. 


Remember your techniques and processes and focus on what you can do, and not what you can’t. 


  1. Keep a stable mindset


The job is full of ups and downs. Everything is so measured, targets are there to be hit after all. My advice is to take the wins, but don’t get too emotional about the ups, and the same with the downs. It’s our job to sell, and it’s great when we win a deal, but I stay calm and focused when we win, and try to apply the same mindset when we inevitably lose deals. 


In this role, it’s easy to focus on the short-term. What’s happening next week? Why was last week so difficult? I try to see the bigger picture and this helps me realize the progress that I make over the months, not days. 


  1. Take time away from your desk


Working from home has really blurred the lines between work and personal life. It’s easy to get consumed going back-to-back with outbound and booking inbound meetings. 


I have found it beneficial in the long-run to take time away from my desk and get my heart rate moving. Getting a sweat on, getting the endorphins flowing is what works for me. 


This isn’t for everyone - I know people who try yoga, who meditate, or go for walks, so it’s about doing what works for you. Distracting my mind from work and remembering there is life outside of the 9-5 helps me sustain myself in the long-run and not get burnt out. 


  1. Ask for support


Don’t be afraid to admit you are struggling. These conversations can be hard, especially with your boss. But at the end of the day, we’re all human and even though they’re your boss and they manage you, they’re human.


I’ve been fortunate enough to work in very open and positive environments, but I always remember that nobody’s psychic. Unless you’re open about these things, it’s hard to deal with them. At the end of the day, people can’t know what they don’t know. 


Whenever I’ve been open about my anxieties, I’ve been seen as human and have been fortunate enough to receive a lot of help and support. This is so valuable when it comes to selling day-in, day-out. 


These feelings are normal. They make you human. 


  1. Don’t be afraid to admit when you don’t know something 


Working in tech, there is always jargon or regulation you may not know or fully understand. If these questions come up and you don’t know the answer, I rarely get a negative response when I admit I don’t know something. 


I’d rather go away and get the right information than say something that’s wrong. It’s an opportunity to learn and develop, so that when the question comes up next time, I know the answer.


We’re all learning and growing. People (mostly) appreciate your honesty. 


  1. Embrace rejection and failure

As much as I’d love to, I’ll never win every deal. That’s okay. At the end of the day, it’s business, it’s never personal. 


I always tell myself, “the sunny days are coming”. I do my best to keep my lead list updated and to keep my demos fresh. 


Some quarters will always be better than others. Whenever something goes wrong or the deal doesn’t happen, I remind myself that there’s nothing personal in it. If I did something wrong, or could have done something better, it’s a learning opportunity. 


It’s natural to feel stress in the job, and anxiety comes with the uncertainty that surrounds sales until the deal is done. These feelings are natural, and you can never fully get rid of them. 


The key is to take the steps to recognize when these feelings arise, and deal with them one step at a time. 


Whether you’re at the beginning of your career or have been doing this for decades, I hope this has been helpful. It’s never easy, but nothing worthwhile ever is!

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