Performance Under Pressure
How do you measure up?
“What’s the matter with you! You’re playing like a little sissy! You missed the last three par putts, you shanked one into the woods and your head must be somewhere where the sun don’t shine! If you don’t get a thrill by standing over the ball when the game is on the line…then you shouldn’t be out here. I mean if you don’t get a rush from being under pressure, and you can’t perform when you have to then you should go somewhere else and play. Now let’s get your act together and focus!”
That is a speech I overheard my attorney give to one of his colleagues that other day. I thought… how appropriate that would be for all of us in sales. So let me put it in Sales terms.
When you get to the junction that every sales encounter has… You know the junction that either turns the tide your way or the tide turns to competition or denial, or whatever excuse they throw at you, you have a choice. Your choice is to stand and perform under pressure, or bail! Here are some examples of bailing. It all begins with internal negative thoughts:
- “$%^*, I gotta drop the price.”
- “I’m not gonna make that much money anyway.”
- “What a hard a**. “
- “Damn I’m gonna lose another one.”
- “Oh, well. It really doesn’t matter anyway.”
- “Can’t wait to get outta here”
- “Yeah, it is a lot of money!”
- “How am I gonna get over that objection.”
- “Noooo, I hate when they ask me that question.”
Get control of those internal thoughts! Stop the internal thoughts. We call the inability to control your thoughts during a sales event “Emotional Discipline”
Anytime you become unsure, discontent, unconfident, lack of conviction, or have self doubt during a sales event opens the door for the prospect to sense weakness in your product or service and of course you.
Fix this by visualizing success prior to the call. Fix this with positive affirmations. A lot of them. Fix this with conviction that your product/service is the best in your class. Fix this with being comfortably uncomfortable. Fix this with preparation.
Bobby knight said, “The preparation to win is greater than the will to win.”
Prepare with questions, rehearse, don’t expect the prospect to lay down and roll over. Be prepared to displace the competition with questions about their weaknesses. Work on your skills until you have unconscious competence. Practice under pressure and when you get to the event you will not feel the pressure. Then when opportunity is sent your way you have the ability to impress with your natural reaction. Like the clip here. Make it your habit to perform under pressure and make it look easy.
I am a huge advocate of the principle that you need to know yourself and the people you work with in order to manage them effectively. This is why I had my sales force evaluated using Objective Management Group’s sales force evaluation. I thought the comprehensive analysis was incredibly valuable because it analyzed the specific sales capabilities of each individual, in the context of their role in the sales organization. I was not aware of the hidden weaknesses that were interfering with their sales success, and now that I have worked on mine and know those of my people, I can be much more helpful to them.Charles Assaf
If you are interested in how you and your salespeople perform under pressure, check out our Sales Force Evaluation.
We welcome your response and your stories of how you’ve overcome the negative internal naysayer! firstname.lastname@example.org