Performance Under Pressure

“What’s the matter with you? You are playing like a little sissy! You missed the last three par putts, you shanked one into the woods and your head must be somewhere 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 get your act together and focus!”

That is a speech I overheard my attorney give to one of his colleagues the other day! I thought how appropriate it is for all of us in sales. So, let me put it in terms of sales.

When you get to the junction that every sales encounter has… you know the one. I’m talking about the junction that either turns the tide your way or turns the tide to the competition, or denial, or whatever excuse the prospect throws at you. At that point, you have a choice. You may choose to stand and perform under pressure, or bail!

Below are some examples of bailing. All begin 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?

Oh no, I hate when they ask me that question.

Get control of your thoughts! Stop the internal negative thinking. When you lack the ability to control your thoughts during a sales event, you lack Emotional Discipline.

Anytime you lack conviction or confidence, have self-doubt, or become unsure or discontented during a sales event, you open the door for the prospect to sense weakness in your product or service and of course, in 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 lie 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. When opportunity is sent your way, you will have the ability to impress with your natural reaction as seen in the clip below.

If you do not see a video box above, copy this link to your browser:

Make it your habit to perform under pressure, and make it look easy!

Till next time, Good Selling.


We welcome your response and your stories of how you’ve overcome the negative internal naysayer!

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Author: Rocky LaGrone

Rocky LaGrone is a seasoned sales development expert with over 25 years in sales development and training working with well over 1,000 companies of all sizes in various industries.

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