Nerves and Sales: Harness the Power
Even the most experienced sales person gets that wiggly feeling in the pit of their stomach when out on a big sales call. However, understanding and addressing that wiggly feeling can mean the difference between closing the sale and walking out the door with a hangdog face.
Take for instance when that big sales call makes you “nervous.” Nervous really can mean that you are simply excited and energized about the opportunity. It can mean that you have prepared in advance and are not going in with an air of complacency. The “nerves” prompts you to be ready for every objection and you understand the needs of the prospect and how you can solve their problems and meet their needs.
How those “nerves” can gut your sale
On the other hand, when that wiggly feeling is caused by your feeling intimidated, that is a whole different game. In fact, that can be a game-changer. Not only is intimidation a different emotion, it usually results in different outcomes.
If you are intimidated, you probably go into a sales situation lacking confidence and personal presence. If you see a C-level decision maker as better than you in some way because of his achievements or position, you spend your time prior to the meeting worrying about looking and sounding smart and being seen as capable instead of preparing for the sale. You focus on you rather than focusing on meeting your prospects business needs and challenges.
Being intimidated, therefore, moves the focus to you, the sales person, which is when you must realize that you have fallen victim to narcissism. No one likes to hear that, but those questions racing through your head illuminates where your focus has settled – on you. These are the kind of “what about me” statements that reveal where your thoughts are centered:
- How do I look?
- How do I sound?
- Is the prospect impressed with me?
Recognize where your head is and change your thinking
To get past this narcissistic state of mind, professional sales people move beyond the feelings of intimidation through the use of empathy. Switch from the “about me” channel to the “all about them” channel. Step into your prospect’s shoes and really consider her problems and challenges.
In Emotional Intelligence for Sales Success, Colleen Stanley describes this person and the situation this way:
“She has multiple roles and responsibilities, sixty hours of work sitting on her desk, and is constantly being asked to do more with less. Do you really think she has time to focus and study various products, services and solutions as you do? No, she needs a great salesperson to be a valuable shortcut and make her life easier. She needs you!”
Move from a sales person mindset to a service mindset. That shift will set you on another path in your approach to this sales opportunity.
Don’t let yourself ever get and stay intimidated. Prepare yourself; have the information about what you offer and listen carefully to get the information from the prospect about what they need. You will be properly armed and in the right mindset to make the sale you want and they need. You have the power to turn it around.
To Your Success!