How To Manage Your Sales Stress

Tony Hughes


Professional selling is one of the most stressful careers a person can choose. There is fierce competition and endless pressure to deliver. You're only as good as your last quarter and there are inevitable increases in sales targets, exacerbated by inevitable downward price pressure caused by commoditization. Amidst growing competition you are expected to be an evangelist, challenger, engineer, psychologist, negotiator, lawyer, business and financial analyst, project manager, and a magician. You need to be able to create value while screening-out noise and translating information into what matters for buyers. And sadly, they all tend to treat you like a commodity.

In a digital world and multiple communication channels, there is distracting noise everywhere. But stress is not created by workload but instead caused by feeling out of control. A successful life, as with a successful sale, requires planning, discipline, intelligence, creativity and a positive attitude. Instead of wishing that sales success could be easier, choose to become better in how you manage time, relationships and priorities.

Time and focus: Our ability to manage our time is key so always ask; 'is this an investment of time or a waste of time?' Plan your following day's activities before you shut down. Learn to say 'no' because volume kills quality. Less really is more if we are to be effective. Focus on the job at hand, very few people can multi-task effectively. Importantly, watch less TV!

Choose your relationships carefully: Ensure you have aligned values with your boss, customers and partners.

Plan and prioritize everything important. Know what matters: family, health, your close friends and your 'inner life'.

Along with your ability to dream big, set goals, and execute masterfully with disciplined action, your mental and physical health is a prerequisite for your sustained success.

For your mental health, choose to be grateful and serve a higher cause. Focus on others and their needs rather than your own. Stop comparing yourself with others and surround yourself with positive people who have good values. Avoid negative television and feed your soul and mind with great books.

For you physical healthy, drink more water and less alcohol, exercise regularly and eat well. I once heard Dr John Tickell deliver a keynote on how to manage stress. He said: "The key to a long, healthy and happy life is exercise, vegetables, fish and sex... but not all at the same time because it makes a hell of a mess." If you rate this post, please click the thumbs-up icon under the heading to let me know.


Tony Hughes is ranked as the #1 influencer on professional selling in Asia-Pacific and is a keynote speaker and best selling author. This article was originally published in LinkedIn where you can also follow Tony's award winning blog. Also visit Tony's keynote speaker website at or his sales methodology website at

Main image photo by Flickr: Matt Brown


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