3 Ways to Clear Your Mind Before a Tough Sales Call
Last time, we talked about going off script during a sales call. Today, let's take that idea one step further.
If you want to stray from your typical sales script but also remain focused and on track, then you've got to stay cool, calm, and collected.
Easier said than done? You bet.
In a perfect world, you would schedule a 90-minute massage to relax before a tough sales call. But that's not realistic for most people, so what can you do instead?
Whether you’re someone who is generally confident and welcomes a challenge, or if you're someone who tends to get nervous and shy away from any type of confrontation, we've rounded up three techniques for clearing your head and thinking quickly on your feet, so you can be ready to handle any sales situation thrown your way.
Breathing & Meditation
Deep breathing is a common technique for managing stress, with benefits that range from alleviating anxiety to lowering blood pressure.
Yoga teaches breath control, or pranayama, by inhaling through the nose, holding it for a count, and exhaling for the same amount of time. And you can further reduce stress by exhaling for a count longer than you inhale.
Applied to Sales
Sales is stressful. Especially if you have a call coming up where you've already anticipated some of the client's tough objections and questions.
It’s a potentially make-it or break-it conversation.
A few minutes before the call, turn down the brightness on your monitor, close your eyes, and breathe.
First, just notice your breath. Are you breathing quickly or panting? Do you feel light-headed?
Take control of your breath by counting: inhale for a count of 5, hold your breath for 1 count, and then stretch your exhale over 6 counts. Repeat this for a minute. Then, let go. Your breathing pattern will continue involuntarily, now at a slower rate than before.
Doing this before a sales call will help you relax any anxieties you may have and will allow you to clear your mind so you can focus in on the prospect or client you'll be speaking with.
When you’ve mastered this simple breathing technique, you may even want to try full blown meditation -- the goal of which is to de-clutter your thoughts and stop dwelling on anything that's unhelpful or negative.
Meditation is shown to have many health benefits like enhanced creativity, increased focus and attention, and improved memory...just to name a few. Try it out for yourself with the help of one of these apps.
Certain postures have a fake-it-till-you-make-it effect on the body, meaning that even if you’re not feeling particularly confident, when you strike a confident pose, you may actually begin to feel more confident. Similarly, force yourself to smile for 30 seconds and just see if you feel a little happier at the end.
A confident posture and a positive demeanor can fool someone into thinking you’re self-assured and know exactly what you’re doing, even if you’re actually quite nervous.
Applied to Sales
Before your next big meeting, take a couple of minutes to assess and take note of your body language. Try standing in a power pose to boost your physical confidence. Stand up straight, spine tall, eyes straight ahead, chest proud, hands on your hips. When you’re done, try to keep standing up straight as you walk into the meeting and you'll feel and look your best.
Music is another tool to lower stress and amp up your feelings of empowerment and happiness. In fact, there's scientific evidence that upbeat music with a strong bass line can make you feel more powerful.
In my own experience, I've found that listening to my favorite upbeat songs remind me of my personal life outside of work or any stressful moments. This helps keep things in perspective.
Applied to Sales
If you're having a tough time getting into the right mindset for an upcoming call or client renewal meeting, try listening to an upbeat song or music with a strong, steady bass line to get you moving, empower your thinking, and spark creativity.
To Sum It Up
When you encounter a stressful sales situation, anticipate your reaction.
If you know you’re likely to feel stressed or anxious, take a moment to yourself -- breathe, stand up straight, pop in your earbuds. Then, dial in to that important call or walk into that big meeting feeling more focused, adaptable and confident.
Ready for more tips to help you develop good sales habits and behaviors? Start improving with tips from our eBook.
About Brittany Bookbinder
Brittany is an actor, writer, and Muppet enthusiastic. She grew up on Long Island, where her hobbies included writing love poems and watching TGIF, often at the same time. These days, she writes for Evil Studios Ltd., performs comedy and music, and makes video shorts independently and with the iO Comedy Network. She has performed in independent films, regional theatre, sketch comedy and improv all over Chicago. She is also an artistic collaborator with Theater Unspeakable, with whom she co-created Superman 2050 and Murder on the Midwest Express. She has performed Superman 2050 throughout the country, including Lincoln Center in NYC and the Kennedy Center in DC. Training: She holds a B.S. Theatre, a minor in Creative Writing and a certificate in Music Theatre from Northwestern University. She has studied acting at the School at Steppenwolf and British American Drama Academy. She has studied improv in the Second City Conservatory, iO Chicago, CIC Theatre and currently at the Annoyance. Brittany is a guest blog contributor for DMTraining.