Understanding how stress works is a critical component of building resilience and performing at a high level in sales. This post outlines how you can use stress to your advantage and build a healthy mindset in sales.

The first thing you need to know about stress is that it operates on a spectrum like this:

What is stress and what types of stress exist?

Good stress is defined as eustress which means we’re challenged but not too challenged. As a result we’re focused and energized to complete the sales task at hand.

As salespeople, far too often we find ourselves operating in distress. We’re fatigued, exhausted and experiencing various symptoms of burnout like lack of concentration and brain fog.

The difference between happy and successful salespeople compared to those who are struggling with sales burnout is not whether or not they encounter stress. It’s how they manage stress levels on a regular basis to mitigate how much time they spend in distress.

Rarely is stress caused by one single stressor in sales – there are multiple. For most salespeople, stress will build up throughout the day and if they’re not careful, their Mental Health will suffer.

Our bodies are not built like machines and they are not designed to HUNT, HUNT, HUNT non-stop. To start using stress to our advantage we need to work like a cheetah and imagine ourselves like a corporate athlete who is training their mind each day. This is how we can maintain a healthy mindset in sales.

Working Like A Corporate Sales Athlete

When an athlete works out at the gym and their muscles feel sore the next day – that’s Eustress. They have challenged their muscles outside their comfort zone and is now experiencing fatigue.

This means they have temporarily pushed their body into Distress.

healthy mindset

In this scenario, smart athletes use recovery periods to limit how much time their bodies spend in distress. If they push their muscles too hard to grow too quickly, they increase their risk of injury. They need to give their bodies enough time to rest and recover before adding more strain.

This allows their bodies to move from a level of distress, back to a level of eustress. Practicing this movement consistently is how their bodies get ready to achieve peak performance.

managing stress in sales

Stress, Healthy Mindset and Mental Health in Sales

Same rules apply to your Mental Health and achieving peak performance in sales.

An achievable, but challenging sales target that pushes you outside your comfort zone is a good thing. Eustress pushes you to grow and stay motivated.

Poorly set targets or encountering negative experiences like a few deals falling through can often leave you behind and playing catch-up. For many salespeople they push themselves into distress and operate there until the last day of the month or quarter.

With a new target right around the corner – there is almost no time for salespeople to rest and recover which means they  get stuck operating in distress. This results in mental injuries like burnout, anxiety or other symptoms of declining Mental Health.

The question is not IF an injury will occur – it’s WHEN.

Like the athlete who over trains in the gym, most companies are pushing their teams to grow too quickly. They’re focusing on short term gains, rather than long-term profitability and building a stable foundation they can grow from.

It’s hard to build strong culture when burnout is creating retention issues and a revolving door of talent.

As individuals, managers and organizations we need to be mindful of when we and our teams are operating in distress for long periods of time. We need to set proper boundaries and start using self-care like a daily multivitamin.

Managing stress in sales

Resilience and Self-Care in Sales

Self-care is the multivitamin for our mind and Mental Health. Much like a daily multivitamin that boosts our body’s immune system; self-care only works and helps build resilience when it’s practiced regularly.

Too many of us treat self-care like an aspirin that we only practice/take when we’re extremely burnout or exhausted. When we’re operating in the far right side of the spectrum.

Practicing self-care daily ensures we are building the necessary rest and recovery periods into our daily work routine. This will help us spend more time working in the Eustress zone, which means we’re using stress to promote healthy growth and a healthy mindset.

This is how we become a corporate athlete and put ourselves in the best position to achieve peak sales performance each day.

Healthy Mindset Exercise to Get Started

Schedule two additional 20 minute breaks into your day today, where you totally disconnect from work and social media. Put them on your calendar so you don’t miss them. See how you feel at the end of the day and if it helps maintain good stress levels.

To learn how to fully transform yourself into a corporate sales athlete checkout our community called Project Mamba.

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Eustress/Distress spectrum image taken from this article here.

About The Author

mental health advocate Jeff Riseley

Jeff Riseley is currently the Founder of the Sales Health Alliance and Mental Health Advocate. With over a decade of sales experience – Jeff understands the importance of Mental Health in achieving peak sales performance.

Jeff combines his sales (Sales Knowledge Institute) and Mental Health expertise to improve sales performance through a mix of sales mentorship and mental health best practices. His strategies have helped sales teams improve their sales process, while helping them become more motivated, resilient and better equipped to tackle stressful events within sales.

He is currently delivering these strategies through on-site workshops, coaching and speaking engagements. To explore working with Jeff contact him at [email protected]



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