Emotions in sales aren’t inherently good or bad—but they can cause you to hit the brakes at work and take you way off course—which can throw off your ability to lead your team to success.
The goal isn’t to stop having emotions. You’re human, and every human on the planet has emotions. What you want, as online management training and leadership coach MindTools writes, is to “become better at handling your emotions, and ‘choosing’ your reactions to bad situations.”
Remember that crap day?
You know. The day when…
- a boss pulled the plug on your favorite project;
- a client cut you off before you could start your pitch;
- your workload doubled and you were already struggling to get it all done;
- your colleague blew off his responsibilities,
- someone called you on shirking your own.
You felt a lot of things in those moments when emotions in sales hit their highest pitch: Frustrated, angry, disappointed. Pissed! Maybe you took it out in ways that weren’t especially helpful, such as lashing out at a coworker or friend, losing your cool in a meeting, or isolating yourself from your team. As a result, your professional reputation and relationships possibly took a real beating.
What if you could get the poison out?
You can step back from a charged moment and redirect the negative emotion. To do this, you need to “know what causes your negative emotions, and which types of feelings you face most often. When those emotions begin to appear, immediately start your strategy to interrupt the cycle. The longer you wait, the harder it will be to pull yourself away from negative thinking,” MindTools writes.
Your body often signals anger fastest, and it’s one of the most damaging emotions in sales.
Do this to de-escalate your emotions:
- Notice it. Take note if you find yourself getting flushed, holding your breath, and clenching your shoulders or jaw.
- Stop what you’re doing. “Close your eyes, and practice a deep-breathing exercise,” says MindTools: “Breathe in slowly for five seconds, then breathe out slowly for five seconds. Focus on your breathing, and nothing else. Do this at least five times. This interrupts your angry thoughts, and it helps put you back on a more positive path.”
- Tap into your empathy. You may think you’re the only victim here, but not really. Negative emotions are contagious. What’s your anger like for the people around you? If you’re about to yell, picture what you will look like–red faced, waving your arms around. Will you regret that? Would you want a picture taken of it? Probably not.
- Flag the reasons. Do you even know why you’re feeling this way? Can you articulate it specifically? Once you’ve cooled down, you can return to these problems and find effective solutions.
Managing a quick temper can save you from damaged relationships and lost clients, and it can give you low-cost peace of mind. Those are the emotions in sales that serve you best.
Read more strategies for handling negative emotions here.
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