The sales profession can be highly rewarding, but it has also a reputation of being one of the most stressful jobs. As a consequence many sales people quit the field each year as they simply can’t take the hammering day in, day out. Those who continue to stay on this roller coaster can often find themselves crippled with stress. If they don’t find effective ways to relieve their stress level, it can have a negative impact on both professional and personal life.
As a sales professional, trainer and coach I am often asked how to best cope with stressful situations at work. Stress impacts everyone differently, and subsequently, there is no universal method of handling it; that's why it is necessary to have a repertoire of stress relief techniques.
Get some inspiration from this list of stress coping strategies and handle stress like a pro!
Posture; They say that sitting is the new smoking and in an ever increasingly sedentary world I believe skeletal and muscular deficiencies will become an epidemic in the workplace. Stress can create muscle tension around the neck, shoulders and upper back and you will often find stressed people hunched over at desks with their face 6 inches away from the screen. Correcting your posture and relaxing your shoulders can release tension and increase blood flow thus helping you relax and keep calm.
Breaks; The to-do list of a salesperson is typically never-ending and there will always be an excuse as to why you can’t afford to have a break, but it is impossible to be focused every minute of the day. Regular breaks sharpen your mind and increase productivity. Get up and move away from your desk, walk around, stretch at your desk or do breathing exercises.
A typical lunch break at durhamlane
Music; Most of us are bombarded during the day; emails, phone calls, sudden, urgent deadlines or a demanding sales manager/director asking for updates and results. Such interruptions conspire to make today’s workers more distracted than ever and prevent you from focusing on important tasks and fulfilling goals. So allowing yourself an hour a day to put your headphones in and block the world out will help centre your thinking and put a smile back on your face. They say medicine heals the body, but music heals the soul and I’m a strong believer in music giving you good energy, helping you relax and push you through the day.
Physical Activity; Physical Activity has been proven to be one of the most effective ways of dealing with stress and there are different types of physical activity:
- Exercise (can release the feel good hormone endorphins)
- Play (just with your kids at home or in the park)
- Sport (being part of a team)
- Recreational Activity (get an allotment or do some gardening)
- Active living (don’t be a recluse and get out there and live)
Sleep; We spent our lives as children following our wind down bedtime routine which was administered by our parents, usually consisting of a bath, milk, story and then bed at the same time. Your body is a clever machine and recognises repetition, so physiologically will start to recognise when you’re ready to go to sleep.
As adults it’s our responsibility to get to bed, so interrupting these sleep patterns harms the critical recovery period for your body. Eat well and early in the evening and deliberately leave electronic devices outside of your bedroom. Modern devices, which have us constantly glued to the screen ‘checking or sending that last email’, will see us go to bed later and later each day. While our bedtime will change, the start to our workday never does thus resulting in less and less sleep and in turn sees us guzzling high sugar and caffeine drinks to get us through the day perpetuating the troubled sleep cycle.
Stress can be caused by lack of sleep or stress can cause lack of sleep which is a double edge sword in some ways for stress. It is important to get into a routine to allow the recommended 7-9 hours sleep per night or whatever works for the individual.
Positive Attitude; Positive thinking is a powerful tool and driver for success. If you manage to think differently in sales and change your mind-set you will feel more motivated and this will likely trigger some positive momentum. Don’t always think about numbers you need to hit, think about solving problems for your clients. If you believe in the products and services you are selling you will be likely to find the right solution for potential clients and suddenly hitting numbers gets a new perspective and less stressful.
Sales is a tough gig and we often talk about having belief in your product, service or solution but you also have to fully believe in yourself and the role that you’ve chosen or in some cases has chosen you. durhamlane believe that ‘Sales is the lifeblood of every company’ and what sales people achieve can help save the existence or expansion of any business. So keep going, use these coping strategies to become the you that you want to be.
Luke is a sales professional, trainer and coach. If you like to discuss your coaching requirements in confidence, then give Luke a call on 0191 481 3800