What are the negative emotions you are likely to feel at some point in the sales process? How do you, as a salesperson, keep your emotions in check? How can you remain professional when unpleasant emotions rear their ugly head? Are your emotions getting in the way of a sale? We will take a look at some real-life examples with Dos and Don’ts. Finally, you will get some tips and tricks about how to keep yourself in a positive frame of mind.

Positive thinking

Ever since Norman Peale’s book ‘The Power of Positive Thinking’ was published in 1952, sales theory has been saturated by the idea of positive thinking. I have always found his philosophy really helpful - never give up, always go the extra mile for your client, believe in the sale, etc. Unfortunately, taken to the extreme, it can lead to really annoying salespeople who are always smiling, over cheery and unputdownable – the kind of person from whom you might want to escape. However, let’s not kid ourselves that we are in a positive mood all the time. Let’s take a closer look at the negative emotions that a salesperson is likely to feel at certain moments.

Ten negative emotions that you will probably feel at some point in the sales process

Frustration: when you’ve met the client two or three times now and they appear to have forgotten absolutely everything you’ve said. Or they haven’t understood it. Or they haven’t read the information you’ve sent them.

Impatience: when the clock is ticking, the meeting will soon be over, and the client only wants to talk about himself and is completely off topic.

Anger: when the client is deliberately disrespectful to you, putting you down with some over familiar nickname, or by making out you’re trying to force something on them that they don’t want (even though they stated that that was what they wanted).

Envy: when the client explains to you how they cannot possibly retire without half a million income every year and they seek your reassurance on this (while you are living off a fraction of this).

Jealousy: when you finally work out that the client is double-crossing you with someone else – you’ve done all the work, but they are talking of taking their business elsewhere.

Disappointment: when you experience the emotional rejection of a client saying NO; 'no' to a phone call, 'no' to an appointment, 'no' to a new follow-up appointment and 'no' to a close.

Despair: when you’ve put everything you’ve got into getting a sale, that includes a huge amount of work, energy, thought and research, and despite that, the client slips away.

Outrage: when you are demeaned by a client in a very personal way or is deliberately rude and provocative to injure your self-esteem – this may be when you are troubleshooting on the phone as part of customer care or it could just be a client’s way of keeping you at arm’s length.

Sadness: when you were expecting to make a sale and the client was giving you very positive signals and then changes his mind, fobs you off with some vague excuse, offers you some nebulous hope such as, ‘Maybe in a few years’ time’.

Depression: when the sadness kicks in and you haven’t got the heart to start again with another sales cycle that might lead to nothing; you don’t know how you are going to feed yourself or your family and you believe (rightly or wrongly) you’re just not cut out for this job.


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