Never-ending prospecting. High quotas. Demanding customers. New commission policies. Competition around every corner. In the world of sales, life can be very stressful. As a sales professional, you may often feel like you don’t have control over your destiny but are a victim of multiple forces beyond your control.

In this issue of Promotional Consultant Today, we share these steps from business author and sales expert, Steve Simms, on how to cope with life-threatening sales stress and maintain your health and sanity.

1. Get tough. Simms suggests focusing on solving problems without dwelling on them. Address the issue and then clear your mind of any negative thoughts related to that issue. If you’ve done your best, the problem is out of your hands, so stop worrying about it. He says that negative feelings are draining and unproductive, and frazzled nerves often have undesirable physiological effects as well. Focus on your inner peace rather than thoughts that create anxiety.

2. Limit responsibility. Simms advises to quit taking on too much and limit your obligations that make you less productive. Only focus on those obligations that you feel comfortable in handling and that you can balance with the rest of your responsibilities. Start by looking at your current responsibilities and prioritizing them. You’ll quickly see which tasks and obligations end up at the bottom of the list. Either reprioritize or get rid of the bottom-loaders that are taking too much time and energy.

3. Start delegating. Learn how to hand off responsibility to others when needed, and also learn to say “No.” These two habits will help you to work more efficiently and reduce stress in meeting your obligations. Also, Simms says to avoid perfectionism and procrastination to work smarter. Constantly needing to catch up on work adds to stress.

4. Take breaks. Everyone needs a break from the responsibilities that cause stress, so engage in other activities on a regular basis. Take up a hobby. Exercise. Get outside. Learn how to play outside of work. Relax. Taking a break actually helps you to sharpen your mind and increase productivity.

While stress often becomes part of our everyday routine, realize when too much stress has entered your life. As Simms says, if the stress consistently outweighs the happiness, take control of your life, make some changes in your lifestyle and work habits, and rediscover your selling potential.

Source: Steve Simms has spent the past 25 years studying the characteristics of top performers. As a full-time professional speaker and writer, he presents his findings and personal experiences in speeches and seminars for corporations and associations around the country. Simms is the executive director of Attitude-Lifter Enterprises, a Brentwood, Tennessee-based speaking and training company. His unique professional-development articles have been published regularly in two national magazines,Selling Power and Zig Ziglar’s Top Performance, and have also appeared in Reader’s Digest, The American Salesman and The Inspirator, an international magazine published in New Zealand. Simms is author of Mindrobics; How To Be Happy For The Rest Of Your Life.