How to NOT Get Nervous in Selling Situations

When I first started selling, I always dreaded the moment when I’d shake a prospect’s hand…because I would get so nervous that my palms would sweat.

Seriously. I’d be wiping my hands constantly to try to dry them off before shaking hands with prospects.

Even if you don’t get sweaty palms when you’re nervous, all salespeople have dealt with nerves at some point or another. Only some of us have learned to deal with it better than others.

Chances are, you’ve been in a selling situation recently where you got a little nervous. Unfortunately, nerves don’t help us in sales at all.

You’ve got to get your nerves under control when you’re selling. There’s no way around it.

In this video, I’m going to show you how to NOT get nervous in selling situations, no matter how intense it might seem. Check it out:


How to NOT Get Nervous in Selling Situations Tip #1: It’s about the role.

If you want to learn how to not get nervous in selling situations, then first you need to recognize that your nerves are likely the direct result of being afraid of rejection. This is the mindset behind why so many salespeople get nervous.

Most of us are so afraid of being rejected, of having the prospect tell us no, because we feel like they are rejecting us as an individual. This simply isn’t true.

If a prospect tells you no, they’re not rejecting you—they’re rejecting the role you’re playing.

Let’s say you’re making a cold call to a prospect and they hang up on you. They’re not hanging up on you as a person, they’re hanging up on the role that you were playing. Either you did or said something to cause them to hang up, or something unrelated was going on in their lives that made them hang up…but neither of those reasons has anything to do with you as a human being.

It’s about the role, not about you. This is key to understand if you want to learn how to not get nervous in selling situations, because it frees your mind from the insecurities and anxieties that cause so many salespeople to crash and burn.

When a selling situation doesn’t go the way you want, remember that it has nothing to do with you as a human being, but instead it’s all about the role you’re playing.

How to NOT Get Nervous Tip #2: They can’t hurt you.

I remind salespeople all the time that prospects can’t hurt them. Think about it: They can’t reach through the phone and attack you. All they can do is maybe say some less-than-nice things to hurt your feelings—and in most cases, even that doesn’t happen.

We’re not at war. We’re in sales. It’s not that bad.

There is no situation where they can physically harm you. And just by reminding yourself of that, you’ll be on your way to mastering how not to get nervous in selling situations.

All you’re doing when you’re selling is trying to engage human beings in conversation. That’s it. They can’t hurt you, and it’s not that bad.

Tip #3: Learning experiences aren’t a failure.


The only time you fail is when you quit. Everything else in between is a learning experience.

If you make a call that goes poorly, or you have a prospecting meeting that really doesn’t go the way you expected, or it was a disaster, or they ghost you, or whatever it is—that must become a learning experience.

You have to learn from that experience. Don’t just fear it. Don’t be afraid of it. Instead, just recognize that a lot of selling situations aren’t going to go well. Even good salespeople often have a 25% close ratio. That means that 75% of the time, the sale doesn’t happen.

Accepting that learning experiences aren’t a failure, but rather an opportunity to grow and get better at sales, is key to not getting nervous in selling situations.

How to NOT Get Nervous in Selling Situations Tip #4: Follow a system.

One of the biggest problems I see in sales is that a lot of sales reps are making it up as they go. As a result, they really never learn what works and what doesn’t…because they’re just making it all up.

When you follow a proven sales system, on the other hand, you’re cutting out so many years of pain and trial and error. And most important, when you follow a proven system and a sale doesn’t go as expected, you have a tangible way to deconstruct what actually happened.

People who follow my firm’s Sales Insights Methodology have a vocabulary to address when a sale goes poorly or a prospect ghosts, giving them the ability to ask the right questions of themselves when things go awry.

When you have this type of consistency and stability in your sales approach, you can quickly learn and improve. And as a result, you have nothing to fear and nothing to be nervous about.

Tip #5: Get lots of reps.

What I mean by this is like reps at a gym, right? The only way your biceps get bigger is if you get lots of repetition (or lots of reps) of bicep curls—and that’s just as true in sales. You need lots of reps.

If you’re making cold dials or you’re conducting prospecting calls or face-to-face meetings, whatever it is, you need a lot of repetition using a systematic approach. When you get lots of repetition, you start to see what scenarios are likely to happen, what scenarios don’t happen often, etc.

Many times when we get nervous in sales, it’s because we’re so afraid of something happening that actually never happens. By getting lots of reps, you can strengthen your selling muscle and the stronger it gets, the less nervous you’ll be because you’ll know what’s coming.

How to NOT Get Nervous Tip #6: All prospects are just people.

This is so important to remember. Sometimes we start to put our prospects on a pedestal and we think of them as people we have to kiss up to. We might even think of them as all-knowing and superior. And as a result, we get really nervous.

But at the end of the day, all prospects are just people. They’re like you. They’re like me. They’re like your parents. They’re like your neighbors. They’re just normal people.

And the more you recognize that they’re just normal people, less nervous you’ll get in selling situations.

Tip #7: High-level buyers are just people, too.

This deserves its own point because high-level prospects often intimidate salespeople more than anyone else. High-level prospects are no different than any other prospects out there. They’re just people, too.

Salespeople often get really nervous about calling the CEO of a company or anyone with a C in their title. Maybe they’ve gone to fancy schools or they have fancy-sounding degrees. It doesn’t matter. They’re just people.

I’ve studied at some of the best universities on the planet. And I can tell you right now that every single person that went to Harvard and has a fancy degree is just a normal person. It’s really not a big deal.

High-level buyers have normal lives. They have toilets. They have concerns. They have kids. They have frustrations. They fight with their spouses. They’re just people.

How to NOT Get Nervous Tip #8: It’s just a game.

Sales is like any other contact sport. It can sting a little bit when you lose, but at the end of the day, it’s not going to kill you. Amd at the end of the game, the people on the other team are just people. They’re just people like you and me.

So remember that sales is just a game. When you lose, pick yourself up and try again. Use these mindsets to get better. Have fun with it, laugh about it. It doesn’t matter.

How to NOT Get Nervous in Selling Situations Tip #9: SW3N.

SW3N stands for: Some Will, Some Won’t, So What? Next. Let me repeat that. Some Will, Some Won’t, So What? Next.

If you want to master how to not get nervous in selling situations, then this must be your mindset moving forward. Recognize that no matter what happens, no matter how badly a sales situation goes, Some Will, Some Won’t, So What? Next. That’s it.

You have nothing to fear. You’re going to learn. You’re going to make mistakes. You’re going to screw things up, and that’s okay. Everyone does that. That’s just what happens in sales.

So, there you have it. Now you know how to NOT get nervous in selling situations. I want to hear from you. Which of these ideas did you find most useful? Be sure to share below in the comment section to get involved in the conversation.

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About the Author Marc Wayshak

Marc is is the best-selling author of three books on sales and leadership, including the highly acclaimed titles Game Plan Selling, The High-Velocity Sales Organization and his forthcoming book, Sales Conversations, Mastered.

Marc is a contributor to Inc, HubSpot, Fast Company, Entrepreneur Magazine, and Huffington Post Business. He also hosts a popular YouTube channel on sales strategy with over 103,000 subscribers.

Marc helps thousands of people his data-driven, science-based approach to selling that utilizes all the best tools available to sales organizations today.

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