The rotten economy, if you haven't noticed, may be taking a toll on your health. "Today's economy is stressing people out, and stress has been linked to a number of illnesses-such as heart disease, high blood pressure and increased risk for cancer," according to a new study in the July 15 issue of the American Journal of Epidemiology. A lot of this stress is understandable-but also unnecessary. If you are in sales, a sales system can help you reduce that pressure you are under in a big way. You will be as productive as ever, which should mean less anxiety. A sales system will help you stop confusing your real self with what I call your "role self." Most sales professionals take the inevitable rejection that comes with their work personally. They can't make the necessary distinction between the role they play as a salesperson and who they really are. But those who can make that distinction-and it takes practice to do it-find that they worry a great deal less. That makes them more effective. They are happier and healthier, and the confidence they show inspires others to have confidence in them. Sales increase. A sales system will also help you adjust the goals for each call you make in your prospecting efforts. Your only goal, besides establishing rapport, should be to determine if your prospect has any interest at all in your product or service and, if they do, to set up an appointment for a later date. You should make a point not to begin the selling process at this stage of your relationship. This is not the time to talk about features or benefits, price or delivery. That comes later. All you should try to do is schedule the appointment. The rest should wait. Try this, and like those with a selling system, you'll see immediate benefits. "Going for the appointment" will take the pressure off you, and it will also take pressure off your prospect. You won't have to second-guess which aspects of your product or service to bring up. And because he or she isn't confronted with a premature "sales pitch," your prospect won't have to think about putting up a defensive wall of delaying tactics. When you get your prospect on the phone, be up front about what you want. Make sure they understand that all you are trying to do is to determine if they have any interest in what you are selling and, if they do, to set up a time to talk further. That's it. Your prospect will appreciate the fact that you understand how busy they are, and that you are not jumping the gun, so to speak, in making your pitch. Your sales system will lighten your stress, and theirs too, helping you remain productive in challenging times.
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