Episode 319: How Emotional Fitness Can Boost Your Sales Performance with Ben Drakes

GUEST: Ben Drakes, Founder and CEO of Ben Drakes University

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Sales is a high-pressure job that often involves stepping out of your comfort zone and facing imposter syndrome.

To thrive, you need to develop a strong emotional muscle.

The question is:

How does emotional fitness relate to our performance under pressure and our long-term resilience in sales?

To help us with this today, we have Ben Drakes, Founder and CEO of Ben Drakes University. With an average deal size of over $150m, Ben held sales roles at Computacenter, Capita, and Serco for over 15 years. Today, Ben helps sales professionals perform at their best without sacrificing their physical or emotional well-being. 

How Can Emotional Fitness Help You Thrive in High-Pressure Sales?

Emotional fitness in sales means having the ability to control and regulate your emotions, especially in high-pressure situations. It's about not being overwhelmed by stress and maintaining a calm and measured approach, often crucial for handling the ups and downs of a sales career. Developing a strategy to manage emotional states allows sales professionals to perform better, experience less stress, and enjoy a happier and more balanced life.

“Emotional fitness for me, as a sales professional, is really that I don't have to be yanked around by my emotions at any particular time. I can have control over my emotions, and I can control my emotional state before I go into high-pressure situations”.

Ben Drakes, Founder and CEO of Ben Drakes University

Thrive Under Sales Pressure

Sales is a high-pressure job. But you can thrive by mastering your emotional fitness. Two key strategies include Top Down Control and Bottom-Up Control. Top Down Control involves maintaining a positive mindset and telling yourself empowering stories, even when facing setbacks. Bottom Up Control uses physical actions to signal calm to your brain, helping you stay composed. 

The Six-Second Secret to Staying Calm and Connected

In sales, dealing with discomfort is key to success. A useful strategy is the Six Second Relax technique, developed by a group of cardiologists in the USA. Before any high-pressure situation, inhale through your nose, say "Mind alert," then exhale and say, "Body calm." Keep your peripheral vision open and smile slightly to activate your parasympathetic nervous system. This will help you reduce stress, lower your heart rate, and calm your mind. Repeat as needed to stay focused and composed, ensuring you're ready to connect empathetically with your clients.

“We always need to fall back on the process as professionals. That's what differentiates an amateur from a professional in exactly the same way as a sports star”.

Ben Drakes, Founder and CEO of Ben Drakes University

Prospecting with Empathy

When prospecting with empathy, focus on building a genuine emotional connection before diving into business. Start by researching and engaging with potential customers on platforms like Spotify, YouTube, and LinkedIn. The goal is to connect with their emotional brain, which assesses trust and comfort. Making prospects feel good about you first allows them to be more likely to engage their rational brain and consider your business proposal.

“Practicing and leading with empathy, both in prospecting but also when we're in meetings with customers, is critical. And how can we do that if we're not prepared?”

Ben Drakes, Founder and CEO of Ben Drakes University

Balancing Technology with Genuine Human Connection in Sales

Salespeople need to own their LinkedIn presence and share valuable content beyond just company promotions. Personalization is key, even in high-volume outreach. Bring empathy, humor, and insightful information to make your communication meaningful. Embrace AI tools to boost efficiency, but never forget the power of human connection. AI can't replicate genuine empathy or the value you bring to a conversation. If you keep adding real value, customers will always want to engage with you.

“We've got to use AI as sales professionals. We've got to use AI tools. What's the one way to get your job taken is not to adopt the new technology and battle against it.”

Ben Drakes, Founder and CEO of Ben Drakes University

Now that you know how emotional fitness allows salespeople to successfully manage high-pressure situations for maximum performance, discover the full list of episodes at The B2B Revenue Executive Experience. If you enjoy the show, instructions to rate and review it are found here.

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