“Runner’s High” For Salespeople

The same way that endorphins play a role in supporting our physical well-being, they can also improve performance and reduce stress in our sales day. Starting and finishing your day with a prospecting block can trigger “sales endorphins” that will help you maintain a positive attitude, and ultimately improve the quality of your life and professional endeavors.

Several years ago, I was running in a ten-mile race. At the beginning of any run, it’s a grind. Your breathing is not in sync, your muscles are crying for relief, and your mind is pleading for mercy. It’s not pleasant. This run was no different. And the reality is that I could have stopped if I wanted to.

But a few miles into the race, everything changed. The run became easy and almost pleasurable. What changed? My endorphins kicked in. In short, when you exercise, your brain produces and releases chemicals called endorphins.

The Role Endorphins Play in the Human Body

These chemicals interact with the receptors in your brain that reduce your perception of pain. The endorphins trigger a positive feeling in your body. People refer to this as a “runner’s high” and is often accompanied by a positive and energizing outlook on life. You’re more optimistic.

This is also the reason why regular exercise reduces stress, increases self-esteem, minimizes feelings of depression, improves memory function, elevates moods, strengthens your heart, and provides a multitude of other physical benefits.

Sales Is Not an Easy Profession

Which brings me to Mark (full disclosure – not his real name for privacy reasons).

Mark is a salesperson I got to know several years ago. It was difficult for him to get out of bed some days because he knew that the day would be a grind. His motivation was suffering. Mark is a smart guy.

He knows that this is a function of his sales job and realizes it’s not easy or everyone would be doing it. I’m sure if we really examined Mark, he was suffering from a case of mild depression, but I’m not a physician.

If this sounds familiar, it probably is. Mark is no different than a lot of us. He confided all of this to me during one of our coaching calls.

As we were talking one day, I felt like telling Mark to go for a run.

It always made me feel better, triggering all of those wonderful side benefits, and I thought that maybe it could do the same for him. Something inside me told me not to do that, though.

This was a sales coaching call after all, so my advice should be sales related. That’s when it dawned on me. “Sales Exercises” are things like making phone calls and prospecting.

Start and End Your Day with a Prospecting Block

Every time I would make phone calls, as difficult and uncomfortable as they were, I would ALWAYS feel better afterward.

My “sales endorphins” essentially kicked in – elevating my mood, making me more optimistic, enabling me to feel better about myself, etc.

My advice to Mark became crystal clear: start your day with some phone calls AND end your day with phone calls.

This way, he’s starting and carrying a positive feeling throughout the day and then using the same feeling to carry himself after the day is over – not giving any negative thoughts an opening in his world.

Heck, the worst-case scenario for Mark would be that he would find more business.

Sales is a high-pressure profession, and we must find ways to boost our mood as we grind through days. Activating endorphins, therefore, becomes essential in improving your sales performance.

3 Ways to Boost Your Sales Endorphins

  1. Think about Mark. He tried prospecting, and it immediately boosted his endorphin levels because he was able to feel a sense of accomplishment. The levels really elevated when he got a response or meeting, but even the act of prospecting helped him.
  2. When you receive a response from a prospect, you naturally create a productivity loop. Here’s what I mean. Because you feel positive and good, you more easily do the task that produced this feeling. The more you do the task (in this case-prospecting), the more you feel good. It’s basically a big loop. It’s why when you book a meeting you shouldn’t stop. You should immediately pick up the phone and keep going.
  3. Continually facing rejection is tough, and sometimes we question ourselves as to whether we are doing the right things when prospecting. When you get a connection, your endorphins not only kick in, but you feel validation that you are on the right path and doing the right things. This naturally makes you feel good.

Reducing anxiety and stress in sales becomes very important because doing so makes the interaction with the customer much more positive, which leaves a great impression upon them.

Therefore, calming the nervous system requires you to reduce the amount of the stress hormone cortisol.

After having interviewed many high-performing salespeople, we have boiled it down to four things they continually do that lowers the cortisol.

4 Things High Performers Do to Reduce Stress

  1. They celebrate EVERY win. Yes, no matter how small or how big the win, they celebrate. I don’t mean going on a big trip, but they may treat themselves to their favorite coffee or buy a shirt. When they do this continually, their brain gets packed with those “feel good” endorphins.
  2. In the book “Switch,” the authors talk about how to influence change, and one of the tactics is to paint a picture of what change will look like. In short, visualize the change in the future. The same concept works for triggering the endorphins and reducing your stress. Picture yourself connecting to people, conducting that big meeting, or becoming the number one salesperson. There’s a saying that applies here: “What the mind can conceive and believe, the mind can achieve.”
  3. The high-performers are very intentional about maintaining a positive attitude. These people know that sales is a grind, but what they do when the job gets difficult or depressing is they pick a bright spot, a positive, from the past and focus on that. This trick moves them from falling down a negative spiral and into maintaining a positive demeanor.
  4. Lastly, these superstars activate endorphins the good ‘ole fashioned way – they exercise. As mentioned in the beginning, the benefits of exercise are well documented when it comes to releasing endorphins. The high-performers realize that they can combine the mental triggers with the physical triggers and as a result increase their probabilities of releasing endorphins and increasing success.

Emotional Contagion

There are two magical emotions in sales: enthusiasm and confidence.

Both of these emotions can be picked up by other human beings. This is called emotional contagion.

Mark’s problem was that people were picking up his negative emotions, and no one wants to be around a person who is negative.

When Mark changed his own emotions by triggering his endorphins, he changed the way people perceived him. His connections increased as a result, and Mark felt better about himself.

Mark tried it, stayed in sales, improved his mental health, and went on to become the leading salesperson on his team.

The innovative Sales Gravy University sales training platform gives on the go individuals and entire teams easy, affordable access to the world’s top sales trainers in both live and on-demand courses. Now you can learn how to win in sales anywhere, anytime, and on any device. 

About the author

Keith Lubner

Keith Lubner is Chief Strategy Officer at Sales Gravy and acts as an advisor,…

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