Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Grace under pressure

"Courage is grace under pressure" is a famous quotation by Ernest Hemingway.  Tell us about a personal moment of your grace under pressure.

 In my last job grace under pressure or courage was essential for success.  I cold called up to 50 different companies a day.  My job was to hook the person on the line through my introduction to our company and services.  If I reached a receptionist or 'gatekeeper' my job was to 'break through' them and get to the decision maker. My goal for each call was to set an appointment for the salesperson to provide further information/pricing to them.  This appointment was classified as a sales lead.  Needless to say, I encountered a lot of people who were annoyed with my calling during the day and let me know it.  I can't blame them as I would probably react the same way to a telemarketer!

My goal was to get 30 appointments/leads per month for the team which was not an easy task.  I set a weekly goal for myself each Monday and worked towards it the whole week. Pressure?  Yes.  I found the old saying that you catch more flies with honey than vinegar to be very true in this role.  I learned creative ways to counter the refusals and objections on the other end of the phone.  I remained cool under pressure which put my prospect at ease along with my team and myself. 

It took time to learn this kind of grace as it didn't come natural to me at first.  I am naturally a very nervous person.  Through the job, I learned how to channel my nerves and calm myself down in order to reach my goal.  When I first started calling, I was easily rattled by someone who was even slightly annoyed with me.  A year into the job, I could have cared less if the person on the other end raised their voice at me.  "On to the next one!" became my motto.  I hope to use this skill of maintaining grace under pressure in future work endeavors and hopefully relationship endeavors as well!  ;)

By Jahoe (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons


  1. I did cold calling for years when I was in college. I wish today I had been smart enough to ask for a percentage on the accounts I managed to hook before turning the call over.

    1. Hi there! Thanks for stopping by. I am sure you could relate based on your college cold calling experience. It was a tough job but I learned so much from it, as I'm sure you did too!