Coping With Sales Call Anxiety: The Role of Sale Perseverance and Task Concentration Strategies
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The authors study how salespeople cope with social anxiety during customer contacts and find that two tactics, sale perseverance and task concentration, ultimately reduce dysfunctional protective actions. Both coping tactics, however, are differentially moderated by strength of felt physiological sensations and strength of negative expectations and thoughts. Salespeople experiencing anxiety cognitions should distract themselves by concentrating on their task to free up their thinking in relation to the task at hand. Engaging in behaviors to modify the situation by persevering on the sale, on the other hand, occupies action space and should be the coping strategy of choice for those salespeople confronting physiological sensations in relation to felt anxiety. Hypotheses are tested on a sample of 171 salespersons.