The Avenue of Apprehension

Peady’s Selling Engagement sponsored by IRD Prospector

While watching the BBL cricket last month commentator Damien Fleming used a couple of great phrases when referring to how the batsmen were struggling to handle the bowling – “the avenue of apprehension” and “the tunnel of trepidation”.

It got me thinking about how sports and sales are similar and how these phrases easily apply to selling because many of those new to sales experience both situations.

Sales and sports

Professional sports people and those in professional sales have the most competitive atmospheres of any career. Like it or not, there are always winners and losers.
For those in sales there’s always the need to hit your target numbers, the need to take prospects through the sales cycle and maintain a healthy pipeline.

Every week and every month the scoreboard ticks over and shows the results.
With all of these factors in play it can be overwhelming and produce apprehension and trepidation. 


Little research on the effects of this area of sales performance has been done, but a study in the early 1990’s on “Communication Apprehension” in media sales showed that it can affect around 10% of your results. What’s 10% of your monthly target worth?

A solution?

  1. Remember the “why” – why you are doing this? What do you want out of it? Are sales and selling your long term career?
  2. Set goals and stick to them. Use SMART goal setting techniques. Make them real. Make them personal.
  3. Celebrate your wins – not just the sales, but appointments made, referrals received, prospects qualified and clients retained.
  4. Do one more thing every day – be the person who makes the extra phone call, goes to more networking events, sends another email or two.
  5. Maintain a positive attitude – remember, you are in that role because you have the ability to perform at a high level. You have the skills to be successful.

Apply these 5 ways to avoid being caught in “the avenue of apprehension” or “the tunnel of trepidation” and you’ll be set up to score a ton!

Until next week good selling!

About the author 

Stephen Pead is a media industry veteran of 30 years with significant experience in direct sales, sales management and general management. He is based in Sydney and specialises in helping SME’s market their businesses more effectively and providing training for salespeople and sales managers.

He can be contacted at [email protected]