At our recent Sales Leadership Conference, best-selling author Neil Rackham told 200 sales leaders in the audience, “The three deadly sins of salespeople in this economy are chasing more opportunities, negotiating rather than selling, and selling price rather than safety.” What impels salespeople to commit these sins is anxiety. It’s the anxiety of not making their goals that drives many salespeople to half-selling twice as many prospects. Extensive psychological research shows that feelings of anxiety, fear, or worry are the key reasons why prospects put off purchasing decisions and why salespeople don’t like making cold calls. In tough economic times, it is natural to worry a little, but excessive worry makes salespeople less productive as they spin their wheels with nonessential sales activities, overprepare for low-priority tasks, and overlook opportunities that would call for a focused and in-depth effort. Feelings of anxiety, fear, or worry don’t go away with age, money, higher positions, or more prestige. Muhammad Ali was never afraid of any opponent, yet he experienced anxiety when flying. And even the most confident speakers worry before addressing their audience. While some allow anxious thoughts to float unchecked into their stream of consciousness, others catch these thoughts early and transform them into positive energy.