How Fear Keeps You From Success In Sales

What do you fear?   The answer to that question will be different for almost everyone you speak to.  The irony is that we all have fears that are so different.  Yet when we were born, we only had two fears.

Everyone is born with only two fears: the fear of falling and the fear of loud noises.  Every fear we have now beyond the two original fears was developed.  A more relevant question we can ask sales professionals and service providers is what fears may be limiting your success in sales?

I was talking with a sales professional not long ago and he was telling me about how he would like to be able to close better.  I asked him what did he mean and he said he is sometimes weak on closing and even forgets to ask for the business.

I told him he was not weak in closing, but rather had a fear of closing.

Fear is nothing more that our brains telling us of a future outcome that we are freighted of or have an anxiety about.  What completes fear is we believe what our brain is telling us about the future is true.

An Acronym for FEAR

F – false

E – expectations

A – appearing

R – real

Consider that fear is something imaginary that we make into a real thing.

How can fear stand in the way of our sales success?

The most detrimental fear for sales professionals and service providers is fear of rejection.  The fear of rejection is what has sales professionals not take action when action is needed.

For example, you need to approach a prospect about your product or service.  Instead you put it off until tomorrow telling yourself the “timing was not right today.”  When tomorrow comes you put it off again and make another excuse or use the same one from yesterday.  Your inactivity is caused by fear.  The fear keeps you from making the contact you need to make.

The same fear factor can keep you inactive on other matters too.  You are afraid to ask the tough questions such as: “are you ready to get started?”

There is no magic cure for fear of rejection. It takes a conscious effort to replace the fear with courage.

The opposite of fear is courage.  There can be no courage without fear.  Courage is when you take action when you are afraid.  There is no courage if you take action and you are not afraid.

You can develop courage by changing your attitudes.  You have to have the attitude that the products and services you have make a difference for people.  In fact, you have to have the attitude that if you don’t take action you are doing a disservice to your prospect.

When you truly wrap your brain around the fact that fear is you being afraid of an outcome that you are not certain is going to happen, you will be more likely to act courageously.   Just remember, you don’t know how your prospect is going to react.  Take the situation where you are afraid to call.  If you call, your prospect could say an enthusiastically “I’m so glad you called!”  They could also say a nasty “Don’t call me anymore.”

When you think about it, you win either way.  If your prospect says the later, you don’t have to waste your time thinking about them anymore.  Isn’t that great!

The bottom line is to be aware that we all have fear.  Put the fear into the proper perspective.  Take action in the face of fear.

What it Means to Win The Sales Game

Last week I talked about the mindset it takes to win the sales game.   I said that the mindset you need to have is one that places your prospect’s needs first.  It occurred to me that some might think there is a contradiction if you “win” the sales game and place your prospect’s needs first.  Let’s look at what “Winning The Sales Game” really is.

When you look at selling it appears that there are two sides: the seller and the buyer.  In reality the seller and the buyer are on the same side.  If you place your prospect’s needs first, you are on the buyer’s side helping them get the best solution to their problem.  The problem (could be literally or figuratively) is what you are trying to solve with the buyer.  You are positioning yourself as a trusted advisor for your buyer.  So, there is only one side.

There can however be winners and losers.  There are four entities that can win or lose in each sale.  The four entities are: the selling organization, the buying organization, the buyer, and the sales person.  In order to win the sales game, all four entities have to win.

First, let’s look at the selling organization.  This is the company you represent.  A win for the selling organization means a profitable sale where the organization can deliver what is promised.  This means the deal fits the parameters the organization has set out for a good customer or client.  A “lose” for the selling organization will ultimately result in a “lose” for the buying organization because they will eventually have to change something to make it a win.

A win for the buying organization is when they have the best solution for their problem for the investment they can make.  If they buying organization loses, it will ultimately be a “lose” for the selling organization.

A win for the buyer is when the buyer gets what they need personally out of the sale.  For example, if your product or service allows the buyer to reach his/her targets and they get a bonus.  That’s a win for the buyer.

Lastly, the sales person has to win.  The sales person wins when they get credit or the commission for the sale.  If they make a sale that is below the threshold to get a commission it is a “lose” for them.  Or, if the sale doesn’t count towards their quota, it could be a “lose.”

In order to “Win The Sales Game” everyone has to win.  There really is no contradiction with putting your prospect’s needs first and “Winning The Sales Game.”  While putting the prospect’s needs first the sales person has to take into account all the other needs too.  It is the sales professional’s responsibility to ensure everybody wins.

The Right Mindset About Selling

Most people have a negative viewpoint of selling.  There is even the popular expression that no one likes to be sold.  This negative viewpoint of selling is actually based on the negative belief that a sales person is someone who gets someone else to buy something they don’t want or need.  And, they do it by fast talking, hypnotic trance inducing, mind controlling behaviors.

Actually nothing could be farther from the truth.  Selling is not conning someone into doing something they don’t want or need to do.  To the contrary selling is understanding the needs and wants of your prospect and then showing in a compelling way how the product or service you have satisfies those needs.

Therefore, if you truly want to be successful in selling you have to develop the skill of discovering the needs of your clients.  This involves the skill of building relationships to a degree that your prospect will allow you to ask the questions that will uncover the true needs of your prospect.

In order to do be able to do this, you have to have the mindset of putting your prospect’s needs first.  What does that mean?

First let me tell you what it does not mean.  It does not mean that you sell to your prospect what you have regardless of whether it is the best thing for them.  It does not mean that you put together the package based solely on the fact that it will give you the highest commission or allow you to win the sales contest.

What it does mean is you are there to solve your prospect’s challenges and problems based on the products and services you have.  It means that you have no other concern but that your prospect will get the best value for their investment.  It means that your only reason for being there is to assist your prospect to get what is best for them.

When you have this mindset, your prospect will sense that you have their best interest in mind.  Your prospect will be more willing to give you information about the challenges they face and what they are looking for in a solution.

By the way if you don’t have their best interest in mind, your prospect will pick up on that too.

If you really want to be successful in selling develop the right mindset about what selling really is.  Since no one wants to be sold, you are there to assist your prospect to buy.  This means it is not a “you/them” type of thing, but really an “us” looking for the best solution to a problem or challenge.

Happy Selling