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It is said the fear of public speaking is greater than the fear of death. If that is true, the fear of selling cannot be far behind. We’ve all been there at some point. We are standing before someone whose mind we seek to change. Our mind races and the cold sweats begin. It is hard to bring someone to your way of thinking when you can barely organize your thoughts. What are we so afraid of?
The Fear of Rejection
Our need for the approval of those around us is primal. There was a time in history when our very survival depended on being a part of community. Disapproval could mean a loss of standing in the community, or even exile. That may be why we feel like we might die when we have to put ourselves in a situation where we might be rejected. We need to employ our higher mind to overcome this primal impulse.
Where to Start?
The first step in overcoming a fear of sales is to begin knowing the lay of the land. Here are some estimated numbers that can help you not take “no” so personally.
- 80% of all consumers say no the first five times a salesperson talks to them. Note: this is not the first five times a BAD salesperson talks to them…ANY salesperson.
- It takes an average of 8 tries to get a prospect on the phone.
- 72% of all sales calls end in rejection.
Once you finally have your prospect on the line, the #1 reason for rejection is a failure to show value to the prospect. In other words, instead of focusing on their needs, you focused on your own agenda. The #2 reason is it just isn’t the right time or a good fit. Unless you are rude, it is almost certainly not a personal rejection. If you are going to be successful in sales, you are going to have to make peace with the numbers. The next step is controlling your inner drama.
Common Mental Obstacles to Selling
Selling is all about relationships. Showing value. Establishing trust. To get to the point where you can show value and establish trust, you must first not self-destruct before you get to the selling conversation. Only 22% of salespeople follow up. Why is that? Inner drama.
- Are you psychic? Have you ever found yourself not contacting a prospect because you just knew it was a bad time. They are probably busy, right now. Have you ever decided that they weren’t going to be receptive to your pitch? What are basing this on? This is just a projection of your insecurities onto the other person. Remember, you are not a mind-reader.
- Are you playing credit manager? Are you deciding what the prospect can and cannot afford without any knowledge of their finances. Are you basing your offerings on what you personally can afford? Everyone’s finances are different. Making an assumption on someone’s means is not only not reliable, it can be downright insulting. Many of us price ourselves out of profitability because we think the other party won’t pay a higher price. We mostly base this on a fear of rejection, not actual information.
- Are you engaging in negative self-talk? One of the most powerful tools in your sales arsenal is non-judgemental self-observation. Without coming down on yourself, listen to what you say to yourself when you are preparing for a sales call. Listen to what you say to yourself when you chicken out of asking for the business. You might learn something interesting about yourself. Are you encouraging yourself, or talking yourself out of success?
- Are you doing this enough to gain competence? The ability to sell is a muscle that needs to be exercised. Are you gaining sales strength, or are you doing it so infrequently that every time seems like the first. Did you know you can actually lose your fear of selling? You can, but it comes with doing it over and over and over.
Sell More by Selling Less
There is a subtle shift in mindset that can make a dramatic difference in your closing success. It is hard to get caught up in your own inner drama when you are focused on helping the other person. What problems do they have? How have they tried to solve this problem in the past? What solution do you have that can increase their success? When you shift from focusing on selling to focusing on solving problems, the main work of selling begins: showing value and establishing trust. Anytime you feel fear creep back in, refocus the conversation onto the prospect and their needs. What otherwise would be a painful conversation turns into a labor of love.
I’d love to talk to you about the needs of your business. If you are looking to improve your presence online, or just need some encouragement, let’s talk. Choose a time that works for you and let’s see how we can encourage one another.