What are you afraid of? We all have fears. This is a sales blog let’s address some of the common salesperson fears.
Fear of Failure
Yep, that’s a big one for me. What if I don’t meet goal? What happens if I lose the order. Perhaps it is years of experience having these salesperson fears that had made me less conscious of them. Think about goals. They are based on predictions made with limited information. Since I set reasonable goals I will do the activities to achieve them. I turn the goal into a motivation and don’t worry about not reaching it. I don’t have a 100% closing record and I don’t know anyone who does. We will all lose orders for many reasons. When we are so fearful of losing an order we don’t even pursue the business, that’s a problem. A positive attitude, great selling system and diligent work will likely win more times than you lose. Working hard and winning often will overcome this salesperson fear.
Fear of Rejection
We all really enjoy being liked. In my world of professional selling I work hard at developing professional relationships based on mutual respect. Sometimes it hasn’t worked. The customer’s personality or professional ethics weren’t compatible with mine. When that happened I turned the customer over to another salesperson or looked for other business. Remember in business there are many reasons for salesperson fear of rejection. Nevertheless, sales people have strong egos. The best ones realize know who they are and believe in themselves. They never take rejection personally.
Healthy Salesperson Fear
Having some salesperson fear is healthy. Being afraid of having to do something we don’t have the skill for is OK. When I was a young engineer heights never bothered me. I’d scamper up ladders and scaffolds to reach the upper most heights of equipment I was working on. As I aged something happened. I’m not sure whether it was physical or mental but now I don’t have the same confidence in myself to do those elevated tasks. So I invite younger more skilled engineers to help me with them.
Healthy fear also drives me. The salesperson fear of not meeting quota encourages me to do the planning and execution necessary to win orders.
Irrational Salesperson Fears
Salesperson fear is sometimes irrational. We often fear a consequence of our action or inaction chances are won’t happen. When experiencing a salesperson fear, think about the worst possible outcome. Then evaluate the probability of it coming to pass. I had reached the age when I needed bifocals to see well both distance and near. So happens the first day with the new glasses I was visiting a customer. We needed to check out an area in the plant located several flights of stairs up on a platform. We climbed up to the spot, did the work and headed back down. The platform and stairs were made of bar grating. There are narrow bars spaced apart with an open area between. I looked down through the bifocal near vision lens and because of the distance to the steps they appeared to have vanished. I froze believing there were no steps. But I had just walked up them and my customer had just walked down ahead of me. My rational head took charge and I did get down. When we got the bottom my customer asked about my hesitation. I explained what happened and we had a good laugh together.
What You Can Do Right Now To Address Salesperson Fears
Write down your salesperson fears. Don’t be afraid. You don’t have to show them to anyone. Once you have them written down divide them into rational and irrational. For the rational ones list the worst outcome. Prepare yourself to accept the worst. Then make and work the plan to have a more positive outcome. For the irrational ones consider whether they are real or imagined salesperson fears.
To learn more sales secrets see Chapter Six, Characteristics of Successful Salespeople, in Secrets of the Softer Side of Selling. For even more sales help, join our FREE Sales Club! “See” you next week.
Don Crawford & Lois Carter Crawford