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Overcoming Sales Fears

When you are in the business of sales, it’s natural to have fears, but it’s important to overcome those fears in order to be successful. Below are several common fears and ideas on overcoming them.

Undoubtedly, the biggest fear most people have in business is the fear of failure. There is nothing more demoralizing than a continual lack of success! Fear of failure has been ingrained since school. Remember all those tests when the results were posted by name or read aloud for all the class to hear? If you had a poor result, you never felt like trying again!

To conquer this fear, you need a rock solid positive attitude. You must have an inner voice that is continually pushing you. Embrace a "no" from a prospect by being grateful to them for allowing you to move on to the next.

Failure has to be seen as a learning opportunity. In every failure, there is a nugget of information, which next time, can point you in the direction of better success. James Dyson, the inventor of the revolutionary vacuum cleaner, summed up the need for a positive attitude, when he said, "Success is made up of 99% failure. You galvanize yourself and you keep going as a full optimist."

Not everyone has boundless self-confidence. When you start out in business, there is sometimes a nagging doubt that you may have bitten off more than you can chew. This inner doubt chips away at your self-confidence and soon you have a poor self-image, which reflects in your sales pitch. To be a successful salesperson you have to have a strong self-image.

To improve the image you have of yourself, write down the qualities that you believe a successful salesperson should possess. Try and limit the list to 5 key qualities. Visualize yourself possessing each of these qualities. See in your mind’s eye how you look now that you have these qualities. See how successful you are, how good you feel, how you appear, and the car you are driving, and where you are living. Repeat to yourself that you are assuming each of these qualities and becoming a better person with each day that passes.

Closely linked with the fear of failure is the fear of rejection. Hearing the response "No" is not a great motivator! The main way to deal with rejection is just to accept that it happens. Try and re-frame any rejection you get by saying to yourself that it’s the customer who loses out, not you. Walk away with a smile on your face and remind yourself that you are one step closer to someone who will say "Yes." Embrace the saying, "Tell me yes, or tell me no, tell me now, I gotta go!" A "no" can be viewed as a positive thing, as it gets you closer to your next "yes."

No one likes to be criticized, especially if you have tried your hardest. Unless you are very thick-skinned, harsh criticism can knock you back. If you carry out the exercises on improving your self-image, your ability to take criticism will also improve. Decide to view criticism more as feedback than a direct attack on you. There is usually some element of truth in the majority of critical comments and it’s important that you take the opportunity to learn and change.

You may know all the features and benefits of your product but, like an actor, you suffer from stage fright! The presentation fear can be due to a lack of structure around your sales process. Write a basic outline on how you wish a perfect sales pitch to go. Prepare a script for the key parts of the presentation and rehearse, rehearse, rehearse! Why not ask someone to help you role-play a sales presentation? This will give you the opportunity to make all the mistakes you want but in a risk-free environment! 

Selling does not have to be a fearful experience! If you have the right attitude, a strong self-belief, a full understanding of your product, and plenty of practice, then you will have nothing to fear! Take a look at each of these fears and put a plan in place to tackle them today!