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How Fear Blocks Sales Success

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Sales is a business practice where success and failure are much more visible and apparent than in other professions. Whether it’s selling a product or a service, sales is emotional and personal. Sales people’s performance is measured on a regular basis and that means their livelihood is in the balance every day, during every call and every client interaction.

Where does the fear stem from?

It could be a mindset issue that is keeping some sales people from performing well. Although counter-intuitive, being afraid of success is something fairly common in the business world (or on a personal level). In a sales environment it’s a lot more transparent and easier to detect. The effects are also a lot more drastic, because so many sales people depend on earning commission.

Not every sales person is good at everything

It starts with the cold calling/prospecting efforts that most sales people are terrified of.

Hint to CEOs and sales managers – sales people who don’t like cold calling will most likely try to avoid it at any cost.

Filling the top of the funnel is often the most challenging part of the sales process. There is always the option to outsource the process or to develop an inside sales team.

Overcoming Objections

Sales people often avoid asking difficult questions, because they are afraid of the answer while in reality, asking hard questions will provide an opportunity to gauge progress. A simple way to manage that fear is to prepare common responses to objections that come up on a regular basis. If your prospects often state “I think you are too expensive”, you want to prepare an answer such as “I realize that price is important, however what are you comparing our price to?” This will open up an opportunity for an honest and direct discussion and it will help the prospect compare apples to apples.

Related: Elevating the Reputation of Sales and Its Practitioners in 2019

Afraid to Ask for a Sale?

Not everybody is equipped to ask for money and that’s essentially what we need to do in a sales environment. We are asking people to trust us to part with their or their company’s funds. Again, it’s all about asking those difficult questions and being prepared for rejection. The good news is that the more often we get rejected, the easier it will be. Sales people should embrace rejection as part of the journey. Not everybody will buy from us. The earlier we get to a “no thanks”, the sooner we can move on to the next prospect to get to a signed contract.

With Success comes Confidence

The most effective way to help sales people be more comfortable dealing with their fears is to help them feel more confident. Confidence often stems from having been successful, so when companies establish an environment where sales people are nurtured, coached, trained and supported rather than pushed and reprimanded, success will flow more freely.

Also, understand what your sales people are good at and where the weaknesses (or opportunities for growth) lie. We offer a Sales IQ where we help individuals and organizations identify the areas where they need help.

Whatever steps you decide to take to assist your sales people become more fearless and successful, make sure that you know in what areas they need support and where their strengths lie. Without a benchmark it will be hard to measure success.

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