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Six Ways Salespeople Can Build More Courage

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Six Ways Salespeople Can Build More Courage

Written by: Ken Kupchik

Working in sales isn’t for the faint of heart. If you prefer to be left to your own devices in a quiet office, then you really shouldn’t take a sales job. Most sales jobs require lots of interaction with people (namely prospects and customers), and getting out there and pushing every day to make things happen.

Sales also takes courage. Some people naturally have no problem prospecting, cold-calling and emailing, and pushing people to a decision, but most people need to get over their fears and find the courage to do these things day in and day out. If you’re looking to build your courage in sales, there are some things you can do that will help. Here are six:

1. Put it in context

Fear makes us perceive outcomes in a very distorted way. Most of the things we fear could happen usually don’t, and even if they do, dealing with them in reality is much different than what we expect. Put your fears in context – what is the worst possible thing that you fear could happen?

In sales, the worst outcomes are usually failure, rejection, or (perceived) embarrassment. Failure will happen if you don’t take the action which you fear, and if you’ve tried your best and done everything you’re supposed to, then it’s completely out of your hands. Rejection is a normal part of working in sales, and not something unique to you. And embarrassment is usually all in your own head, as everything to do with selling products or services is a completely acceptable part of a market economy. To put it simply, when looked at in context, there is nothing to fear in sales.

2. Take action quicker

The worst thing you can do when it comes to courage is to sit around and think about all of your fears and all of the unfortunate potential outcomes that you can envision instead of taking action. Get moving and dive into your activities. Make calls, return emails, pitch prospects, talk to your managers and coworkers about what you need to do.

Just do something that is furthering your goals instead of sitting around and thinking about what you’re facing. Activity and action are one of the best ways to conquer fear and anxiety in sales. (Try using Spiro’s AI-Powered CRM that helps guide you through your sales day and keeps you moving from one deal to the next – it helps you take action quicker and doesn’t leave time to sit around and build up fear.)

3. Remind yourself that fear won’t help

Fear is a survival instinct designed to help us protect ourselves from imminent danger, like walking in the middle of the street into speeding traffic. But when it comes to sales, fear can have the opposite of its intended effect. It can distort reality and cause us to see things through a negative lens rather than a positive or realistic one.

Take a step back and remind yourself that fear will not help you become successful. The only way fear can be helpful is if you harness the fear of failure to make yourself work harder. Otherwise, fearing the everyday activities that are required to become successful in sales will not help you in any way whatsoever, and will likely lead to one of the outcomes that you fear: failure.

4. Gradually expand your comfort zone

If you’re looking for courage, you can’t expect to overcome all of your fears immediately. No one goes from being a scared amateur to a professional in a day. You need to gradually expand your comfort zone by pushing your limits on a daily basis, until the things you once feared are an everyday and normal part of your life.

For instance, if you fear asking customers for their business directly, try asking just the next customer you speak with. Then try asking the next two you speak with. Before long, you won’t fear doing it at all, and your comfort zone will have expanded accordingly.

Related: Ten Important Sales Tasks To Do Every Day

5. Think of how you’d view someone else in the same situation

It helps to take a step outside of ourselves sometimes and see how we would view others dealing with the same situation. Imagine if a friend or coworker came to you and said that they wanted to have more courage in their sales role. What sort of advice would you give to them? How would you suggest that they behave and what actions they should take? Now apply this same advice to yourself, because deep down you likely already know what you need to do.

6. Tie your actions to your goals

Understanding your goals and how your fears get in the way of those goals will go far in helping you overcome them. What do you want to accomplish in your professional life? What are your reasons for wanting those things (your “why”)? How do your fears get in the way of those goals? How would having more courage help you achieve them?

The actions that you take, and the fears that you must overcome to take them are directly tied to the things that you want to achieve. If you’re able to link that fact in your mind then you’ll have the proper motivation to overcome your fears and develop more courage. When the fear of not achieving your goals outweighs the other fears you have, you’ll find the courage you’re looking for.

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