In business, as in life, sometimes it pays to leave your comfort zone and face your fears – You might be surprised at what you can achieve! We’re not talking bungee jumping or skydiving here, but the feeling of exhilaration when you conquer these fears can be comparative. Certainly, to be successful in business you’ll need to beat any aversion to selling – a fear many share.
So how do you do this? The answer may be to feel the fear, and do it anyway! You’ll be glad you did, and here’s how…
Fear of selling can be a complex issue and may consist of several concerns which you find hard to face. It therefore helps to break these down into separate elements, which makes it easier to beat them, one by one. So, here are some common fears associated with selling and simple ways to send them packing!
- It takes all types
Many a would-be entrepreneur may shy away from selling, because they fear they’re not confident enough – ‘I’m simply not a sales type’, they say. However, the truth is super-confidence is not essential – it takes all types and you can work it your way. If the fear of facing a room-full of prospects, to give a presentation, won’t shift, don’t despair. Some of the most successful sales people are now using social media to boost their sales and build booming global businesses. Gone are the days of going door to door to sell your wares, when you can reach the four corners of the world with the click of a button. Master this medium, and the sky’s the limit for your sales. However, on occasions where face-to-face networking might help, a perceived lack of confidence can be overcome. The truth is that confidence can be learnt, or even painted on until the real thing kicks in – it’s just a matter of faking it ‘til you make it! There are many ways to boost your confidence, such as dressing for success and being sure to smile, but perhaps the most potent is to practise, practise and practise some more – when you really know your stuff, you’ll ooze self-confidence.
- Love your products!
A fear of selling can also be rooted in a fear of failure, so make sure you do everything possible to prevent this happening – pick great products to sell, that you can be passionate about. If you truly believe in what you’re selling, it shows, and enthusiasm is infectious – how can you fail when you’re offering such a wonderful opportunity?! A half-hearted sales pitch is unlikely to win fans – if you don’t believe in what you’re selling, why should anyone else? So, to be sure of success, use as many of your products as you can, so you can share your personal experience of how good they are. There’s nothing like word-of-mouth recommendation, to win hearts and minds. Perhaps tied up with the fear of failure, is the fear of appearing foolish – being caught out by customers’ questions that you just can’t answer. It’s therefore invaluable to have first-hand experience of using your products before marketing them – being knowledgeable will not only instill a feeling of self-confidence in you, but inspire confidence in others.
- Don’t dwell on defeat
Another common fear associated with selling, is the fear of rejection. Nobody likes to be ‘rejected’, but the difference here, is learning not to take a ‘no’ from a customer as a personal rejection, just an objection – purely a detour which helps hone your skills for the future. Easier said than done, you might think, but learning how to handle objections can be simple if you persist. If your first contact with someone ends with a ‘no’ or even a ‘maybe’, don’t leave it there – always follow up, never give up. Be sure to end each encounter you have by scheduling another conversation. After all, ‘no’ may just mean ‘not now’ and circumstances often change. Many popular statistics are cited about how most sales are clinched between the fifth and 12th contact with a customer, but whatever the true figure, there’s no denying persistence pays off. The trick is just to stay positive and don’t dwell on defeats. Always expect the best outcome and visualise success – it’s amazing how effective this can be.
- Training is key
If your fear of selling comes from a concern that you might not be doing it right, then training is the key. You don’t have to be like those men who steadfastly refuse to read the manual or ask for directions, thinking they know it all. To really banish your fears, get all the training you can. With a little initiative, you could learn to excel at sales. So, why not consider taking some short courses to bump up your skills and really ace it? These could not only help you in your business, but in life as a whole. For example, learning how to ask the right questions, develop effective listening skills and close a sale, could really set you on the path to success. Short, online courses, such as those offered by the experts at LEO Coreline, are particularly good for fitting around your busy sales schedule. Why not consider some innovative options, to stay one step ahead of the rest, such as courses focusing on neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) and the importance of using emotional intelligence? You might be surprised at how effective they can be.
- Change your perspective
If all else fails, and you still fear the very idea of ‘selling’, and seeming ‘pushy’, perhaps you need to change your perspective. By looking at what you’re doing more as sharing helpful information, than going in for the hard sell, it paints a whole new picture. This is all about being genuine – forget the cliché of the fake salesperson, just tell the truth! Learn to share your own story about how the products you’re offering have helped you. Who wouldn’t be won over by your heartfelt honesty, and give it a go? This approach can be particularly helpful if you’re reluctant to speak to friends and family, for fear of being unpopular. Looking at it this way, if you believe in your products, and the opportunity you’re providing, why wouldn’t you want to offer it to your nearest and dearest? After all, if it will help improve their lives, surely they are the first people you would want to approach!
So, with a little fresh thinking, selling doesn’t have to be scary at all. In fact, with a smidgen of perseverance, some sensible training and the will to succeed, you can even learn to love it!