It’s just you and me talking here… tell me the truth: are you afraid some days when you are selling you product or service? I mean really… it’s the last week of your quarter, your numbers aren’t that good, and your pipeline is a little more anemic than your forecast admits. Or you’ve finally landed the big meeting with the CEO of the biggest opportunity on your target list, it’s just you and him, he’s given you 30 minutes – it’s all or nothing. Or how about this one: you’ve spent 4 months mediating negotiations between the buyer and the seller, it’s been hot and cold by the minute but you are finally at the closing table…then the seller walks in with a nasty look on her face – this may not go as smoothly as you hoped.
Every day in selling our confidence can be shaken by circumstances. And the truth is, whether we want to openly admit it or not, the only thing that shakes confidence is fear.
Fear is that mechanism that introduces the possibility of outcomes opposite from our desires. If it weren’t for fear, we would automatically believe that the optimum result is a given – a foregone conclusion. But anytime you experience hesitation, concern, worry or nervousness…that’s fear working on you, plain and simple.
In my years as a Business Coach, I have defined 5 specific fears that debilitate sales pros and business owners selling their own stuff. See if you recognize any of these:
Fear #1 is fear of failure – This is where you are so focused on the possibility of a negative outcome it is more real than the possibility of success.
Fear #2 is what I call fear of being forgotten – We could also call this fear of rejection. You see, we all want to be accepted and when we are rejected, we feel forgotten or orphaned… not a pleasant feeling.
Fear #3 is fear of looking foolish – This is a reflex from back in our adolescent days when we were overly concerned about what everyone else thought about our every move… and many of us manifest this fear all the way through adult life.
Fear #4 is fear of falling – Said another way this is fear of success where we play a mind game with ourselves thinking that if we achieve at too high of a level we will have set a standard that we can’t possibly continue to fulfill so we tend to pull back our best in favor of setting a more reasonable standard for future performance.
And Fear #5 is fear of fighting – This is the fear of confrontation or doing battle where there is a chance for our weaknesses to be exploited.
Now don’t – and I can’t help saying this – don’t be afraid! The solution or remedy for each of these fears…is very simple. Lean in here. The cure for any fear we have in selling – or any communication scenario in life for that matter – is to first identify the source, then reset our thinking about the scenario. Fear of Failure? Focus on what you want not what you don’t want. Fear of Forgotten? Remember that clear articulation of value puts the focus on the product, not you. Fear of Foolish? Focus on the wins you’ve had in life, not the loses. Fear of Falling? Realize it is averages that count, not one-hit-wonders. And Fear of Fighting? Redefine Winning as when everyone wins, not when only one person wins.