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How Much is Fear Costing Your Sales?

Oct 16, 2007
How many times during your work day do you experience fear?

Maybe it's fear of making calls, qualifying, asking for the sale or fear of asking for referrals.

The dictionary defines fear as: a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, pain, etc., whether the threat is real or imagined; the feeling or condition of being afraid.

Another definition or explanation you may have heard is:


So what causes fear?

Many times fear is caused by not knowing what to do, whether or not you can do it, or what the consequences will be if you do it and fail. This could cause you to hesitate or worse yet, to not take any action at all.

Think back to the first time you ever picked up the phone to call a prospect. Or the first sales call you ever went on. Or the first sales presentation you ever gave.

Were you afraid?

How did it effect your ability to perform the task? Did you hesitate? Were you nervous, fumbling for the right words? Did your fear cause you to lose sales?

I'm sure you can answer yes to all of the above. I'm sure anyone who is in sales can relate to being afraid at some point during the sales process.

I remember when I was new. Not knowing what to say. Not knowing the answers to all the prospects questions. Even after I was in sales for 9 years and I switched from Real Estate sales to Mortgage sales, the first few applications I did took me a couple of hours because I wasn't sure what I was suppose to do.

The other sales people use to make jokes, wanting to know if I was moving in with the applicants.

Now I want to ask you, did performing the task you feared ever cause you any bodily harm? Did it cause you to get sick or be hospitalized?

Of course not!

You got over it rather quickly and learned that you needed to be better prepared the next time, am I right?

That last sentence pretty much provides you with the solution to over coming all your fears in sales and can be summed up in two words;

Be Prepared!

Most of our fears in sales come from not being prepared.

That's why I stress in all my training to prepare a script of what you are going to say when you make your prospecting calls. What you're going to say when you qualify, present and close the prospect. Everything you do and say should be well prepared in advance of actually doing it.

And then practice, practice, practice. Practice until it becomes second nature to you. Like brushing your teeth or driving a car.

Too many sales people "shoot from the hip" and then wonder why they are afraid of performing the every day tasks that are so essential to being a success in sales.

Is fear holding you back from making prospecting calls, asking the qualifying questions to uncover the prospects problems? Is fear keeping you from asking for the order? Is it preventing you from moving your sales to the next level and becoming the sales person you want to be?

If you really want to be a success in sales, you need to find a way to overcome your fears and the best way I know is to be prepared.

You should prepare by learning all the steps of the sales process from start to finish. Not only learn them, but internalize them. Prepare for every possible situation you can before it happens so you know how to react.

If you wait until it comes up, you will waste time and sales by not being prepared in advance. I understand you can't prepare for every situation, however, the more you're prepared the more sales you will make in the process.

Another way to prepare is to find someone who has done it before and who has found the best ways to do things that works. Then you can model this person and avoid costly mistakes.

Throughout my career I have had many mentors who have helped me to become the sales person I am today.

Don't spend your days in fear.

Spend your time wisely preparing in advance and you will benefit by having less stress, less wasted time and more sales.
About the Author
Jim Klein helps salespeople fine tune the sales process so they can confidently close more sales and create long term relationships. Get free sales training by subscribing to our free newsletter "The Sales Advisor".
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