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Overcoming Fear Of Sales In Business

If you think you don’t like sales, trust us, you are not alone. Many small business owners we work with start off harbouring a fear of sales, often actively avoiding the sales process as much as possible. We’ll tell you what we tell them: you already actually quite like sales – you might even love certain aspects of it. If you don’t believe us, read on to understand how to overcome your fear and discover the enjoyable facets of sales.

George Swift
Author : George Swift
Author : George Swift

Overcoming Fear Of Sales In Business

If you think you don’t like sales, trust us, you are not alone. Many small business owners we work with start off harbouring a fear of sales, often actively avoiding the sales process as much as possible. We’ll tell you what we tell them: you already actually quite like sales – you might even love certain aspects of it. If you don’t believe us, read on to understand how to overcome your fear and discover the enjoyable facets of sales.

George Swift
Author : George Swift
Author : George Swift

Cold - Consult - Close

Loosely speaking, the sales process can be broken into three phases; the cold connection, the consultation process, and the close. The consultation phase is by far the majority of the sales process. This is the phase where you find out what your prospect needs, the problems they face, and what they’re looking to achieve. It’s where you share what your product or service does and how it can help them.

If you’re like most small business owners, you probably enjoy this part, maybe even love it. If you’re still not sure, imagine I passed you a lead. A perfect potential client for your small business. They show up at your door saying how they were talking to us about a problem they’re facing and your name came up. we were telling them how your product or service would be perfect for them and how they have to talk to you. How much would you love to take that meeting? Service-based business owners want to serve. They want to help. They love sharing their knowledge and wisdom. And, on the whole, they’re quite comfortable talking about what they do. They don’t have a problem with this phase of the sale. They might not be too confident or have a structure, but they generally enjoy it. The chances are you do too.

It’s the Cold Phase You Hate, Reflecting a Fear of Sales

And so does almost every business owner. It’s a rare beast that loves approaching people who don’t know them, introducing themselves and starting a conversation the other person didn’t ask for and, at this point, probably doesn’t want to have. This is part of the sales process, for many, is agonising. It puts you in a vulnerable position of rejection in sales, of not feeling good enough or perhaps, of being pushy or an unwelcome intrusion. No one likes that feeling. Whether it’s cold calling, knocking on a door, approaching a stranger at a networking event, or sending an unsolicited connection request on LinkedIn, it can feel excruciating.

Overcoming fear of rejection in sales is crucial for any business owner promoting their products or services. It’s about embracing the challenge and transforming it into an opportunity for growth and connection.

Just A Boy Approaching A Girl

It’s the boy walking across the bar to talk to a girl, his head full of self-doubt and fear of rejection. He wants to be sick. It’s only a few steps and a few words but it feels like the hardest thing he’s ever done. He’s lost all sense of perspective. The truth is, if it goes well, he gets to sit down and have a longer conversation. She’s open to talking to him and is interested in hearing what he has to say. He’ll still be nervous, but that terror he felt just a few moments ago is starting to turn into excitement. The excitement of the possibility of what might be.

The initial approach and introduction could have just changed his life… and for that matter, also hers. That’s the thrill of the cold connection phase in the process. If it doesn’t go well and his worst fears become a reality and she rejects him, he needs to remember that it isn’t personal. How could it be, she doesn’t even know him. She’s basing her reaction purely on a few words. It stings a little, but maybe he can learn from it and do a little better next time. But he must reward himself. He must feel good about the action he took and not feel bad about the result. It’s hard, but it’s an essential part of getting back out there and facing rejection again.

Don’t Hide Behind Marketing

The fear of rejection in sales at the cold phase is why most people hide behind their marketing, rather than getting out front and selling. We’ve seen people spend a fortune in time and money on marketing so that they can avoid what amounts to a small step in the overall process. They think that if they can just get the marketing right, their clients will come. If they do enough marketing, prospects will find them. And, if they spend enough on marketing, they can avoid having to go out and sell.

This approach stems from a fear of selling, as many business owners dread the idea of selling their products or services. However, it’s important to note that relying solely on marketing and avoiding sales can be a surefire way of slowing your growth and limiting your success. Marketing is an essential part of business, but it serves sales, it doesn’t replace it.

You Hate The Close As Well

On the other side of that fun and exciting consultation phase lies the close. If the cold phase was scary and felt awkward, it can fall into insignificance compared to the close phase. Once you arrive at the close phase of the process, you face the ultimate rejection. Now they’ve gotten to know you and you’ve played your best hand, any rejection at this phase, really feels like a rejection. For this reason, many people fail to close. Instead, they leave the sales conversation hanging. They awkwardly retreat hoping that if they did a good enough job their prospect will close themselves. Rarely is that the case.

Like the guy in the bar who’s just had an amazing conversation. It’s gone well and he hopes he’s done a good enough job of impressing her. He’s scared to find out if that’s the case. If she rejects him now, after all that, that would be so much worse than if she’d rejected him when he first approached her. The evening ends awkwardly with neither knowing where they stand. He hopes she’ll ask for his number. He hopes she’ll follow up. She doesn’t.

Pull The Trigger on Sales Fear

Just to be clear, I’m not into hunting. But it does serve as a good analogy. Imagine a hunter has spent ages planning a hunting trip. They’ve paid out for all the right gear, and taken the time off work and off they go. They arrive at the destination and spend days crawling through the undergrowth in all weather. Finally, they come across their potential prey. They move downwind and take their time lining up the animal in their sight. They wait until the perfect moment. Their finger starts to squeeze the trigger, but they freeze. Their prey runs off, and the opportunity has passed. It takes so much time, energy and money to find a prospect, connect with them and go through the entire consultation phase, just to get to the close.

Failing to pull the trigger, potentially wastes all that effort. Just like the cold phase, the close is such a small part of the overall process, but we often allow it to get in the way of winning us a new client. It’s such a waste. You instigated the connection and the sale, it’s your job to bring it to a close. Never assume your prospects will close themselves. Never presume they’ll follow up if they’re interested. Never leave the consultation phase hanging in the air. Ask for the sale, you’ve worked too hard to leave it to chance.

Do You Really Hate Sales?

Chances are, that like many, you don’t like the two bookends of the sales process, the cold connection and the close. But don’t mind or even enjoy the consultation. You love talking to interested people about what you do and what you can do for them. You love getting to know potential customers. And, you love winning new clients and the revenue and income they bring. You see, you’re already halfway towards loving sales. You like more about sales than you dislike.

Don’t let your fear of rejection or awkwardness of approaching people get in the way of everything else. From now on, try and be a little braver with your outreach and a little stronger with your closing. Those two things will lead to much greater results.

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Do You Really Hate Sales?

Chances are, that like many, you don’t like the two bookends of the sales process, the cold connection and the close. But don’t mind or even enjoy the consultation. You love talking to interested people about what you do and what you can do for them. You love getting to know potential customers. And, you love winning new clients and the revenue and income they bring. You see, you’re already halfway towards loving sales. You like more about sales than you dislike.

Don’t let your fear of rejection or awkwardness of approaching people get in the way of everything else. From now on, try and be a little braver with your outreach and a little stronger with your closing. Those two things will lead to much greater results.

Other articles

HOW TO AVOID BURNOUT RUNNING A SMALL BUSINESS?

If you are a business owner, it is important to maintain balance to avoid burnout as you are growing your business.

WHAT SMALL BUSINESSES DO BADLY?

Learn how to prevent mistakes in pricing, undercharging, and resource management to minimise risks and enhance your business.

SO YOU WANT TO START A SERVICE-BASED BUSINESS?

If you want to start a service-based business, now is the time to learn how by following the steps here.

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