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Recently I received this question from a YouTube subscriber, “James, can you do a video on fear and how it impacts sales?” (Make sure you subscribe to our YouTube channel to see all the latest videos: youtube.com/ccsalespro.) There are two types of fear which really cripple sales people in the field and on the phone – fear of failure and fear of success. These are two sides of the same coin. Let’s discuss both and how to overcome them.
The easiest to understand and simplest to overcome is fear of failure. This is the fear which…
- Makes you not want to get out of bed in the morning.
- Makes you want to watch Netflix on the couch instead of going to your appointments.
- Makes you feel like you can’t do this when you’re supposed to walk into a new business.
- Makes newer sales people afraid of looking like an idiot, feeling like they don’t understand their product.
The simple solution to fear of failure is ACCOUNTABILITY. Ask somebody you know and trust to text you every morning at 9:00 a.m. to make sure you’ve walked into or called your first business of the day. And then ask to text or make a five-minute call to that person at 5:00 p.m. to report the businesses you’ve contacted. This person could be a spouse, significant other, friend, family member, pastor, mentor – anyone you respect. You need the accountability. Fear of failure usually attacks most often at the beginning. Once you are accountable for the first few calls or walk-ins, you will probably be fine the rest of the day.
Fear of success is more complicated and difficult to overcome. This will attack talented sales people. You may jump out of bed ready to conquer the world and feel very confident and self-motivated. When you actually get out in the field, you’ll begin to think ahead to the “big picture.” Such thoughts as,
- “If I make ten sales this month, then next month I’ll need to set my goal at twelve, then fifteen. Eventually I’m not going to be able to reach my goals!”
- “What if I don’t make any money this week or this month; what is going to happen?”
This represents fear of success; it is a delayed fear of failure. The thought pattern is that if you succeed today, what does that say about your goal for tomorrow and the next days?
The solution to the fear of success is also very simple. You must lower the expectations for yourself! I realize this is counter-intuitive for many of you. Like me, you struggle because you are very driven and know how to sell. If you are talented in sales and know you CAN sell but are not doing it, you need to make goals based on the variable. The variable is work – effort. Instead of setting a goal to make ten sales this month, you need a more specific goal which is effort based on a daily or even hourly basis. Set a goal to walk into five businesses in the next hour or to walk into fifteen businesses in the next three hours. No matter what results you get, just achieve the goal of walking into the specified number of businesses. You could even reward yourself for reaching that simple goal; enjoy the success. Now say to yourself, “I know I’m talented enough that the results are going to come if I just continue putting that effort in day after day after day.” You might also benefit from the tool of accountability for this.
So, if you are suffering from fear of failure or fear of success, hopefully these tips helped you today!
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