Worried About Walking In? Overcome This Prospecting Fear.
In the previous episode I addressed the fear of phone call prospecting. There aren’t many tips for that one – just pick up the phone and dial! Prospecting fear is a REAL handicap to sales. Prospecting isn’t easy; it isn’t fun; and you are never going to like it. My tips in this episode […]
In the previous episode I addressed the fear of phone call prospecting. There aren’t many tips for that one – just pick up the phone and dial! Prospecting fear is a REAL handicap to sales. Prospecting isn’t easy; it isn’t fun; and you are never going to like it. My tips in this episode will help you overcome the fear of walking into a business. I’ll give you my secret weapon – trick yourself! Use my two great tips.
I think most all sales people have experienced this kind of fear. I certainly have! If you can identify, please testify in the comment section to encourage the rest of us that we’re normal. This kind of fear is paralyzing. The sales person is sitting in front of a business in his/her car and simply can’t get out to walk in. Thoughts like, “They look kind of busy in there. What’s going to happen if I walk in?” are rolling around in the mind. Perhaps the rep walks up to the door but then turns back to the car. Sometimes depression robs us of self-confidence. And to walk into a business for sales takes a lot of confidence! Here are two key secrets which help me greatly.
#1. Get into the mindset of a customer. This may sound stupid to some of you. Many sales trainers who have not been in the field for years have forgotten how the fear feels. They don’t talk about this kind of solution. I pretend I’m a customer. This tricks me into the ability to leave my car and walk into the business.
This mindset also provides some convenient “outs.” If walking into a restaurant, you can look for a table. In retail businesses, you look around the shelves. This causes the store owner or employee to instinctively think, “Oh, this is a customer. I need to sell him/her something!” So, the business staff approaches me and is very nice. This makes use of some reverse roles. Customers usually avoid eye contact when walking into a business. They don’t want to be “sold” by the workers. This mentality helps overcome the awkwardness of walking into someone’s business.
#2. Start with a topic which will engage the owner in conversation. My favorite opener is “I’ve never been in here before. How long have you guys been here?” Usually I get a nice response since the owner or worker doesn’t know yet whether I’m a customer or sales person. I usually choose the middle of the day to visit a retail shop when I know they won’t be busy. However, that also creates more awkwardness for me. I may be the only person in the store. As I said, prospecting is not fun; it’s not easy; you’re never going to like it!
Now I catch the owner or worker off guard. He/she responds to my initial question. After we chat for maybe thirty seconds I go into my pitch by saying, “Let me tell you why I’m here. I was just across the street at so and so’s business. I wanted to stop in here since I haven’t been before. I’m just curious. Who are you guys currently using for credit card processing?”
Thus, I launch into the sales process. Using those two tips first, though, is a great help in overcoming the fear of walking in. Sometimes I might even consider a possible purchase in the retail store. Maybe I need a hammer in the hardware store. Or perhaps I’d like to replace an old carpet of mine when I walk into a carpet store. That helps my mindset of being a customer. It gets me out of the car and into the business.
Prospecting fear is a REAL handicap to sales. My secret weapon of tricking yourself will overcome the fear of walking into the business. Prospecting is not fun; it’s not easy; and you’re never going to like it. But you CAN overcome your fears. Just do it!