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15 2011

The Fear Factor of Selling

Syndicated from: Fearless Selling » Blog

I’m a big fan of the television show, Fear Factor and am pleased that it’s back on the air after a 5+ year hiatus. If you have never watched the show, four pairs of contestants compete for $50K by completing three sets of stunts with water, heights, speed and eating being the main themes. The eating test would always be my downfall because it usually consists of eating something exotic (aka gross) like scorpions, worms, etc. I think that’s what makes the show such a hit. Viewers can watch people do crazy stunts that they would be terrified to attempt. Sales people deal with the fear factor, too. Here are a few of the fears, concerns and hesitations people mention in my sales training programs. The most frequently stated fear is making cold calls. Whether it’s a telephone call or a face-to-face drop-by, this ranks at the top. Part of reason is that they don’t know exactly what to say or they are afraid of being perceived as a pest or intrusion. Some sales people are afraid to ask for the sale usually because they are concerned about the potential rejection. Although I don’t like rejection, I would rather a prospect be upfront with me and tell me no rather than simply ignore my calls or emails. Some sales reps are fearful to ask tough probing questions while others experience anxiety when the dialogue veers away from a product-specific conversation. There are sales people who won’t ask for referrals because they believe that their customers will think that they’re begging for business or that they’re desperate for a sale. Susan Jeffers once penned, “Feel the fear and do it anyway.” While it is easy to say, fear in sales can be challenging to overcome. Some people say to just jump in and do the task while others suggest that you recite affirmations to build your confidence. What suggestions do you have to overcome the fear factor in sales?

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