By Stella Burchard, Business Coach and Brand Ambassador
For entrepreneurs and business owners, sales are necessary to be in business. But “sales,” “selling,” and all related terms trigger fear for much of the population. The thought of anything from door-to-door childhood candy sales to adult boardroom negotiations do not seem appealing. The fear is understandable: being exposed, vulnerable, and in need are not comfortable states to be in.
No matter how daunting “sales” may seem, if you don’t have them, you don’t have a business. So how do you get past this fear?First, a note about fear:
“Your fear should always be allowed to have a voice, and a seat in the vehicle of your life. But whatever you do — don’t let your fear DRIVE.” — Elizabeth Gilbert
This note reminds us that yes, fear is natural and sometimes helpful, but you don’t need to allow it to take over. Fear will come up, and it may even seize you for a short while when even thinking about selling. However, feeling afraid of selling does not prevent you from being effective at it. Fear goes in the backseat, and you continue on to sell and bring your business success.
Right, so . . . that’s great in theory, and sales are still scary. Let’s look at common selling-related fears and how to get past them:
Selling fear #1: People are scary.
Yes, they are. But they are what we have to deal with.
Getting past it: People are people.
A reminder to you: no person is better or worse. You may admire or despise someone, but regardless of your personal feelings, that person wakes up, goes through their day, has a back-story, breathes, and deals with the world the best way they know how. Your potential customer has fears of their own, as well as needs you may be able to help with.
Selling fear #2: I’m not good at sales.
This may not be your strength, and it is also not an excuse.
Getting past it: Be good at selling your thing.
When you find the best doctor or the perfect sunscreen, you have no problem telling your friends and raving about it. Guess what? You are selling! Perhaps not intentionally, but you are. Rave about your product or service. You believe in it, right? While you may be the world’s worst car salesman, you are likely great at selling what you really believe in. Have a conversation and share about what you love. Your genuine rave sells better than you think.
Selling fear #3: Hearing “no” hurts.
This is true. We can get past this.
Getting past it: Use “no” to narrow in on the right customer for you.
Hearing “no” is not generally desired. However, you do want to hear “no” from the wrong people. If someone isn’t a match to your business, product, or service, it’s better for both parties to move on to something more suited. Even when “no” may be temporary, let it go (temporarily). Perhaps someone wants to schedule with you, but needs to save up the money, or is waiting until their new space is done to then include your product. While these may turn to “yes” in the foreseeable future, banging on that door and asking in the meantime is not going to change the circumstances. Accept “no” for now and focus on those in a better position to say “yes.”
Selling fear #4: Asking for money is tough.
Perhaps uncomfortable. And completely doable.
Getting past it: Ask, say thank you, and deliver.
A sale is an exchange, value for value. A customer values what you are selling, and you value their business and payment. It’s simply flow of energy, ideas, and dollars. So, deliver what you have in the best way possible, and customers will deliver their payment. As much as you may not want to ask for money, your customer may not want to ask for help they truly desire. In asking for the sale, you seal your exchange, benefiting you both.
You can get past the fear of selling. You may experience the feeling of fear with each outreach, sales pitch, invoice, or sale closing, all while you are still in action and successful. When fear visits you, thank it for its concern, believe in what you have, and sell your valuable wares!
About the Author
Stella Burchard is a business coach and brand ambassador. With over a decade of experience in leading teams, growing brands, and managing relationships, her reputation is to work with integrity to deliver value to customers and brands. Her passion is of empowering independent businesses and collaborating to reach and exceed goals.
Connect with Stella online via Twitter & Instagram @StellaBurchard and at http://www.daniellelaporte.com/DML/stella-burchard/