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Posts Tagged ‘Fear of selling’

5 Sure Steps to Handle Fear in Sales

Posted on: March 16th, 2017 by Monika No Comments

False Evidence Appearing Real – An Alternative View of Fear

Fear in Sales is very common. It’s fair to observe that fear is often present on both the buyer and the seller side. Buyers, not only in business, may be afraid to make a wrong decision. And sellers often fear rejection or losing a sale. A successful way of overcoming fear is to identify when we become aware of that fear rising, either in ourselves or in closely listening to our customers, and then to work toward a solution.

Step 1: Acknowledge It!

You Cannot Change What You Don’t Acknowledge

In my many years of coaching and helping sales people be more effective, I have seen  many people struggling with fear and it can be paralyzing. Sales is very personal, we need to understand that. We are only as good as our numbers and rejection can feel very personal. So, it’s OK to embrace that fear. AND it’s vital to understand the fears buyers might bring to the table.

Step 2: Have a Plan!

Being prepared is half of the battle. I always compare becoming comfortable and successful in a consultative sales environment to learning to drive a car with a stick shift transmission. As long as you are focusing on shifting the gears and releasing the clutch properly, you will not be in full command of your vehicle. AND you won’t be able to focus on traffic the way you should. You need to get to a point where shifting becomes second nature.

The same holds true for becoming comfortable and successful in applying a consultative sales process.

For example, when prospecting, you need to be comfortable when picking up the phone, easing into your conversations, being prepared to ASK the RIGHT QUESTIONS, listening for ways to position the VALUE of your solutions, gaining commitments for next steps if there is a good fit. Or if there isn’t a good fit, to be able to end a conversation on a positive note, building bridges for the future.

Being able to confidentially and naturally do this on a regular basis is then only possible when it is second nature to you so you can focus on your prospect and not allow fear to derail you.

Step 3: Practice makes Permanent (and even perhaps Perfect)

It really does, in every area of our life. I, for example have no fear of cold calling whatsoever. Not sure why, but I almost get an adrenalin high when chasing C-Level prospects and breaking through to them. For some reason the universe has given me that unique gift and I embrace it and tapped into it to start a business.

Flying on the other hand was something that caused me sleepless nights, shaking, sweats and all the other unpleasant things that happen when you are afraid of something. Air travel, despite all the accidents, terrorist attacks, etc. is still immensely safer than getting into a car. But I certainly don’t tremble when driving toward New York City on I-95. Even though the statistics are telling me another story.

Once I recognized this fear as being a constant companion, I started to choose air travel over ground travel every single time I had a choice, just to make it more routine. Unless there is a deeper psychological issue simmering, the more often you do something, the easier it will be.

Still to this day I don’t like turbulences (neither do I like potholes on the highway), but these days I board an airplane with the same ease as getting into my car.

Step 4: Research, Prepare, Practice, Do It & Repeat!

The better prepared you are and the more you prepare, the more comfortable you will be in any sales situation, it puts you in the driver’s seat. Write out the questions you want to ask and make sure you start with a Who, What, When, Where or How so the answers will not be a simple “yes” or “no”.

Then pick up the phone!  Yep! You gotta pick up the phone and dial!

If cold calling sends tremors down your spine, there is nothing like jumping into the pool and starting to swim. Take a deep breath after every prospect/client interaction, reflect on what you heard, what you said, what you can do better next time – and then – DO IT AGAIN! AND AGAIN! AND SO ON! That’s a big step in overcoming your fears.

Step 5: Celebrate Your Success

And Reward Yourself for Every No

Entrepreneurs and sales people don’t celebrate their successes enough. We are easy to point out bad experiences, but hardly every take the time to acknowledge what we have accomplished. It’s truly important.

Take the time to reflect and celebrate AND reward yourself for every No you get. Whether your prospect will agree to a conversation or not, you have worked hard to get somebody on the phone.

And whether they are interested or not, is not something you can always control. It’s common in sales to get rejected and the more often you experience it, the easier it will become.

Here’s an example from a chocolate-loving salesperson we know: “If you like chocolate, put Hershey kisses on your desk and grab one every single time your prospect says, “No thanks”. Because NO is the second-best answer you can get!”

Train to Overcome Fears & Become A SuperSellerTM

Test your Sales IQ!

There are many great tools out there to test your sales acumen. Consultative Sales Academy, in partnership with Impact Sales Training-dvr Learning, offers our Consultative Sales Certification Sales IQ-Skills & Knowledge Assessment.

This in-depth Assessment is a quick and thorough method to measure your sales skills and knowledge, or those of your team members. It is not a psychometric exam or aptitude test, it consists of 80 scenario questions to shine a light on strengths and growth opportunities. Once you know what your strengths are and where you can improve, you can focus on those areas.

In our case, we offer our corresponding Consultative Sales Certification Training Program, a blended Live and web-based e-Learning system to help you and your team members become stronger in the areas in which you will benefit from improvement.

Our enrolled training and coaching participants not only learn and practice via our CSC Program, but also apply their newly-won skills and strategies in the field and report back to their teams and our trainers in Best Practices Sessions. In over 20 years of research and application, we have observed learners are most successful when they focus on one core competency at a time and repeat and apply skills and concepts in real life as often as possible, until it becomes their new “second nature”.

So, take a tour of our Consultative Sales Certification Training Program here and please call or email with any thoughts or inquiries. We’d love to see you “Sell More, Sell Faster & Earn More, too!”



Holiday Cheer – Stay Clear of Fear

Posted on: December 16th, 2015 by Monika No Comments
Reflecting on 2015 I would like to share some best practices and observations we have been so fortunate to experience, hoping that we will continue our journey together into a successful 2016.


Sales people are measured by numbers and if we don’t put numbers on the books it puts enormous pressure on us. Fear is not always an obstacle; it can also be a driver as long as we don’t become frantic in our attempts to make things happen. There is nothing more annoying or aggravating than an over-eager sales person. Once we become desperate, sound strategy usually goes out the window.

The best remedy is to develop a long-term and short term SMART objectives and to stick with them (and adjust to them if necessary). It will help with anxiety and it will also make for better business decisions.

Avoid Panic

While we are talking about fear, we should also talk about panic, which is usually a result of fear. Panic often sets in when sales don’t happen.  Then situations happen, for example when CEOs take over sales training, or attend sales calls and start micro-managing everything and anything that has to do with sales.

They fear for their company’s survival and that’s understandable. Fear is contagious and once the CEO panics, it often affects sales management and it can have a snowball effect on the sales team. Then sales people might fear that they could lose their job or that they won’t be making any money.

Then sales managers do both. They panic and fear, both for their team, for their compensation and for their reputation.

The best recipe is to stay calm and on-track. Again, if there is a plan in place, success will follow. Sometimes, it’s good to review the plan and maybe adjust it a bit, but to throw out the plan altogether once things don’t happen immediately is a poor choice and it can lead to disastrous results.  In a consultative sales environment, planning is an absolute essential.

Embrace Rejection

The best sales people are those who know that “no” is the second best answer. Rejection is part of our daily life and embracing it helps us understand our target audience better. In our many years of searching and observing sales professionals, we have seen far too many sales people chase good conversations rather than closing a sale.

We like to refer to those sales people as “professional visitors”, because they thrive on making connections and not on getting to the next step. The goal of every interaction in sales is to get one step closer to a sale, not to have better chats.

The best sales people are the ones who invite a “no thanks” to gauge a potential fit. There is no point in chasing after a prospect who is not a good fit. Finding out sooner rather than later that you can’t provide prospect real value gives you the freedom and time to move on to a better opportunity.

People Buy from People

That’s really the bottom line. More and more articles, posts and blogs are about the fact that it’s still people who are involved in the decision making process.

Remember the old adage? Know – Like – Trust. Never forget that it is people you are targeting. Make your messages stand out. Personalize your emails, don’t mass market. Do research on the people you target so you can have meaningful conversations with them. Remember, that everybody has a personal life and sometimes things can go wrong, so be mindful of others.

A Lesson from my Dog

My dog Rhondo (whom we rescued 6 years ago) teaches me lessons every day. While he is super focused on getting food and attention, he is also mindful, compassionate and very often more considerate than some sales people I encounter.


Unlike many sales people who call on me, Rhondo hardly ever interrupts my work day because he intuitively feels when I have time to play or when I am focused on something else. It’s the way I move and the way I sound that provides hints to my dog. (Intuitive behavioral adjusting)

My dog is in my office with me every single day. He never barks, never even makes a sound. He lies on the office couch (yes, he is spoiled!) and it is not until I put my headphones back into the holder, making a gentle click, signaling to him that I might be ready for a break. That’s when he starts moving. But it’s not until I get up and tell him that we are leaving the office that he actually leaves the couch to follow me.

Following gentle hints from our prospects, understanding when to talk and when to listen, identifying behavioral and communication styles and just simply paying attention can be a good recipe to making your contacts feel comfortable and to building trust. And you we all know, trust is essential when it comes to building solid, long-standing business relationships.

In this spirit, let’s stick with our plan (and if you don’t have one, this is the best time to develop a strategy) and focus on the positive. There is always something to be grateful for.

Wishing you a Happy and Healthy Holiday season and a Successful 2016!