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THE WORLD is made up of two kinds of people: those who try, and if they stumble, they dust themselves off and try again; and those who fear stumbling so much that they essentially quit trying. We all know which of the two is more successful in business. President Franklin Roosevelt said it best, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” Fear can paralyze sales teams, keeping them from taking action. It can make them hostages of their own negative thinking, making them avoid trying new approaches or taking risks of any kind. It can be tough for individuals on your sales teams to admit being afraid, since fear is often equated with weakness. In reality, it’s perfectly natural and even healthy to have fears. Fear can lead us to work harder, improving professionally. Not admitting and addressing those fears, though, can be any salesperson’s single biggest impediment to success. There are common excuses salespeople give for not meeting their prospecting activity targets. “I don’t want to seem too pushy,” or “I’m too busy.” “I’m not sure what to say when I call,” or even, “They know I’m here, and they’ll call when they’re ready to buy.” Excuses like these are actually rooted in fear. However, these fears are common. Almost all sales professionals have faced down fears like these during their careers. When facing these kinds of fears, there are several strategies you can use to overcome your anxieties and ultimately find success: First, you have to know what scares you. Are you afraid of rejection? Do you fear being offensive or intrusive? Are you worried your clients won’t like you? Do you fear not having all the answers? Are you afraid of looking foolish? Most people have the most common anxiety of all: the fear of failure. Once you’ve realized what scares you, imagine the worst-case scenario. If your fear is rejection, what is the worst possible outcome if a prospect tells you no? Your product or service has been rejected, not you. Take it as a professional rejection, not a personal one. After the sales call, rewind the game tape and figure out what you’d do differently next time. Turn around self-defeating thoughts. Next time your inner voice begins to doubt your skills, stop and write down the defeatist talk going through your head. Seeing it on paper can diminish its power over you, so you can put it into perspective. Finally, keep score of your successes. While we can’t stop the negative thoughts, we can balance them out. Start a success journal, jotting down notes on what worked well in every sales call. Rank the prospect’s improved interest level when you used his name, or a new strategy for overcoming a common objection. Just documenting positive outcomes will help put a positive spin on your self-talk. Remember that most successful people have not only failed, but they are good at failing. They rebound stronger, better equipped to win the next time. They have an authentic appreciation for what they learned from failure. Take control of your fears by focusing on the prospect who said yes, instead of dwelling on the one who didn’t.

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RedRover Sales & Marketing

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