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Mental Exercise: Overcoming the Fear of Sales

I want you to imagine yourself in a medium-sized auditorium with say, five hundred people in the audience. The speaker is walking through the crowd with a microphone, and he says, “Listen, I am going to give one of you $200, if you come to the front of the stage with me and answer a trivia question about sales. It’ll be an easy question, but you have to respond in front of the entire crowd.”

How would you feel about doing that? What thoughts go through your mind?

Now, what I want to talk about today is fear, especially when it comes to sales. Previously, we talked about the three crucial components of sales success. Specifically, having the right mindset, having a good sales process, and finally, understanding product knowledge.

As we dip into number one, the mindset, probably the greatest thing that holds people back when it comes to sales is fear. We’re afraid to be the stereotypical pushy, annoying, in-your-face, overly-talkative, unsympathetic salesperson. I would say that 80-90% of all people have this particular fear, and it holds them back.

Everyone else, the remaining 10-20%, falls into one of two groups. One, they’re trained to overcome that fear, or two, they never had that fear to begin with. In fact, they probably are that stereotypical salesperson.

Let’s talk about how to overcome the fear of being that stereotypical salesperson. What you want to do is this: you want to create a trigger statement, trigger value, or a trigger moment/memory. Come up with a good experience that you’ve had with a salesperson. Or, think of a time in your own life where you were a little aggressive, a bit forward in a sales situation, and your customer really thanked you for that. Or, think about a song or movie or something else that truly makes you feel at ease and puts you in the right mindset to overcome that fear.

Ideally, your trigger statement will spur you into action. You’ll no longer focus on the fear itself, but rather a positive memory associated with it.

To recap, follow these steps to overcome any fear you may have:

1. Actually call out that fear. Be specific.
2. Create a trigger statement, something that will help you, trigger you to take action in spite of that fear.
3. Take action. Without taking action, you will never be able to overcome that fear.

Really think about what might be an underlying fear that’s holding you back from being great at sales or business development.