Fear absolutely immobilizes us, right down to our cores. We let fear dictate our decisions, production, motivation, and even our results. It is said that fear is more powerful than incentives when it comes to performance. The power of fear can cripple you, from moving a muscle, and can prevent you from getting ahead, in life. In sales, you face fear pretty often. You are always at odds with yourself. It is a mental chess game with your client as well as with yourself (more on that here). Fear is a monster, in the closet. More times than not your fears are exaggerated and never come to fruition. I want you to realize one thing right now. That inner monologue, in your head, is the source of most of your fear. You have to conquer that little voice, in the back of your mind.
Think about it… that voice of yours is trying to protect you from rejection. We fear rejection because deep down we take rejection personally and it hurts our confidence in ourselves. That is hard to come back from. I know because it happens to me all the time. No one likes a swift kick right to the pride stones. It is just very unpleasant. That voice may be stopping your from asking that big client for the sale because you don’t want to scare them off. It may be stopping your from asking your boss for a raise. Hell, it may even be stopping you from asking the girl of your dreams out on a date! Have you ever feared the outcome of something? It may have been a confrontation with someone that you were dreading. You have that inner monologue come up with the craziest scenarios that are almost certain to never come true. You end up confronting that person and they are totally fine with it and you both end up moving on. This happens to me literally all the time. I never understand why I continue to let that fear stop me.
I am an awkward person by nature. Naturally, I am an introvert. I force myself to overcome fear every day by talking to people. That is just one instance of how I am overcoming those fears. I realized that these fears are just like the boogeyman. They are not real. Sales has allowed me to overcome my fears, at a more rapid pace. The entire profession throws me right out of my comfort zone. I know that if I do not adapt then I will not perform. I am so competitive that not performing is not an option. The thing I love most is the realization that I am perfectly fine and that it was all in my head. It cracks me up.
It is challenging to get people to understand this concept. At first, when I explained this to my team they were weary. When I explained why this was important they understood it and it totally opened up their thinking (here’s more on why the “whys” are everything). I used fear to get them to understand. I explained how we were missing out on all these sales just because we didn’t ask the hard questions that we needed to. My team feared missing out, on the sales, more than the silly fears in their minds. A hard question is that question that you want to ask someone but you just cannot muster up the courage to do so. It may be personal, awkward, or sensitive question that you fear asking this question will scare away the client. But in all reality it won’t. And even if it did, just letting the client get away significantly decreases your chances to close them. You have to force yourself to ask those questions. You will never get anywhere if you do not! You must do what you need to do to be successful. Don’t even give yourself the option. The thinking has to be all or nothing. What do you have to lose anyway? With sales you are playing a losing game anyway. Generally, your close rate won’t be higher than 50%. So that means you are losing over 50%, of the time. Good odds for any selling machine (find out how to become one here)!
Fear will stop you from succeeding. It will make you average. Don’t allow your fear to take control of you like that. You have to be actively aware of these fears. Rejection is part of life. Not everyone is going to like you or agree with you. Why should you let that stop you from trying to sell the next client? They are a totally different person (BTW if you think you’re not in sales you might want to check this out)! Never let a past rejection dictate your future. Just because your crush shot you down doesn’t mean your new crush will. Not only that but just because you get rejected the first time doesn’t mean you will the next with the same person or client, so always ask again!
What do you fear most? How can you face that fear? I challenge you to go outside of your comfort zone and ask hard questions. What was your favorite learn from this post? Please share in the comments!
Now get out there and overcome those fears! Quit being afraid of that monster, in the closet!