It’s totally normal to be scared to sell. It can be intimidating to put yourself out there and risk being rejected. That being said, overcoming this fear is essential to growing as an entrepreneur and taking your business to the next level. That’s why I put together this list of the five ways you can start to get over your fear in sales so you can hit your revenue goals!
- Figure out the source of your fear!
- Are you scared of rejection?
- Are you not confident in your product or service?
- Are you worried about coming across as too pushy?
The reality is, we all face rejection in sales. We have to accept that not every sale we try to make will close. In fact, research shows that, on average, people will close only 10 percent of the time when cold-calling (this means that you’re trying to sell to a ‘cold’ market, not a ‘warm’ market that is familiar with you already.) A potential client or customer will have to go from cold to warm to hot in order to buy. A cold market has never heard of you and is not familiar with what you are selling. A warm market is getting to know you, but hasn’t put their trust in you yet. A hot market knows you, likes you and trusts you enough to buy!
In the beginning, all of your prospects will be considered a cold market, unless you’re selling to your friends and family. That’s why your circle of influence is a great place to start in sales. If there’s a group of people in your life that you have established relationships with who are also your ideal and likely buyers, start with them. As you get more comfortable with your pitch, you can expand into a colder market with people you don’t know yet.
- Hit fear head-on
The only way to overcome fear is to confront it head-on. Trust me when I say that everyone is fearful on their first sales call. And the odds are you probably won’t land a sale your first time (or even your 10th time), but you have to keep your head up and keep trying.
I highly recommend using a script to practice your pitch and rehearsing it over and over in the mirror, or taking a video of yourself until you get comfortable saying it. Not only will doing this remove some of the fear and discomfort you may feel during a sales call, but it will also help you sound much more natural and relaxed to your potential client or customer. Bottom line: Practice makes perfect, and you’ll never reach your goals until you dive in and get started.
The best thing I learned years ago is to not take it personally when someone doesn’t buy, even if they’re your friend. Your product or service is not for everyone, that’s why defining your niche market is so important. If you’re solving a problem for your niche market, they will buy. Who cares if you get rejected? Don’t sweat it, just evaluate what you could do better and then move on to the next potential client. And just because they said ‘No, thanks’ initially doesn’t mean it’s a completely closed door. I’ve had many people come back to me six months or a year later ready to buy after I pitched to them.
- Don’t sell anything you aren’t confident in.
Over the years, I’ve made the mistake of trying to sell someone else’s product or service that I just didn’t believe in. What I found is that I wasn’t nearly as successful as I was selling my own services that I knew I could deliver on. What it comes down to is you have to believe in it before anyone else will.
I recommend writing down all of the great things about your product or service and looking over it before every sales call. It also doesn’t hurt to memorize one or two success stories of happy customers that you can relay to your potential customer. Stories sell better than scripts every time because they’re authentic and genuine, helping you build a connection with your customer. If you tell your customer a story of a customer just like them that had success, they will take notice.
- Sell with your own style.
Everyone has a different sales style. I’ve watched very confident salespeople who come across as pushy and almost make the customer feel dumb if they don’t buy, but it works for them. Don’t get me wrong – you definitely don’t want the customer to feel stupid – but if you make it so obvious that your product or service is what they have to have to solve their problem, they come to the conclusion it’s a no-brainer to buy.
I’ve also seen other, more casual sales reps that have a gift of building ridiculous rapport with their potential clients and becoming friends with them before they even sell anything. This approach can also be very successful!
My advice is to follow best sales practices, but put them in your own style and you’ll feel more comfortable. Remember that the best sales people are also the best listeners. Nothing is worse than selling to someone who doesn’t want what you’re selling, and you won’t know this until you start asking questions. My best piece of wisdom in sales is to be yourself, always. You will look much more genuine than someone who’s following someone else’s script.
- Selling is serving!
You have to approach sales by looking at it as if you are serving the person on the other side. You have something great to offer them that can genuinely improve their lives or their businesses. Once you have the confidence that you’re doing your potential customer a favor by presenting them with your offer, sales will seem like a breeze!