One of the oldest thoughts in the sales profession is the need to “Sell Through,” sell through the no’s, sell through the closed doors, sell through the fear of rejection.
Sales people are a rare breed in that they must have thick skin and not take rejection personally. Sales people must be like the guy at the bar who has been shot down 1000 times but always says that the next conversation will be “That” conversation.
Other than professional sports, professional sales have the most competitive atmospheres of any career. With the need to always hit your number looming over your head, the need to always be pulling prospects through the sales cycle, and the immense need to always be back filling your pipeline it can quickly become a burden and not an exciting career. With all of these factors facing you on a day-to-day basis, it can be overwhelming and can produce apprehension.
I have constructed three ways to overcome and alleviate Sales Apprehension.
- Always remember the “Why”- Why did you become a salesperson in the first place? For most it is the need to be competitive; for others, it is the unlimited earnings and flexibility; for some, it is the desire to help people in whatever field they are in, but for the “elite” sales person it is all of the above. Never lose sight of that why. When sales are tight, and the winds of adversity are blowing swiftly and firmly against you the “Why” will keep you making calls, sending emails, and following up. The “Why” will ensure that you are doing what is necessary to exceed your numbers and accomplish your personal goals
- Take the Fun-size instead of the King Size- years ago when I was much younger, I remember selling candy bars as fundraisers. I remember the King Sized bars and people always saying “ I will have to eat some now and freeze the rest.” Then a few years back the candy bar industry introduced the “fun sized bars” which are candy bars that you can consume in one bite. One of the ways that I have learned to alleviate the apprehension in sales is not just to focus on the BIG picture but to break the BIG picture down into fun-size pieces. Do something small every day to get you to your number, make ten additional calls, send 20 other emails, stop in at one more business, attend one more networking event, ask for the sale one more time. Remember you will not hit your yearly number in a day, but you can chip away at that number daily. Most importantly always have FUN
- Positive Affirmation- Always remember, you are in that role because you have the ability to perform and function at a high level, you have the skills necessary to be successful. You have sales acumen needed to excel in your position. You add all of those things together, and factor in your motivation and what you get is the affirming thoughts needed to overcome apprehension. Whether you are in your first sales position or your last, you have in you what it takes to succeed you just have to know it, believe it, and most importantly, use it.