We live in an increasingly complex and stressful society where myths saturate our minds with more Fiction than Fact.
In the world of sales we are bombarded with myths such as: Thick Skin Fearlessness is the major characteristic quality of all highly successful sales and business people.
Another myth: people who experience fear never become successful in business or life.
Overcoming More Fiction than Fact myths can start you out on a journey of great prosperity and success in life and business.
The two deadly fears that many people struggle with and think they should never experience if they are to be successful in life and business are rational and irrational fears.
However, everyone who ever became a success in their career, a winner and champion in sports or any other endeavor in life figured out that from a rational point of view, there are only two ways to eliminate fear.
- Make sure you never try anything new and keep everything in your tiny little world isolated so that you never grow and always remain the same.
- Push through and beyond fear, knowing that not confronting fear is always more painful than the fear itself.
As it turns out, most people struggle with bone-rattling pain caused by rational or irrational fear daily when prospecting, selling, launching a new marketing campaign or auditioning before a casting director for a new TV show. Their fears persist no matter how strongly they feel about their skills, products or services.
Everyone deals with fear. As long as you continue to grow and expose yourself to new opportunities, you’ll always experience some levels of fear. Fear is healthy and normal when put in perspective and managed. It simply would be unnatural not to experience some forms of fear in life and business.
Anyone and everyone who finds themselves involved in some method of selling experience has a fear of rejection or call reluctance, some to a greater degree than others. Unfortunately, many people in sales who have a fear of rejection and take it personally will, over time, develop a defensiveness that negatively impacts their selling career. If unmanaged and they outwardly radiate fear, doubt, uncertainty or defensiveness when calling on prospects or clients, their chances of making a sale diminishes considerably. Customers and prospects want to deal with a self-confident person; and when fear comes through you, it sets up (often unconsciously) an immediate conflict of trust in your customers’ or clients’ minds.
Differentiating between rational fear and irrational fear:
Rational fear is based on an objective understating of a situation and is normal. When you aren’t certain how to deliver an opening of your presentation to your client, you’ll most likely experience fearfulness. Not being able to handle specific objections from your prospects will implant further fears and derail your selling effectiveness, while causing you to retreat from moving ahead in the selling process. These fears are rational, and many times they originate from a simple lack of preparation, knowledge and experience.
The key to overcoming rational fear is to plan, prepare and practice every step of the selling process. Including knowing as much about your customer’s objectives and potential objections so that there is absolutely no area where you feel uncertain. Your rational fears can easily be overcome through product knowledge and skills training. A solid plan of practice every day will soon eliminate your rational fears.
Irrational fears are the most damaging career buster and in sales develop into clusters such as:
- Fear of rejection
- Call reluctance
- Fear of self-promotion
- Fear of the unknown
- Fear of authority
Many people enter into sales because they like people and thrive on being liked by others. But taken to extremes, a compulsive need to be liked will inhibit your abilities in sales. Coming across too friendly and too accommodating to win over your customer reduces your ability to objectively be firm in closing the sales. You may have a customer who likes you, but they are less likely to trust and respect your ability to be their advocate.
The word NO is symbolic in the world of sales and life. Irrational fear of rejection (feeling of not being liked) is the reason why most sales people don’t close the sale, have call reluctance and chronic procrastination. They fear the “NO” response as a personal rejection of them as a person.
Fear of rejection isn’t always obvious during prospecting and in a sales presentation. Subtle feelings of fear can show up when calling on a client or prospect that has certain authority status, high-level decision maker, presenting to a client with your supervisor or an impatient prospect.
Irrational fears are inner emotions that are behavioral and require a different approach to resolving than rational fears, which are primarily skill-based fears. How many times have you or someone you know literally had a presentation memorized and could give it backwards and forwards without skipping a beat. Then stood before an audience or corporate president and completely went brain dead (figuratively speaking), unable to make the presentation.
We also fear what we don’t understand, and an emotionally healthy approach is to seek to understand the fear of rejection when it occurs. However, don’t blame your feelings when the emotions of fears start to bubble up inside you. Your feelings are the symptoms of your problem. The real perpetrator is in your behavior or what has been termed mismanaged emotional energy.
What is most important is that you consciously recognize the fear when it occurs. Then seek to understand its root cause. That awareness alone will often minimize the fear and will also help you determine the most effective way to approach your problem.
Critical to understand is that irrational fear is not overcome with additional skill based training. It goes deeper than product knowledge and sales scripting.
Test YOUR reactions to the following questions and statements and listen closely to your thoughts and feelings.
Question: If you knew for certain that by devoting 14 minutes a day seven days a week using a proven method of success – with an investment of money — you could change anything you wanted in your life.
Would you give yourself that gift?
Well, maybe and maybe not. You see, irrational fear shows up in many ways. Sometimes irrational fear looks like a genuine fear of loss. This simply means that based on past experience you will lose by taking a new action in investing money or time in participating in any new program.
Sometimes fear raises it ugly head in the form of complacency — you figure — I have enough — why should I go for more? That is simply the fear you can’t get more in life and business.
Of course, sometimes fears show up in success. God forbid I
become too successful just to have it striped away at a later date. Or how about the fear of gaining too much attention; very often it becomes an excuse for not taking action.
Imagine overcoming those irrational fears that hold you hostage from enjoying your life more and having the confidence to take immediate action to get exactly what you want in your personal life and career.
Isn’t that what we all want? Be prepared to invest time, money and resource to find your cure for both rational and irrational fears.