How to overcome fear of selling

- May 6, 2009 2 MIN READ

When I started out in business I had a real fear of selling. I thought salespeople weren’t to be trusted, and I never wanted to hear ‘no’ from a prospect.

Here are three main reasons I realised I had to get over this fear of selling – and fast:

1. If you don’t sell, your business suffers – that’s obvious.

2. If you don’t sell, your confidence suffers – that’s obvious, too.

3. If you don’t sell, you can’t help as many people. Obvious, but not always remembered.

If you’ve got a ‘I don’t-want-to-be-a-slimey-salesperson’ fear of selling, then there’s never been a better time to knock that block on its head. You don’t need that self-imposed handicap in the middle of an alleged economic downturn!

I asked myself “why do I feel resistance to selling?” This is what I discovered – it may be familiar to you.

I love to buy, but I hate being ‘sold’ to

Have you ever had that sleazy car salesman experience where the subtext is – they don’t care about me – they just want my money? It’s awful! Like a dog sniffing a skunk, you can smell ‘desperate and self-focused’ a million miles away.

I believe all salespeople have a touch of ‘snake oil’ deceit about them

Somewhere along the line, from my parents, friends, school, or daily life, I linked salespeople with some pretty unflattering notions: insincere, dishonest, just out for themselves and so on. No one wonder I didn’t want to be one myself!

Want more articles like this? Check out the sales strategies section.

I have a fear of being rejected

I’m afraid of people saying ‘no’. It’s the cold, sharp knife of rejection. I associated a ‘no’ to my offer with a ‘no’ to me as a human being.

If you feel as I did, then it’s likely you’ve got some limiting beliefs about selling and what you have to offer.

This is how I ‘cured’ myself of the fear of selling, and you can too.

1. You need to reframe your concept of ‘selling’. Selling is an exchange of value. For example, if I give you something, you give me something in return of equal value. I give you two cows, you give me three bushels of hay. I give you my product or service, then you give me a certain amount of money. There’s giving AND receiving in any sales process.

2. You need to believe in your product or service heart and soul regardless of whether people buy it or not. You would rave about it even if you weren’t selling it. This is called the ‘raving fan syndrome’.

If you don’t have the ‘raving fan syndrome’ about your product or service, here are some questions to consider:

  • How do you feel about the price of the product/service? Is it a no-brainer/sensible investment?
  • Do you use it or have used it before yourself?
  • If you weren’t selling it, would you still use it or rave about it?

Unless you answer yes to each of these questions you will have an ‘out of integrity experience’ in your selling and you will give off that shonky used-car-salesman vibe.

3. Practice this mantra: “The customer is more important than the sale”. You may not make the sale this time, but if you focus on offering value and helping people with their needs, rather than serving your own, you will build a lifetime fan. And that will mean more sales over the long run.

Happy selling!