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Posted: March 19, 2012

Three steps to overcome your fear of selling

Deal with it, or get out of sales

Liz Wendling

Sales fear is rampant these days. The economy has sparked fear and caused panic with many salespeople and business owners. This fear and panic is being strengthened by customers who have drastically altered their buying habits. When times are tough, it becomes more challenging to sell but now is not the time to give up; it is time to step up.

Even the most confident and highly motivated salespeople can take only so much negative news without getting dragged down.  Some are wishing for better times, many are hoping for brighter days and others are praying for a quick turnaround.  Wishing, hoping and praying aren’t good business strategies.

There’s nothing like an economic downturn to change a confident and fearless sales person with once-solid good sales habits into a fearful and inconsistent sales person with bad habits.

Salespeople are facing the daunting challenge of closing sales and bringing in new business in a down economy. With uncertainty about when things will improve, customers have tightened their budgets and increased the level of scrutiny on every purchase.

As a business owner or salesperson, you can choose to focus on the fear and adopt the scarcity mentality or you can focus on taking action and create your own sales success.  If you allow yourself to be controlled by fear or make your decisions based on scarcity, you will miss the business and sales opportunities that come your way.

So what can sales people do to close more business in a slowing economy? Here are three ways to lose the fear and start making things happen, now!

1.Stop making excuses. Excuses are nothing more than roadblocks to progress and change and making excuses strips you of your power to take control.  Blaming the economy or blaming your customer means you are giving up instead of taking control. When the economy changes we adapt and take full responsibility, not blame. 

2.Create your own economy.  If you are looking for better business results, take a look inside your business instead of blaming the outside economy.  Find out what is missing, what went wrong and how you can fix it.  That’s the only thing you have control over and the sooner you identify and fix what’s wrong, the sooner your sales and revenue will improve.

3.Invest in yourself and your skills. Sales skills are an essential part of doing business and are critical to staying in business.  If you don’t have sales skills; get them, if you have skills; hone them, if you are not sure where to start, ask a coach. When you arm yourself with efficient and effective sales skills, you increase the chances for your business to thrive in this new and here to stay for a while economy. Sales skills are no longer “nice” to have they are a “must.”

Selling does not have to be a fearful experience! If you have the right attitude, a strong self belief, a full understanding of your product, excellent sales skills along with plenty of practice, you’ll have nothing to fear.

More than ever, companies in all industries are looking for ways to retain customers, boost revenue, and maintain profit margins. To survive and ultimately flourish in this new economy, you must re-examine the way you sell and deal with customers; and some of the adjustments that need to be made are long overdue. It’s time to stop letting your mindset control your paycheck.


Liz Wendling is the president of Insight Business Consultants, a nationally recognized business consultant, sales strategist and emotional intelligence coach. Liz is driven by her passion for business and generating results for her clients. Liz understands the challenges that business owners are facing building a business and selling their professional services in today's market.

Liz shows clients how to tap into and use their innate strength, power and confidence to develop highly successful businesses. She teaches them to create effective, dynamic and fluid client conversations that turn interested prospects into invested clients who keep coming back.

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Readers Respond

Great advice, Liz. If you take away the excuses, you are pretty much left with working on yourself or finding another career! By Julie Hansen on 2012 03 19
Liz, excellent advice. One key I have found that the many sales professionals have not learned how to do is effectively share the product and services in a bizsavvy manner. Or, themselves! Yes, they've learned all the marketing material. And, can reiterate it. I'm talking about learning how to brag! ( Sales people that have taken the time to quantify their results make much presentations, and entice others to buy! By Jeannette Seibly on 2012 03 19
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