Lose the fear—make the sale
The number one fear of sales professionals and entrepreneurs is rejection! Handling rejection and overcoming those negative feelings are critical to having success in sales. This chronic and debilitating condition has taken down many sales careers and is one thing that stands between salespeople and the success they want. Fear of rejection is the one condition for which there is no cure, no little pill and no quick fix. The choice is yours – deal with it or get out of sales.
This fear of rejection is so powerful that it turns otherwise confident and courageous people into insecure and trembling cowards. Does the ability to handle rejection have a direct relationship to sales performance? Absolutely! In fact, it is one of the most critical attributes of highly successful salespeople. “You weren’t born with the fear of rejection, so anything learned can be unlearned,” says George Ira Carroll, a Master NLP Practitioner who sees this every day in his practice and helps people overcome the fear that is holding them back.
No matter what sales process you have in place, the irrational fear of rejection is a major obstacle to success in sales. The simple act of picking up the phone, calling or meeting a new customer is a gut wrenching experience for most salespeople. Many ultimately fail because their fear has crippled them from moving through the sales process.
I was recently hired by a company to work with its sales team on how to communicate more effectively with customers and institute a sales process. Although the project was successful in addressing those two issues, they were only a small part of what was really going on. It wasn’t long before I started to witness the blaring signs and symptoms of fear of rejection permeating the entire team. It was contagious and spreading rapidly, and the only cure was to dismantle that fear so true sales success could occur.
Rejection is tough to deal with, but it simply is part of sales. Changing your thought processes and developing a new and different perspective are the keys to overcoming the fear of rejection.
As George explains, “In caveman days, when deadly animals showed up, adrenaline flooded the body as a protection mechanism and was extremely useful when running from a bear or when you needed to fight, but not when you’re making sales calls or meeting new customers!” As soon as you identify the mental programming that lies at the core of your fear, you can begin to question it, challenge it and find experiences that contradict it.
Unmanaged fear destroys success and great salespeople aggressively work to eliminate fear. The only limits to your sales success are the ones you impose on yourself. The competition is in your own mind. When you do what you fear; the fear fades away and success appears.
How you handle rejection is simply a matter of perspective. Remember, every salesperson gets rejected, every one of them. Big deal. Move on, suck it up and go sell something. Remember — it’s not what you sell, it’s how you sell.