As much as we don’t want to admit it, we all have things we would rather avoid in sales. Maybe you just don’t like it, or perhaps you’re a bit scared of doing it. But you can start overcoming fear in sales and refuse to let it hold you back.
There’s no shame in it either. We all have things we’re a little terrified of facing. Whether it’s an angry client, networking, or hitting quota, there’s something that makes all of us anxious. And that bit of kryptonite keeps us from doing as much as we can.
Fortunately, for every challenge or fear, we also have a strength. Those strengths can help us start overcoming fear in sales and life.
Finding Your Kryptonite
On the other side of our struggles, we all have superpowers.
It might be a natural ability to:
- Strike up conversations with anybody
- Build trust easily
- Adapt to new things quickly
- Ask hard questions in a nurturing way
We all have something that we’re naturally good at.
You don’t have to think about it and don’t necessarily have to practice it (although you probably still should). You’re just able to do it automatically and with confidence.
Knowing our strengths can help us find our weaknesses, our kryptonite.
The weirdly good news is, we’re not Superman. Those weaknesses don’t have to stop us in our tracks. But you do have to recognize them first.
The Superman Parallel
Imagine being Superman before knowing that kryptonite takes away your power. And you don’t find out until you’re in the middle of a big fight. The big bad shows up with, you guessed it, the one thing that weakens you. You’re lost and don’t know what to do.
In comic books, something happens to turn it around. The hero still saves the day.
But this is real life, and miraculous things don’t usually happen to pull us out of sticky situations.
So you’re a salesperson, and your kryptonite is getting asked an uncomfortable question for which you don’t have an answer. When that happens, you can’t seem to get the conversation back on track, and ultimately, you lose the sale.
Maybe not knowing the answer is your worst fear. Or it might be a fear of confrontation.
Either way, you need to identify it so that you can overcome that fear in your following sales conversation.
Three Simple Ways to Start Overcoming Fear in Sales
Some fears or weaknesses, like the fear of networking, are apparent to you. And (hopefully) you’ve found ways around it or strengthened it enough so that it’s not holding you back.
But other weaknesses sneak up on you—you won’t discover them until it’s too late.
Both the beauty and the struggle of sales are that it isn’t an exact science. That’s why you might have weaknesses that you’ve never encountered or noticed before.
So how do you find them before they find you?
If you want to improve, you have to track your KPIs and progress.
If you haven’t done these things, building a process and tracking your use of it will show you gaps that could point out a potential weakness.
For example, let’s say you’re consistently losing deals because they tell you that your service is too expensive after sending a proposal. That could mean that you haven’t built a budget question into your discovery sales conversations.
You might realize that talking about money is a massive fear once you can pinpoint that trend in your CRM.
Now that you know, you can craft questions to make it easier in future conversations. And you know what you should be practicing the most.
Another vastly helpful way to discover what you might struggle with is to take a personality assessment. There are tons to choose from, but DISC is one of the best for salespeople.
A DISC personality assessment helps you discover your communication style, selling style, motivators and demotivators, and strengths and challenges.
The more you know about yourself, the more you begin building up any weaknesses and overcoming fear in sales.
Furthermore, this assessment helps you to analyze how other people think, feel, and interact with others so that you can communicate with them on a deeper level.
Finally, DISC helps to show you that you’re not alone. All of those quirks and preferences that make you who you are are part of your personality. And other people share a similar nature. Finding or recognizing those people could help you build a tribe of like-minded friends that bolster each other’s strengths and lessen weaknesses.
Practice Makes Perfect
As with anything in life, the more you practice, the stronger you’ll get.
While you might think it’s impossible to “practice” at sales, you’d be wrong.
Role-playing sales situations might not seem that helpful, but it’s probably because you’ve only done it at seminars or in training. Standing in front of a giant room full of strangers and practicing a forced and contrived conversation one time isn’t the best recipe for success or improvement.
But intentional role-playing in a controlled environment can do wonders for your sales conversations, primarily when you practice those areas where you are weakest.
Whether you’re in management or trying to improve on your own, organize a weekly role-playing group with your team or peers. Or join Sales Practice Lab and practice with like-minded salespeople.
During these sessions, practice each interaction in a sales cycle. Then, break down the individual conversations into parts.
You’ll see that you can ask every question in various ways and use a unique tone to elicit trust in people with different personality types.
This kind of practice is designed to help you improve by reducing the pressure you would have in a large group or a real sales conversation. Plus, you get actionable feedback from your manager, sales coach, and/or peers.
Overcoming Fear in Sales Makes You Stronger
Confronting weaknesses isn’t fun for anybody. We all feel better when we think we’re invincible and feel like a superhero.
But even superheroes have challenges. The difference is that they don’t ignore them or keep them from saving the day.
You might not be Superman, but overcoming fear in sales will make your life easier.
- You’ll have better conversations.
- You’ll gain more qualified clients.
- And you’ll have a much easier time making the amount of money you want to make.
Don’t let your kryptonite hold you back anymore. Identify it, face it head-on, and you’ll remove its negative effect on your sales career forever.