The success of your business depends on your sales skills. Everything from your profits to the effectiveness of your marketing relies on your ability to sell. But most entrepreneurs have a strong dislike for anything that involves having to sell, even though they still have to get involved. It’s this fear of selling that even discourages most people from going into entrepreneurship.
This fear of selling may be due to being naturally shy or lacking self-confidence. Or perhaps you never learned how to speak about your business in a way that compels people to buy from you.
Regardless of the reason, if you run a business or work for yourself you’ll find it much easier to be successful if you sharpen your sales skills and get comfortable in this role.
Here are some steps you can take to turn your fears into success and overcome your fear of selling:
GET CLEAR ON YOUR MARKET POSITIONING
How do prospects view your business? What makes you different or unique? Who’s your ideal client? What problem does your product or service solve? Once you are able to clearly project the benefits of your product or service to your ideal customers, it will be easy for them to realize that they should buy from you rather than from your competitor.
SPECIFY WHAT EXACTLY YOU ARE AFRAID OF
It may not even be the sale you are afraid of. This is why it’s imperative for you to know the exact reasons behind your fear, and seek solutions to deal with them
For instance, the reason behind a fear may be because of a problem with the product or service. It’s hard to convince people to buy if you are worried about what you are selling. If this is the case, fix the problems. Make your product or service be the best.
Other times, a fear can stem from an emotional issue, such as fear of success or fear of failure. Often, we get in our own way with negative self-talk or beliefs that sabotage our efforts. If so, get in touch with these feelings and implement strategies to deal with them.
EXAMINE THE STYLES OF THOSE WHO DO IT WITH SMOOTHLY
We’ve all met them, people who don’t seem to be selling at all, but know just the right things to say to get people interested in their offering. They don’t employ any of the selling behaviors that turn people off. Study them. Analyze what they’re doing. Then adapt it to suit your situation.
UNDERSTAND THAT SELLING IS A GAME OF NUMBERS, AND NOT EVERY SALE GETS CLOSED
Not every prospect is a qualified buyer and that’s normal. It’s just a normal part of the sales process. Try thinking of it as selecting the customers that would benefit most from your offering. Naturally, in order to select the best, you’ll have to reject those that don’t fit.
It’s close to impossible to pitch to 100 people and expect all to buy your product. Even the best salespeople don’t close all sales.
LEARN TO LOOK AT REJECTION AS AN OPPORTUNITY TO LEARN MORE
Instead of getting discouraged by a rejection, use the opportunity to learn from the experience instead.
What went right? What went wrong? How can I approach it differently next time?
DON’T TAKE IT PERSONALLY
There are lots of reasons people say “no”. Many of these reasons have nothing to do with you. It may be that they don’t really need what you’re offering at that time, or they are busy and preoccupied with other things.
IDENTIFY COMMON OBJECTIONS, AND TACKLE THEM
You can turn more prospects into paying customers by thinking about logical comebacks to common objections.
Is your prospect is focused on price? Then focus on value and return on investment (ROI). This way you meet their concerns head-on, instead of avoiding them.
BOOST YOUR SELF-CONFIDENCE AND MOTIVATION
Think about all of the wonderful results your product or service has gotten for your customers. Don’t confuse your selling abilities with the value customers get from buying from you. Remind yourself often about the positive benefits your customers receive. If you’re not sure, ask them what they like best about doing business with you.
SET REALISTIC GOALS
Although setting goals is important, try not to set the bar too high that you won’t be able to reach it. This only leads to discouragement.
Instead, start by setting a realistic goal. Then, break it down into all of the steps you will need to take to get there. Get real about the time, energy, money, and any other resources you’ll need to have in place in order to achieve it. Next, add a timeline and benchmarks to measure progress.
CONSIDER PRACTICING FIRST
Practicing really helps. A great way to do this is to try out your presentation in a comfortable setting first.
You can do this by contacting people in your industry you feel comfortable with to listen to your presentation and take note of their constructive feedback. This will allow you to work on the faults, which in turn will make you gain confidence.
CELEBRATE YOUR WINS
Congratulate yourself whenever you make a good presentation or feel you’ve improved, even if you haven’t closed a deal yet. It doesn’t help if you keep being hard on yourself if all doesn’t go well. Focus on the positives, and you’ll find it easier to be successful.