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Positively Fearless Selling
by Debbie Allen, CSP

Letting go of any fears that hold you back from contacting more prospective customers will set you free and open you up to more sales opportunities than ever before. When you let go of your fears, or act in spite of them, your sales will skyrocket. Great salespeople put themselves at risk, no matter what their fears.

Fear is a powerful restrictive force that can have a fundamental influence on salespeople. It stops them from doing what they want to do, it forces them to do things they don’t want to do, and it hinders progress and prevents them from reaching their sales goals. There is no need to live with fear; just because you cannot see a solution doesn’t mean there isn’t one.

If, for example, you are full of fear about reaching your sales goals, you are writing a blank check and attracting negative conditions to you. Your subconscious mind accepts your fear and negative statements as your request, and proceeds in its own way to bring obstacles, delays, and limitations. Remember that your subconscious mind multiplies and magnifies whatever you deposit in it; if you deposit lots of positive checks into your mind, they’ll show up in your bank account too.

Over my many years as a sales professional, I’ve interviewed a lot of different types of salespeople in many different industries, many of whom were new to sales. When my friend Linda confided in me that she was scared to death when she started a new job as a Yellow Pages sales rep, I was shocked. She is outgoing, funny, and charming, and she has been speaking in front of large groups of people for years. I wondered how she could be afraid of selling.

Linda told me that she was so uncomfortable selling her services in her own company that she went out and found a part-time job in sales that would push her past her fears and out of her comfort zone. She said, “If I can get myself cold calling on business owners and sell them on a product I know little about, then I can move past my fears of selling and become more successful in my own company.”

Linda did not make an easy transition into her new sales position, but she was committed to give it a go. On day one she drove to her first prospect. When she arrived, her fear took over so strongly that she couldn’t get out of the car. She told me that she sat in the parking lot for TWO HOURS before she gathered up enough courage to get out of her car. She didn’t make the sale on her first attempt, but was committed to keep trying.

“Hey, the fear was so strong that I was just pitiful, but it got easier as time went by. The next day it took me only ONE HOUR, and by the end of two weeks I was out of my car and into the business within tem minutes. That day I made my first sale. Wow! I was on such a high after making that sale that I wondered why I ever allowed myself to be paralyzed by fear for so long.”

There is no such thing as the right time to take action. Don’t wait–go for it.

Don’t hang on to your fear longer than necessary.

How could Linda have moved beyond her fear and taken action sooner?

She could have done her homework, and been prepared to move away from the belief that she didn’t know much about the service she had to offer. She could have trusted herself, her outgoing personality, and her belief that her prospective clients needed Yellow Pages advertising to promote their businesses. If they were not open to advertising, she could have understood that there was another prospect who was interested around the next corner.

When you enter into a sales presentation trusting yourself, open to positive beliefs about what you have to offer, and are fully prepared, it does wonders for your self-confidence. Knowing that you know everything about your product, company, and competition backward and forward works miracles in elevating your self-esteem and your sales.

The only way to be assured of this kind of comfort is by trusting yourself and by doing your homework in advance so that you’re 100 percent certain you can handle any situation that might arise.

Often, when faced with a new problem, we act as if it was the first one. We tend to act as if past successes never happened. And when that happens, we stop believing in our abilities. We worry, instead of concentrating on finding a solution. No matter how confident you are, it is only natural to have feelings like this from time to time.

It is possible to rid yourself of fear as long as you are determined to work on it. You weren’t born with fear. You acquired your fears from past beliefs, thoughts, and programming. Fear is an illusion, a thought, and thoughts can be changed. We all have different perceptions about what makes us afraid.

Last year I attended a personal growth workshop presented by a world-class hypnotist. I found the event to be empowering, and enjoyed watching people respond when asked to do things that they were fearful of. He told us that by the end of the weekend we would all have an opportunity to eat fire. Now I can’t say that eating fire ranked as one of my goals to achieve in my lifetime, but the idea of doing something in spite of fear did intrigue me.

It amazed me that with a room full of 300 people, nearly 80 percent walked to the stage to give it a try. Maybe they where all hypnotized, but I was fully aware of my senses and my fears. I watched as a line of people took to the stage to go for it. They did it, and instant excitement and empowerment took them over. I had to give it a try. With my palms sweating and my heart pounding, I took the stage as the hypnotist grabbed my arm. I put my trust in him and let go of my fears. The next thing I knew, I had a flaming torch down my throat. Then, the next thing I knew, the flame was out and it was easier than I imagined it would be. By paying careful attention to directions and trusting that I could do it, I discovered there was nothing to fear but the fear of the unknown.

Most people succeeded in the same way. But some never even moved from their chairs, allowing the fear to paralyze them and keep them from trying. Others changed their minds as they approached the stage, or tried a couple of times to put the flame in their mouth and then gave up unsuccessfully. And only a couple of people burned their lips when they focused too much on the fear and less on the simple instructions. They spent so much time thinking that they could get burned– hat they actually did get burned. Your mind works in powerful ways. It either works for you or burns you. Fear either moves you forward to take risks that empower your belief system, or it keeps you stuck in the uncomfortable zone of self-doubt.

Learn to harness the tremendous negative energy generated by your fears and turn it to your advantage. Be open to learning and trying new things. Be open to discovery before fear sets in.

Act in spite of fear–in spite of your discomfort. Fear is not just a problem … it’s a habit.

Most salespeople choose to set small goals first and don’t stretch themselves with more gutsy goals. They are scared of failure, and they’re even more fearful of success. Yet, the fear of failure itself creates the experience of failure.

Salespeople limit their success due to small thinking and/or lack of focus on reaching their goals. Limited beliefs and lack of focus often stem from a feeling of not being worthy of success. Salespeople who believe that they are not skilled enough, knowledgeable enough, or important enough to be the highest achiever in their organization set themselves up for failure. They set themselves up to get burned.

Fear is simply a negative thought in your mind. Confidence is greater than fear.

Five Ways to Banish Sales Fear Forever

Following are five ways to help you banish fear:
  1. Believe in yourself, your abilities, and your sale’s expertise.
  2. Associate with confident, positive, and successful salespeople.
  3. Stretch yourself outside of your comfort zone to build self-confidence.
  4. Ask for sales help and support from others.
  5. Be honest, supportive, and caring of others on your team.
Stop accepting the false beliefs, opinions, and fears that sabotage your success. Once you rid yourself of fear, you will experience wisdom instead of ignorance, calm instead of stress, success instead of failure, and confidence instead of fear.

Bio: Debbie Allen is one of the world’s leading authorities on sales and marketing. She is the author of five books including Confessions of Shameless Self Promoters and Skyrocketing Sales. Debbie has helped thousands of people around the world attract customers like crazy with her innovative, no-cost marketing strategies and secrets to sales success. Her expertise has been featured in Entrepreneur, Selling Power and Sales & Marketing Excellence.

Copyright Debbie Allen. All Rights Reserved.

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