How to overcome insecurities and face sales challenges head on.
“That which does not kill us, makes us stronger.”
– Friedrich Nietzsche (and Kelly Clarkson)
The scene in “The Matrix” where Neo is offered the choice between a reality he knows but which is entirely fake, (the blue pill) and an unknown but genuine reality (the red pill) resonates so much with us because we can all identify with the idea of making life-changing decisions.
To varying degrees, we all realize that we create what we want to be true or what we fear by merely thinking and believing.
Sales professionals are particularly good at believing what could be vs. what actually is.
This is probably because in sales, there is an excess of unknowns.
We start out not knowing our client or what they want and need.
We don’t know how they are going to respond to our presentation.
We don’t know if, ultimately, we are going to make the sale.
With so many unknowns, it’s no wonder that we so easily play out a variety of possible sales scenarios in our heads. The problem is that we tend to play out the worst case scenarios based solely on our fears. Fears are rooted in our own discomforts, so long before anything in reality justifies us going down ANY mental road, we have more often than not already convinced ourselves of a negative outcome.
It starts out as an innocent thought but degenerates into a series of “Oh, no” considerations:
- “What if he doesn’t like me?”
- “What if she fights me on the price?”
- “What if the say ‘no’?”
In my many years of sales leadership I believe I can answer those questions by telling you what will NOT happen:
- They won’t hit you.
- They won’t slash your tires.
- They won’t verbally berate you.
- They won’t sabotage you on Facebook.
If we really thought about it, of course, all of those catastrophizing questions would be answered with a shrug of the shoulders and a simple, “So, what?”
We expend an incredible amount of energy internally reacting to things that have not and likely will not ever happen. By doing this, we give life altering power to fiction!
Fearing the worst is a debilitating habit.
In order to be bold about our sales discomforts, we must start with brutal self-honesty.
I encourage people who work in sales to pinpoint the exact things they dread in the sales process and then yes, by all means, go ahead and play out in their minds the absolute worst possible outcomes they can imagine. (Complete with a Hollywood soundtrack.) And then I like to remind them that whatever sales discomfort they have played out to it’s movie-worthy end, it is not going to kill them! This is good news.
Allow me to share two recent posts from my Facebook community:
Amy Lynn Willey: Worked out on some phone-a-phobia today!!! I am still living!!! The folks I talked to are still living too!!!
Terri Hayley: As my dad always says, they can kill you, but they can’t eat ya! If you think about it, what’s the WORST thing that could happen? You don’t have the yes yet, so you’re still in the same situation. If you press through, you can be in a much different situation.
Do you hear the amazing wisdom in those two suggestions? Those are your peers, my friends – heed their words!
The jumping off point in learning to be bold is complete honesty about our discomforts. The next crucial step is to play out a realistic scenario that is not based on our fears.
Once we realize that we have been reacting to outcomes that are not actually possible, we are freed up! And freedom is the closest thing to a magic pill that you will ever encounter. Let your discomforts be your Morpheus, guiding you to choose…to be bold.
If you change your mindset, you will change your world. Equip yourself with timely, powerful tools to conquer your inner discomfort, win more sales and create amazing results for your customers and yourself.
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