I did an impromptu webinar with Jeb Blount on the fear of rejection. It morphed into a conversation about all of the different fears that we have as salespeople. Jeb asked me how you build an immunity to those fears. Here’s an action plan:
Find Someone Who Has Overcome Your Fear
It’s easy for other people to suggest that you should ignore your fear. But it is unlikely that those same individuals ignore their fears. If you are afraid, it is likely that there is a real danger attached to that fear.
Maybe you fear making cold calls. The first thing you might do to overcome that fear is to sit with someone who has no fear of making cold calls while they make calls. By sitting with someone who no longer has a fear of making those calls, you will have a chance to witness for yourself that nothing bad happens. The same applies to the fear of asking for referrals, asking for commitments, or revealing that you have a higher price early in the sales process.
By spending time with someone who no longer has the fear that you have, you will discover how they think about what they’re doing, how they approach it, and how they succeed in taking action without fear.
Objectify Your Fear
One way to begin to remove the fear from your body and your mind is to write down what you are afraid of. Give the fear a name.
Write down what you believe to be the danger that gives rise to your fear. Write down all the things that may happen when you take the action of which you are afraid. Follow those outcomes to their logical conclusion and write down the worst possible things that can happen. Score them on how likely they are to occur.
By writing down your fear, you get it out of your body, from your mind onto paper or your computer screen where you can objectify the fear. Now that it’s an idea written on paper, it loses some of its power over you. It is an object, not a part of you. You may also recognize that the danger isn’t as great as you believed.
Fear The Greater Danger
A lot of the fears we have are connected to the wrong danger.
We fear that by making the call we will be rejected, and that will say something about our value. The real danger is in that not making the call you don’t produce the results you are capable of for you, for your company, or for your prospective client.
We fear to ask a contact that’s engaged with us how serious they are about the initiative we’re discussing and whether or not they’re going to be able to get the support and financial backing necessary. There is a danger of offending your contact, but the greater risk is in not asking and later finding out that you’ve both spent months on an initiative that’s not going to happen.
We fear discussing our higher price early in the sales process, believing it will frighten our prospective client away. But the greater danger is in not discussing it and going through the process without having justified the delta between our price and our competitors along the way.
Fear is a powerful motivator. It can motivate you to avoid taking an action that may harm you. It can also motivate you to act, when not taking that action will harm you. You have to determine what is the greater danger.