How do we overcome the fear of selling, cold calling, or pitching to big clients? These are often the first questions people ask me about selling.
Over the years, I have tried different techniques to help entrepreneurs and myself overcome the fear of selling. Finally, I decided to approach the issue from a scientific viewpoint and look through various psychological studies to discover proven ways of overcoming the fear of selling.
In this episode of Big Sales Talk, I shared 3 proven strategies to overcome the fear of selling.
Technique 1: Exposure
Expose yourself to more sales activities or sales information.
Did you know that our emotional arousal decreases after repeated exposure to the same stimulus?
To put it simply, our brain gets used to things we are exposed to repeatedly. For example, the pleasure to eating at a great restaurant decreases if you go there over and over again. Psychologists use this technique to help their patients get over their phobia.
This is the same as facing your fear of selling. Slowly expose yourself to different sales activities. Take baby steps at the beginning and your fear will slowly disappear.
Unfortunately, when people face the fear of selling, they choose avoidance as a means of handling the fear.
What you can do:
Take consistent baby steps. Expose yourself to various sales activities, such as networking or pitching your services. You don’t have to do anything dramatic yet, but simply small activities. Exposure is the key here.
Want to know exactly what to say when you are in front of your big clients?
Technique 2: Evaluate the worst-case scenario
Evaluate your worst-case scenario and be prepared for it.
Dr. Samuel Marcora at University of Kent has been using this technique to enhance the performance of world-class endurance athletes. He encourages these athletes to expect all the challenges they might face during the race and be mentally prepared for it.
Matt Fitzgerald, author of How Bad Do You Want It? Mastering Psychology of Mind over Muscle, also discusses this in his interview with with Outside Magazine
“If you feel worse than expected, your perception of effort will increase and your performance will suffer. By bracing for a hard time, however, you ensure that how you feel during the race is no worse than expected, thereby setting yourself up to get the most out of your body.”
Click here for more information on his interview.
When it comes to selling, people develop a fear of rejection or of being perceived as too pushy. However, what is the likelihood that this will happen and how does it really affect you physically?
If you go into your business expecting for the worst, your mind and body will be more prepared and perform better.
What you can do:
Write about your fears related to selling. Then ask yourself, how many of these fears actually came true? Even if they did come true, how did these thing impact you physically?
This is where you develop the mindfulness of your fear.
Technique 3: ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy)
Accept the fear and commit to your core principle.
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) encourages people to acknowledge the presence of fear and accept it. At the same time, it encourages you to discover your most important values and commits you to take action to achieve those values.
What you can do:
Recognize that you will inevitably encounter rejection and discouragement when you engage in sales activities. At the same time, ask yourself, why are you doing this? Why did you start your own company? Why do you need more sales? Are you hoping to make a positive impact on society? Are you hoping to reach financial and life freedom? Do you want more time with your family? Recognize what is most important to you and commit to taking actions that help you move in that direction.
To summarize, tell yourself:
Just do it.
What’s the worst that could happen?