Taking fear out of the equation keeps your focus on success.
We know that salespeople face a tremendous number of obstacles and challenges throughout the journey of their careers, such as changing market forces, fierce competition and downsizing budgets. But did you know that the most common business-development barrier is fear?
According to research, 25% of salespeople experience some form of discomfort using the phone to prospect. More than 40% are struggling to use web tools, such as Zoom or GoToMeeting, to conduct their business. Those statistics are alarming considering this is the only communication you can have with prospective clients while the world shelters in place.
The emotional hesitation caused by fear not only keeps you from making important sales calls, it can also put your job in jeopardy.
Fear Is a Choice
The body’s fear response often occurs at the habit-forming part of the brain. When we let fear take control, we search for all kinds of reasons to avoid action: “I don’t have time,” “I’m not in sales, I’m a consultant,” “I haven’t done my research yet,” “It’s not a good time to call.”
The most successful people in the world have 24 hours in a day. Guess what? You do too. The difference is how you choose to spend those hours. The top-producing salesperson in your company doesn’t have any more time to spend working than the one who produces the least. The difference is top producers choose to prioritize their commitments.
“The emotional hesitation caused by fear not only keeps you from making important sales calls, it can also put your job in jeopardy.”
Mental Barriers Turn Physical
Our excuses are incredibly believable to us. How can we tell if we’re talking ourselves into the wrong priorities? Check in with your body before you decide not to follow up with that executive you met last month at the airport. Before you allow yourself to “opt out” because you’re too busy, look up that phone number. Get your phone out. Make the call.
Did your heart rate accelerate just thinking about it? Did your mouth go dry? Did you start a panicked internal dialog that went something like: “What do I say if I have to leave a voicemail? Oh my gosh, what do I say if he actually answers the phone?!”
If simply thinking about calling someone you don’t know who isn’t expecting your call causes these physical manifestations of “fear,” it’s easy to see why so many of us decide we don’t have time.
Matter Over Mind
Calling someone you recently met to see if they want to get together for lunch isn’t typically a life-threatening endeavor. Most people would agree with that statement. But our bodies can lead us to believe something different. Often, we allow data to come into our internal computer (brain) and be automatically processed by a bad app. Something happened at some point in our lives—a bad experience, exposure to other people who have the same fear, alien abduction or whatever—and as a result our bad app tagged that something as a life-threatening experience to be avoided at all costs, forever.
Subsequently, your internal computer finds you in the same situation, and the bad app triggers a “flight” response to a very mundane situation…without your authorization! Each time the app runs its function successfully, it thinks it did you a favor, and the pairing of the event and the flight response gets more cemented into your internal computer.
Prospecting Without Fear
The great news is the bad app can be uninstalled and you can install a much better app—one that can transform you into a confident top performer. Are you ready to start earning what you’re worth?
Sign up now for our Power-Up Your Sales webinar today and you’ll learn how to:
Eliminate excuses and maximize prospecting and/or engagement activity.
Eradicate negative sales-defeating behaviors.
Clear “head trash” that is more dangerous than the current market conditions.
Suzanne C. Dudley, CPA, is president and CEO of Behavioral Sciences Research Press. She is also the co-author of BSRP’s latest book Relentless: the Science of Barrier-Busting Sales. For more than four decades, BSRP has been helping organizations and individuals create sustained sales improvements through real science with real results.
Megan Quirk, Ph.D. is a research analyst at Behavioral Sciences Research Press. Published in several top tier journals, her research focuses on women in the workplace. Currently, Dr. Quirk analyzes trends between call reluctance and revenue in the world’s largest database of sales call reluctance. She also conducts BSRP’s sales training programs to help individuals increase their earning power.