Of all the people who come together at the numerous business networking events held in the Thames Valley, very few have the title ‘Sales Executive’ on their business card. The majority of those I meet who are actively looking for new clients and customers or to promote a new business idea are professionals, service providers, business owners or employees of small to medium-sized businesses.
The biggest barrier that I hear, see and experience from these people is their fear of selling. They might not put it as bluntly as this but it is a widespread problem. The three most common fears are:
- The fear of failure and rejection – that the person we are talking to will say “no”.
- A negative image in our minds of a stereotypical pushy sales person and our fear that we need to behave in the same manner.
- Lack of the right skills and techniques – we may be experts in our field but we are not
experts in selling.
I believe that the first step to overcoming a fear is to face up to it. So what is your fear? None of us likes to fail or face rejection. For us to deal with this when selling we have to
recognise that when a potential buyer says “no” they are not rejecting us personally. Put
yourself in their shoes. Why might they not want your products or services? Why do you not buy everything that you are offered? Selling is a numbers game and not everyone you ask will buy
When Sahar Hashemi, founder of the Coffee Republic, spoke at the recent Thames Valley B2B Exhibition, she told how she expects to hear several no’s before she hears a yes. In fact, when she was raising finance to launch the Coffee Republic, she tried to ‘sell’ her idea to forty bank managers to raise finance, before she found one who said “yes”. Her persistence paid off big time.
What about our stereotype of a sales person? Where does this come from? Probably a bad experience of being aggressively sold to, but how many times has that happened in reality, compared to good experiences? Think about all the positive experiences you have had. If you haven’t had many imagine how a good experience would be. We could draw up a long list of all the characteristics of a good sales person; the top ones are someone who:
- Listens to what I want
- Understands me and I can get on with
- Is enthusiastic but not pushy
- Offers me a solution
As far as acquiring the skills and techniques for selling, you can learn these once you have overcome the other two hurdles, and there are plenty of books and courses on the subject. The main thing to remember is that the more conversations you have, the more people you will find who want to buy from you.
If you want to know more about overcoming your fears or to learn the skills and techniques for selling, then please contact me, Jacqueline Harris on 01189690783 or at firstname.lastname@example.org .