Is Your Fear Of Sales Suffocating Your Business?

June 25, 2010

Your business needs sales like a fire needs oxygen. And if the thought of selling terrifies you into a state of mummification, consider the following points.

You need to sell to stay in business. No sales means no food on the table.

The first thing you need to sell is YOU. That’s easy enough, just be yourself – unless you’re an asshole, then you need to develop a likeable persona, or hire someone else to sell for you.

Nobody will eat you – unless you live in a really dodgy area. You might get rejected a few times but so what? Millions of successful people have faced rejection but they still went on to succeed.

Maybe you don’t believe you can do it; you’re just not a born sales person. Read any good sales book and you’ll discover that most great sales people weren’t born that way – it’s a skill they learned.

And you don’t need to become a rock star in sales – you haven’t got the time. Grab yourself a copy of Keep it Simple Stupid and learn as you go.

If you really feel that bad about sales, maybe you should give up now and get a job. But you’ll still need to sell yourself in an interview. So what’s the difference?

Thanks for dropping by. Is your fear of sales suffocating your business? Is it the fear of actually doing the selling, the prospect of rejection, or something else that is putting you off? Please share in the comments section.

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19 Responses to “Is Your Fear Of Sales Suffocating Your Business?”

  1. Tess The Bold Life on June 25th, 2010 6:24 pm

    Hi Cath,
    This makes so much sense and I’m speaking again and making lots of calls. With you and your support it makes my life a little easier. I’ll let you know how I’m doing selling myself a month from now.

    I used to speak regularly and then after moving 3 years ago I’ve only done it occasionally when people come looking for me.

  2. Betsy Wuebker on June 25th, 2010 11:26 pm

    Hi Cath – You’re so right. The biggest problem facing our new franchisees is that they view sales in a negative light. Jonathan Fields recently blogged about the difference between persuasion and manipulation that I am going to riff on to get the franchisees thinking. The problem I see is that many in the workforce – whether they’re employed by others or themselves – don’t understand that businesses have to sell something in order to be.

  3. Tracy on June 26th, 2010 1:18 am

    I think today is my day to be immediately following Betsy in comments? Ha!

    I’m not sure if it’s exactly a fear but I feel like it’s been ingrained in me that it’s not nice to ask, you have to wait to be offered. Logically, I know that as long as you do it with integrity, there is absolutely nothing wrong with selling but I think it will take more practice yet before I’m comfortable with it. So I will be uncomfortable doing it until I’m not any more.

  4. Tracy on June 26th, 2010 1:22 am

    Hey Betsy (and Cath) one thing that occurred to me right after I hit submit on my old comment is there is this myth that if you are *truly* worthwhile or your product is, it will sell itself. So if you’re having to toot your own horn, something must be wrong.

    It cracks me up to hear people talking about how evil sales and marketing are not thinking that almost all of us are dependent on those out there selling to keep our paychecks coming. My husband works for a corporation and he doesn’t directly sell but his paycheck would sure be in jeopardy if his employer didn’t have a sales and marketing team!

  5. Davina on June 27th, 2010 5:53 am

    LOL, Cath. “That’s easy enough, just be yourself – unless you’re an asshole.” Marketing is what I have the most difficulty with. However… if business people can move beyond the “have to” of sales, just be themselves (even assholes have friends), their friends will surely be happy to spread the word. And always let people know what you do, have a card ready. Talk about it just in conversation as opposed to making a sales pitch. Many times a client comes along through a connection with somebody you know, rather than someone you’ve marketed to directly.

  6. Jannie Funster on June 28th, 2010 4:39 am

    still chuckling at the asshole line.

    The couple of times I did sales years ago, I surprised myself and far surpassed my initially low expectations. A smile and a positive friendly outlook went a lot further than I ever thought.

    I think it’s having to be so constantly and energetically “on” in sales, in the face-to-face interactions that seems daunting, but once into the flow, it’s usually easier than one might fear — as with anything! Mind over matter.


  7. Justin Dupre on June 28th, 2010 6:09 am

    Great post! Sales and marketing is like the front line of all business. I think KISS method really does the magic.. One thing I’ve learned over the years is that you really do need to believe in your product to become a great sales person. Smile and be honest is the key for me to work around.. Thanks for sharing Cath!

  8. cathlawson on June 29th, 2010 4:51 am

    Hi Tess – Good for you. I’m betting you’ll do well – don’t forget to let me know. It’s easy to lose confidence in doing something when we fall out of the habit of doing it but by trying again, you gradually build that confidence again.

  9. cathlawson on June 29th, 2010 4:56 am

    Hi Betsy – Good luck – I’ve worked with people like that too and it’s hard work getting them to see the light. I’ll check out Jonathan’s post. I like reading his stuff but I missed that one.

  10. cathlawson on June 29th, 2010 5:02 am

    Hi Tracy – I’ve heard that myth too. I wonder how all these folk think customers are going to find you among millions of others.

  11. cathlawson on June 29th, 2010 5:22 am

    Hi Davina – That is a good way to market your business and I agree about just talking about it in conversation. So long as it’s not your only way to market your business. Too many people have a purse full of other folks business cards and they don’t remember to get them out. But it’s still worthwhile because business cards are cheap and some people do remember.

    Also, when clients do come along through connections you have, I’m betting you still need to sell yourself and the business before they decide to use your services.

  12. cathlawson on June 29th, 2010 5:25 am

    Hi Jannie – Too many people underestimate the power of a smile. Even over the phone – you can tell if the other person is smiling. Like you say – if you’re having a bad day, or you’re just tired, you can’t let it show through.

  13. cathlawson on June 29th, 2010 5:27 am

    Hi Justin – Belief in your product is so important. If you don’t believe in it – why should anyone else.

  14. Hilary on June 29th, 2010 5:16 pm

    Hi Cath .. we sell all the time – books, films etc .. but few of us realise – it’s only when we have to stand up and talk, or actually get out and sell the fear takes hold.

    If we believe in our product .. then we will get sales.

    Good to see you – have a great week – Hilary

  15. J.D. Meier on June 29th, 2010 5:18 pm

    I continuously underestimate selling myself. I’m a fan of creating the thing that sells itself, but I think that only works for pet rocks. The one thing I hear from readers of my blog is to say more about me.

  16. cathlawson on June 30th, 2010 6:26 am

    Hi Hilary – That is so true. I guess it feels a whole lot easier when we’re just recommending other people’s stuff to our friends, because we’re not under any pressure to do it.

  17. cathlawson on June 30th, 2010 6:35 am

    Hi JD – I agree with many of your readers. Also, I don’t think you mention the fact that you work at Microsoft enough – I think you would attract even more readers. Folk like reading blogs by people who work at the big tech companies. And you often share great info on working smarter. A lot of people would love to know how to work as smart as the folk at one of the most successful companies in the world. But someone dropping by your blog a couple of times would probably have no idea you worked there. I guess you have to feel comfortable with mentioning stuff like that though.

  18. Firm Body Sculpting System on July 11th, 2010 9:19 am

    Ahhhh KISS ….a rule to laugh by, a rule to cry by, a rule to live by.

  19. Team Millionaire on July 13th, 2010 5:35 am

    My parents always talked down about salespeople when I was growing up so I inherited those same thoughts.

    When I got into the mortgage and real estate business I did so because I really liked finance and wanted to learn more about real estate and how so many people were making great incomes.

    I soon realized how much of a sales business it was and began to feel like it wasn’t the right business for me. I felt like if I had to “sell” someone then I probably wasn’t doing it the right way.

    I stuck with it and learned that I could have great success by putting my clients needs ahead of my desire to make money and soon the “sales” and the income followed.

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