Why we’re afraid to sell


Over the years I’ve heard how many people excel at making their product or delivering a service but suck at selling because they’re afraid of rejection. Some of you will say you don’t like sales because it has a bad rap. Or that you’re an introvert. 

Or that the phone isn’t ringing so you can’t sell. Or any number of excuses. And excuses these are. We admire those that are good at sales. We think of top sales people as extroverts with a gift to gab. Yes, that helps.

That so many of us don’t like sales is why there’s a huge industry of books and sales training and conferences we pay thousands of dollars for to learn the ‘secrets’ of selling. We think if we learn just one more technique we’ll become good at sales.

What seems less acknowledged is the root of this deep-seated fear of sales. I think your fear of sales – or why you think you suck at sales is one or a combination of the following:

  • Not believing in the value of what you’re selling
  • You don’t understand what problem your product solves
  • You don’t want to look bad by being rejected as if it’s a high-school dance
  • You connect your product with your identity and self worth
  • Laziness. Sales is hard work
  • You’re not talking to enough people
  • You don’t know how many people you need to talk to in order to sell your product
  • You don’t understand what makes people buy
  • You don’t realize that customers don’t care about you or think about you for selling what you offer (they care about what’s in it for them)
  • Deep-seated insecurity
  • Uncertainty. Talking with humans isn’t as predictable as making your product
  • Arrogance – sales is beneath you
  • You aren’t really invested in your customers’ success
  • You’re not curious
  • You’re trying to control things you can’t control
  • Your sales copy talks about how cool your thing is over what it does for the customer
  • Your sales copy lacks emotion. 

No matter what your reason or combination of reasons. The crux of successful sales is believing in your self worth, believing in your product, and accepting that each no is not personal and gets you closer to a yes. No matter how many sales formulas or sales secrets you learn, no matter how much you spend on training, you will not be successful until you show up day after day and do it. Get over the sleazy sales stereotype. Sales is what stands between failure and success. Selling is what is going to teach you what you need to do with your product to make it more attractive. And no matter the formula some sells you, it won’t work until you make it your own. You must embody it. You can’t just read a script. You can’t be a robot. 

What you should also know is that no matter what role you have in your company whether CEO, founder, or manager, everyone is in sales. Everyone is selling to everyone else. Their ideas. Their processes. Their work. Want a promotion? You have to sell yourself. Talk about something fear-inducing for many.

If you’re going to sell anything, do this:

  • Know your customer
  • Connect with their emotions
  • Believe in what you offer
  • Solve real problems
  • Know why people would choose you over your competition
  • Don’t mislead. Don’t overpromise.
  • Create wow and delight
  • Talk with a lot of real prospects
  • Respect your prospects by understanding how they want to be reached.
  • Talk with more real prospects
  • Follow up with these real prospects
  • Care
  • Execute: Do what you say you will do when you say you will do it
  • Rinse and repeat over and and over and over
  • Did I say be consistent?
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