As a professional salesman with over 26 years of sales experience it saddens me to hear so many people denigrate this great profession or liken selling to something that is horrific.
Many people sadly perceive the act of selling as something that is pushy, sleazy, unpleasant or unethical. Manipulating customers to buy products that they don’t really need or to pay horrendous prices that they may not be able to afford.
Consequently, as a result of this limiting belief many people who interact with customers in their job (either face to face or over the phone) do not consider themselves as sales people or even entertain the idea that they are in some way selling anything.
Many bankers in particular frown upon the notion that they are sales people or resist the idea that they are required to sell anything to a customer.
This belief, born out of years of dealing with terrible sales people (and yes, we have all experienced them), manifests itself into an expectation that customers may perceive us negatively if we try to sell. Based on this expectation our ability to confidently sell is adversely impacted resulting in poor execution and results. Consequently our fearful belief is now reinforced.
As we all know, fear can paralyze you … but when you overcome your fear you can do great things. Providing valuable solutions to customers through the act of selling is a great thing. It’s great for the customer and ultimately it results in great things for you (job satisfaction, greater rewards, promotion, etc).
So it’s important to overcome that fear. And it’s easier than you think. To overcome your FEAR all you need to do is simply understand the following:
- Find Solutions
- Expect Positive Outcomes
- Act Diligently
- Rejection is Ok
Stop thinking of selling as something you do to a customer. Stop thinking of selling as a way of persuading a customer to buy something they do not want. Stop thinking of selling as a means of manipulating a customer to pay a lot for something they don’t really need.
That is NOT selling.
Selling is the process of exploring what your customer really needs and finding great solutions to help them. You are in fact HELPING your customer overcome challenges and/or gain some desired benefits.
If you are genuinely committed to learning more about your customer by asking interesting questions to discover their needs, then it will be very easy to identify great solutions that your company or bank can offer to help them.
Expect Positive Outcomes
Remember that great feeling when someone understands your needs and offers to help you. And remember how great it feels when they provide an amazing solution that helps you beyond your expectations.
Emotions are extremely powerful and they greatly influence our decisions and our actions. When you sell you take your customer on an emotional journey. Your aim should be to make that a positive, feel good journey every time.
Making others feel good certainly makes YOU feel good. And that’s the emotional power of selling. Focus on the positive outcomes your customers can expect and the positive outcomes you expect to feel.
It’s important to positively believe that you and your products/services can genuinely help people and make them feel good. Based on this belief then you are more likely to expect positive outcomes.
Demonstrate that you genuinely care about helping your customers by acting swiftly and proactively to service their needs. Offer solutions that match their needs and desired outcomes and then immediately take active steps to deliver.
Many customers procrastinate because change is difficult or they have yet to see the real value in changing. By making it easy for them to change they will not only gain the benefits of your great solution quicker but they will also highly appreciate the “extra” effort you have made to create a smooth transition or to make it happen!
The aim is to not only offer a great solution but to also proactively make it easy for them to gain access to your product or service.
Offering free gifts, free trials or free invitations to events that are designed to compliment your solution always helps the customer with their decision making process. Everyone loves someone who can help them decide or who can help them easily discover new options.
By always acting diligently with genuine care, the customer will perceive you as an obliging and supportive provider, rather than as the pushy sales person we all fear.
Rejection is Ok
One of our greatest fears as human beings is being rejected. It is certainly one of the prime reasons why most people resist proactively selling.
Nobody likes it when a customer says “NO”. When a customer says “no” we immediately start to question our ability to sell and our confidence can be adversely impacted. We may even question the quality of our product or service.
The reality is that customers will say “no”. And they may say “no” often. That doesn’t mean you should stop selling. What that means is a number of different things:
- You may not have discovered their real need
- They may not truly understand the value of your solution
- They fear change
- They cannot afford to buy now
- They don’t qualify now
Learn from rejection. Don’t hide from it. If you acknowledge that you may hear “no” often then simply accept it and understand what your next steps can be. Consider the following:
- What other questions can you ask to uncover the reason behind their “no”
- How can you do to make it easier for them to buy
- What can you do to stay front of mind when they are ready to buy
- What else can you help them with
Sometimes receiving a “no” is a great way of better managing your sales efforts, your time and your pipeline. If you have made every effort to help a customer and they still say “no” then it’s ok to redirect your energy and efforts to other customers and simply stop wasting your time with that particular customer.
If you can learn to accept that you will hear “no” often and still maintain a belief that you are simply trying to help customers then you won’t take the “no” personally. Simply learn how to better manage and respond to “no”.
Overcome your fear by understanding FEAR
Selling is not something that should be feared. Stop perceiving it as something insidious and start accepting it as a form of benevolence. We all like the feeling when we receive help or help others. Start helping others today by understanding and accepting FEAR.
Article written by Joe Micallef – Sales Strategist & Coach – Grow UP Sales. For advice on how to overcome your fear of selling please email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the webpage www.growupsales.com
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