Sales Tips for People Who Have A Fear of Sales
Updated: Dec 2, 2022
Natural Born Salespeople Don’t Need Sales Tips!
Your voice is shaky. Your heart is pounding. Your mouth is dry. You want to get back into bed and pull the covers over you.
This is a sales call.
It can feel like you were born without some sales gene. You’re not a salesperson! Natural-born salespeople don’t need sales tips, they just…know how to do it.
But um, no. Sales is a skill.
Just like you didn’t come out of the womb knowing how to speak English or count. All those things that end up looking natural, start out as learning experiences.
“Selling is teachable.” Sales Consultant Kurt Wan told Forbes, “I didn’t consider myself a natural-born seller when I started out; it was something I had to learn.”
You can and will learn this. So don’t sweat it. This is normal. This is not a problem.
In this blog, we’re going to discuss why you get so scared of selling and what you can do about it.
No, these sales tips aren’t magic. They won’t take away all your fear. But they can get you through it until it becomes as natural as saying your ABCs.
Why You Have A Fear of Sales
Here’s something weird. Fears are terrific. They really worked well for us as a species…until they didn’t.
Let’s back up.
Back when we lived in caves and wrestled wild boars for food, uncertainty could be dangerous. A suspicious sound in the bushes could end your life. So early humans who didn’t heed their fears didn’t live long.
Only the scaredy cats lived long enough to pass their genes on. The result is that the “scaredy cat” hardware got handed down to us.
But though our body’s alarm system is sensitive, it’s not that discerning. We don’t wrestle boars anymore. Our fear response is now devoted to Zoom calls and pings on our phones.
It equates discomfort with threat. So rejection, uncertainty, embarrassment - they all register like actual danger in our bodies.
What Scares You About Sales?
So what are you so afraid of when you show up to sell? Let me guess. Here are 5 of the most common fear-based comments I hear from my clients.
And I get every single one.
5 Common Fears of Selling
I don’t want to be seen as pushy - Ahhhh the used car salesman stereotype. Fast-talking. Manipulative. Only sees customers as walking wallets. Sales tips won’t help here, you think. “I don’t want to be that guy for a living!
I’m afraid of rejection - Hearing no or just the feeling of a silent rebuff is - oof - so painful at first. It feels permanent too. Like your deepest fears of “this will never work” are coming true.
They can’t afford me - I hear this from my clients a LOT. They have a sense of larceny connected to charging for their services. A sales call with someone who can’t afford you can seem not only pointless but kind of rude. Like you’re outing them for not having enough cash.
What if they ask me a question I can’t answer? - This is subtle Imposter Syndrome. It’s that feeling that you’re going to be exposed as a bit of a fake expert. You need to know more before you call. You’re going to look dumb. You want to prepare in advance for every possible turn of the conversation.
I’m just no good at sales - Again, the myth of the “natural salesperson.”
Before we move forward into sales tips, I want to first say - you’re not nuts. Almost everyone deals with some or all of these. But you’re already ahead of the game because you’re facing it and finding solutions.
This is not weird. It’s not a big deal. So don’t worry. We got this.
Sales Tips And Solutions…Sort Of
Let’s talk tips for selling! But we should level set, expectation-wise.
Anyone who tells you they can completely wipe away your fear of sales with a blog post is…totally full of it.
These sales tips will help. They’ll re-orient your brain, put you in touch with reality, create a positive association with sales calls, and change you from “huckster” to “helper.”
These sales tips will help you value the art and service of sales.
But it won’t make you magically fear-free. Not at first. It’s practice and consistency that will do that. Nothing else.
So - okay - just had to say that.
Let’s talk Sales Tips.
Solve Their Problems
The first sales tip is to remember your real job here:
Your job is to solve the client’s problems. Period.
The only reason a person concedes to a sales call at all is because they have a concern. Focus on that. Approach the sale with a solution-oriented approach. This goes a long way to short-circuiting your inner used car salesman.
You are a team member. A mentor. A lifesaver. Not a huckster.
Offer Value First
One of the best tips for selling is to offer clients value before you even ask for a sale.
People read blogs, watch live streams, dial into LinkedIn posts - before they ever sit down to talk turkey over Zoom.
What do you think I’m doing here?
If you’re being generous and authentic in the public online space, by the time they reach out to you most of the selling has already taken place.
So offer useful samples of your work in your content, and you’ll find the call is really just about answering questions and calming fears.
Prepare, Then Be Ready…to Not Be Ready
Sales tips come in 2 basic flavors:
This translates as external actions to take and internal ideas to absorb. This sales tip is both.
Do some basic research on your client’s business and style of communication. Just get the basic zhush of the person and their needs.
Create a loose structure or agenda for the call. Don’t wing it.
Then be ready for the question you can’t answer.
Look, it’s going to happen eventually. But it’s not a big deal - unless you make it one.
Just be ready with a confident “Oh, I don’t have that info” statement.
It’s okay to have to “consider that” or give a “let me do some research for the best answer” statement. If you treat it as if it’s no biggie, they’ll likely take the cue from you.
Listen, It’s Not About You
A lot of sales tips just revolve around changing your focus onto your client.
Remember in their story, you’re not the star.
You’re a supporting role. None of this is chiefly about you.
So make an effort to listen. Be present in the conversation for them. Don’t just wait to speak. Receive the information that your client is giving you, really absorb it.
Their fears, their struggles, their history, their priorities. When you get your mind off yourself and onto them, it removes a lot of the fear.
I’m afraid, no sales advice is going to safeguard you from the word - No.
If you struggle with rejection, consider how many times you’ve been on the other side of this equation.
How many times have you passed on something? How often was it really about the salesperson or the pitch? Most rejections are about timing, internal issues, budget, and context.
While it sucks to have to walk away without the sale, most sales superstars don’t consider this significant. It’s just part of the process of selling.
“They know that rejection is part of the game, and they accept it,” says Inc.com. “They are never surprised by it. It is not something to be avoided, but understood as reality and dealt with appropriately.”
Be ready for a no. It’s coming. When you get your 10th one, have a little celebration.
You’re growing up with each rejection. Take pride in getting this important part of the business done. Become a true pro at taking the word no as a NO biggie moment.
Treat Them Like Adults
Pay your client the respect they deserve. Don’t assume you know their story.
Don’t assume you know:
What their budget is.
What their priorities are.
What they can and can’t afford.
What their dreams of growth look like.
Let them tell you what their story is. You simply don’t know. It’s not your place and it’s not your responsibility.
Smile and Breathe
I know. As sales tips go, it may seem hokey, but it helps. And it’s a thing you need to be intentional about. Even if you have to put post-it notes all over her computer that say: “SMILE. BREATHE.”
A deep restorative breath now and then will send a message to your body to relax. A smile will trigger serotonin to boost your mood and lower your anxiety.
The Biggest Sales Tip Of All
Look, you’re a human. Anxiety over the unknown is just what we do.
When you feel your temperature start to rise over making a sales call, remember that you’re not just a salesperson. You’re also a customer to someone else.
Think of your experience when you reach out for help from a salesperson.
Marketing Superhero, Neil Patel put it best, “When we say people hate to be sold to, we mean they hate being lied to, manipulated, pressured, and in every other respect prevented from making up their own minds in their own time…But sales is not any of these things.”
The sales tips I put here aren’t hacks. They’re just about remembering your place as a human being in the sales process.
Help your client. Ask questions. Listen. And smile - for heaven’s sake.
Be proud of the help you bring to the table. Now that’s a big deal.
Ready to ditch the gross feeling and unleash your brave business? Join us inside our BRAVE BIZ LAB. A free coaching call, with a new theme every month!
Forbes.com, Trading Up: The Holistic Approach To Increasing Sales, Hester Lacy
Sage Journals, Hating Waiting: Individual Differences in Willingness to Wait In Uncertainty, Ema Tanovic, Greg Hajcak, Jutta Joorman
Inc.com, 7 Ways Superstar Salespeople Easily Handle Rejection
Verywell Mind, 10 Big Benefits of Smiling, Mark Stibich, PhD
NeilPatel.com, Sell More This Year by Not “Selling” at All – 3 Simple Guidelines, and One Perfect Secret Weapon, Neil Patel