Recently I heard a sales manager tell me, “My sales guys are nervous about calling a customer after the sale because they are worried the customer might be upset with something and want to return the product.”
Have you felt like this before? Sure, working with upset customers can be an unpleasant experience. I understand that. However, in professional sales (and in life) we support one of two outcomes by our actions. Our attitudes, actions and choices either support decay, deterioration and corrosion; or they support growth, development and improvement.
Let me explain. There are two important principles at play with these two outomes. Neglect, indifference and disregard for the issues that are important to prospects and customers will ultimately lead a sales person and a business to ruin, failure and decline. On the other hand concern, interest and curiosity in the problems and challenges a prospect or customer faces will, generally speaking, lead a sales person and their company to expansion, abundance, and success. These principles are pretty self evident and common sense. However in my experience they are anything but COMMON PRACTICE.
Why are they not common practice for many sales organizations? One word: FEAR.
Fear is the biggest enemy sales people face each day. The most successful sales people are those who face their fears every day and learn to manage and overcome them. Not many other career options give you this opportunity. When sales people choose to succumb to their fears and neglect the needs of their prospects or customers, they support the slow decline of their companies. However those sales people who learn to manager and leverage their fears and explore with genuine interest the needs of their prospects and customers, they support, create and build value for themselves, their customer and their companies.
I have seen sales people put limitations and restraints on themselves unnecessarily by listening to their own fears and worries. They restrict their options, choices and opportunities and feel like the victim of their circumstances. Their ability to innovate and create new solutions for their prospects and customers becomes handicapped. They complain and blame more than sell. It becomes a downward spiral.
So what is to be done? How do well meaning sales people overcome, manage and leverage their fears to help them succeed? Here are few thoughts to consider:
- Choose to create value for your customers. Choose to support growth, expansion and opportunity.
- Do not limit yourself. Look for additional options, choices and pathways.
- Do not assume your reality will be the prospects reality. Test your hypothesis. You might be wrong!
- Choose to risk appropriately. Find adventure in stepping out of your comfort zone.
- Instead of fearing a problem, work to innovate and create a solution to the problem.
- Avoid blame, negativity and pessimism. Nothing great was ever accomplished by a cynic.
Professional sales people face their fears every day. Depending on which party is winning that battle, sales people are either creating value for their prospects and customers or not. When we listen to and justify our fears we follow the “low road” that creates no lasting value for our prospects and customers. If we put into action the six thoughts described above we choose the “high road” and start creating lasting value for ourselves, our clients and our companies.
Terry Hansen is a popular speaker, consultant, trainer, and author on helping sales teams improve their ability to create value for their prospects and clients. He is regularly asked to train sales and management teams in strategies to find more prospects, close more sales, and increase customer loyalty through value creation strategies. You can connect with Terry on LinkedIn, or get more information by visiting www.TerryHansen.net or calling 844-205-5054.