Several years ago I worked in direct sales job and our lives revolved around our commissions. We were determined to make every sales lead count, so we worked diligently to close every deal. Sometimes we were lucky and things were easy. We’d show the product, explain the prices, ask for the sale and actually get it without an objection. Most of the time however things didn’t go as smooth. That is the secret to success in sales; it is in dealing with the unknown and unexpected nature of each potential transaction. You never know what you’ll get, much like Forrest Gump’s iconic box of chocolates.
So anyway, what does this have to do with the fear of failure? Everything! You see, the single biggest reason a new salesperson won’t succeed is that they have a fear of failure that drives their every move. This fear creates a wall of anxiety that the customer can sense and it prevents the salesperson from harnessing the level of confidence needed to close the deal.
This is normal, because frankly it is a little strange to ask someone–let alone someone you barely know–for money, which is what you’re basically doing in any sales job. So then, what is the secret to overcoming this fear? It’s rather simple; you need to learn to accept each negative response as a stepping stone to a positive response. In other words, if you ask 100 people to purchase your product and on average 99 say no and one says yes, then you need to realize that (statistically) without those 99 failed deals you wouldn’t have gotten to close the 100th. In this respect, it truly is a numbers game.
Moreover, in commission jobs we can take this a step further and average out the number of negatives that it takes to get to one sale, then divide your average commission among the figure to find our just how much a “no” is worth in your line of work. Then every time you fail to close a sale, just think to yourself how much closer you are to a “yes.” For example, if I had to hear a negative response from 50 people to get to one sale and my average commission on a sale was $50, then every time I heard no, I theoretically made a dollar.
With a mindset like that, hearing “no” in sales doesn’t sound like such a bad thing. You come to see that it is a part of the process and you begin to gain confidence when asking for the sale. In the end, you’re going to get more deals closed, since the way you present your product will be fueled by a burst of confidence rather than a sense of fear.