Fear has cost you a lot of money in your life. Millions of dollars, probably. At least millions.
If you run a company that’s around $20 million, fear has cost you tens of millions of dollars over the years.
If, let’s say, you work at an organization that’s $150 million or more, fear has cost your firm multiple hundreds of millions of dollars. And if you are compensated based on top-line sales, it has cost you, personally, millions of dollars.
Think about that. It’s hard to wrap one’s mind around it.
The typical salesperson spends an average of four hours per week on the phone. I’ve studied this, and it’s the average across companies and industries. You work for 40 hours, at least. But you only spend four hours on the phone. What are you doing the rest of the time? Email. Research. Driving. You could call from the car, but you often don’t.
Here is a rule of the universe: The more customers hear from us, the more they buy from us. If you agree with me on this, then why don’t we use the phone more? Because we don’t want to bother the customer.
We don’t want to lose the customer. We’ve worked so hard to get them and keep them happy. What if I call them and they leave me for the competition?
We don’t call our customers and prospects more because we are afraid. Of rejection. Of failure. Of losing the customer.
More examples: We don’t ask for the business even though the customer is meeting with us and is asking for our help. They are ready to buy, but we do not ask them to. So they do not. We should ask every customer we speak with for the sale, every time. But we don’t, because we are afraid. Of offending. And of being rejected.
Do you know that for most salespeople the fear of rejection is more profound than your need to feed your family? What an immense truth that is. We’d rather not ask for the business and risk the possibility of hearing a “no” than try to make more money for our family.
We don’t ask for testimonials and referrals for the same reason – fear – even though we know they are among the best ways we have to grow our business.
What if the customer gets mad? What if the customer says no? I can’t ask that. They’re busy – they don’t have time for me.
Deal with fear
To help more customers, and sell more products and services, we must get over this immense fear we live with. Here are two simple steps to do so.
When you find yourself avoiding something – such as picking up the phone or asking for the business — when you are procrastinating on something important, 95% of the time it’s because of fear.
So, ask yourself the first of two questions: What exactly am I afraid of? Almost always, it’s a fear of failure or a fear of rejection.
Now think through your answer to this question: If this fear comes true, what will happen to me?
Work through this! If this customer rejects me, what will happen to me? Death? Will they come and take away your home if this customer says no? Will somebody shoot at us?
Of course not!
It’s sounds absurd because it is absurd! The fear that stops us from doing so much is not real. It’s made up in our minds, by our minds.
When the customer tells us no, nothing happens!
And so, the fear is not real. But the damage it causes is too real.
Think about all the hundreds (thousands?) of phone calls you didn’t make over the years. And all the hundreds (thousands?) of sales you didn’t ask for. And all the hundreds (thousands?) of referrals you’ve missed out on.
The cost is millions of dollars. At least.
Will you ask yourself these two simple questions the next you’re avoiding picking up the phone? It’s time you start making the money you deserve.