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Conquering Fears of Selling

wholesale merchandise salesIt pays to be a Confident Salesperson, and you are worth every penny! Over 100,000 people in the United States of America become new millionaires every single year for the past 10 years, that is 273 new millionaires every day. The vast majority of these fortunes (just below 85%) are made by someone selling a product or service that their business offers. In fact, America owes its growth to the efforts of these salesmen and saleswomen. This country is one of the few places in the world where a good salesperson is admired and respected - at least by his or her company, if not by the public at large.


The Confident Salesperson knows his company needs a constant flow of new customers to ensure it's success. Otherwise, the business is doomed to failure or to be among the majority of businesses - those that do little better than breaking even and covering their expenses. In the presence of a possible customer, the confident salesperson takes on the aura of a professional. As is the case with any true professional, he understands that he deserves to be paid well for the benefits he provides to others. This is the bottom line; to succeed in life, business, or any service you need to be able to sell yourself, your product, and your business effectively. If you do these things consistently well, you will be richly rewarded for your talent and your efforts.


Who's In Charge Here? Too many salespeople never come close to reaching their full potential. Many of them rise quickly to a comfort level, achieve their goal for the year, and then unexpectedly come to a complete standstill. It doesn't matter if they reach their goal as early as May, they just can not seem to do any better than they did the year before. They go on mental cruise control. They repeat this pattern year after year, and thus never climb out of their comfortable rut. They make mediocrity their personal standard. Why do most salespeople fail to live up to their full potential both in business and in life? It is because they have failed to accept the fact that they must take full personal responsibility for themselves if they wish to improve.


Conquering the 3 Great Fears. Before the Confident Salesperson can set off in pursuit of her quest for excellence, she must overcome the 3 great fears that hold back mere ordinary salespeople. They are Fear of Failure, Fear of Money and Fear of Responsibility. Until she has mastered them, she is destined to remain forever in the ranks of mediocrity. Once she has conquered them all three of them, she is free to live her life however she would like to. Lets look at the 3 great fears and put them behind us forever! This week, we'll discuss the Fear of Money. Over the next couple of weeks, we'll discuss the Fear of Failure and the Fear of Responsibility.


The Fear of Money. Believe it or not, many salespeople are afraid to ask for money. I was giving a seminar in South Carolina last year when I realized that the salespeople I was dealing with were victims of this dreaded affliction. I devised a simple little exercise where they paired off, and each of them said to the other, andquot;That will be just $3,000; I had trouble deciding if the results were hilarious or tragic! The first few times we did it, three of the salesmen actually couldn't get the words out of their mouths. We practiced for half an hour, going up and down in various increments until they could say; $10,000t; just as easily as ;Ten bucks.


By employing this exercise, and then explaining the reasons for their problem, we were able to conquer this long held fear. Why are some salespeople afraid to ask for money? It may be because they themselves never had enough money to buy the product they are selling. When this is true, the fact that they are selling a product they themselves could not afford leads them to believe at least subconsciously that other people can't afford it either.


Frank's Story. Frank, a good friend of mine, ran a successful karate school in Southern California. He was located in a middle-to-lower income part of town, but he still had over 170 students, each of whom paid $50 to $60 a month for group tuition. In addition to this, at least 50 of these clients managed to find an extra $50 per month to pay for private lessons. One day Frank gave me a call to invite me to his upcoming wedding. After congratulating him and chatting for a while, I asked him where he was going on his honeymoon.


At this point Frank grew hushed and confided in me that he didnt have enough money for the honeymoon. I asked why he didn't just upgrade one of his students to the Black Belt course that usually sold for around $2,500. (This would allow the student to take classes for some three to four years with no additional fees, thus saving a good deal of money.) At the same time, he would have $2,500 in cash to enjoy while he was on his honeymoon. He said that he had tried this approach, but people in his area simply couldnt afford the $2,500 fee for the course. I told him I could probably help him if he would dedicate an hour of his time to listen to me.


The next day, the first thing I noticed as I walked across the parking lot and entered his school was a Mercedes coupe. In it sat a young boy wearing a karate uniform. Then I noticed that one of the parents waiting in the lobby was wearing a gold Rolex watch. When class ended a few minutes later, Frank and I sat down in his office and I pointed out that his poor student's parents could afford a Mercedes and a Rolex. He assured me these two people were exceptions to the general rule, and that most of his students were indeed from lower income families. I decided to let it go for a while and began to ask him some questions.


First, I asked if he really believed that his martial arts lessons could help someone improve their life. He responded passionately that they could. Next, I asked Frank why three or four of the fifty students who paid him $50 a month for one on one lessons could not afford to pay for a lump sum of $2,500 and never have to worry about paying for another martial arts lesson again. He replied that it was just way too expensive.


I then asked if he thought it was too expensive. He thought briefly and then said that he could not have afforded that much money when he was paying for karate lessons. I had discovered problem number one; he was assuming by projection that his karate students shared his same financial problems. Because he himself couldnt come up with $2500 in cash, he automatically assumed that his students would have the same problem. This, of course, was a false assumption!


Then I asked how much he thought his time was worth. He replied that he charged $25 per half hour for a private lesson, and that he believed he was worth every penny. Then I asked Frank questions on how long it took a student to reach black belt level. To this he replied,andquot; About four years.andquot; I pointed out that $100 a month for four years came to almost $5,000, and if he sold a student a prepaid black belt program he would save that student almost $2,500 over the course of study. This savings meant that if the student stayed with the program all the way to black belt rank (only 1 in 50 does so) he would be paying about $10 per private lesson, rather than the $25 he was currently paying.


When I asked Frank if he thought that was a good deal, he replied that he thought it was a great deal! Maybe a little too cheap! I reminded Frank that, because only one in five completed the program, he stood a good chance of making considerably more than $10 per lesson. His mentality changed within almost an instant as he got excited about the improved prospect. The second problem was now solved. Frank had been focusing on the cost of the program instead of the actual savings and benefits to his students would receive. As soon as he realized and could understand his oversight, he saw the whole topic in a very different light. Now that he was focused on a program that saved his students a considerable sum, instead of worrying about the overall cost, he began to approach his students with new zeal and quickly sold the cash program to several students before his wedding day arrived.


This story is repeated thousands of times every day across the country by almost any business that has a product or service that they are selling. Sale-persons selling air planes, scooters, televisions, furniture and other products and services continue to make the same mistakes. Salespeople too often place a mental barrier on themselves, and in doing so, thwart their own efforts to obtain the success they deserve.


In my work with the PGA and numerous golf management firms I have found that despite the fact golf professionals are working with some of the most affluent individuals in the country, many of them are desperately afraid of asking for money. In this case, it's not because they don't make decent money themselves but because they don't want to be thought of as salesperson. What they don't seem to appreciate is that 90% of the people they deal with are businessmen or former businessmen. They won't be offended by being asked for money. They are waiting to see if and how you are going to ask for it! According to the National Golf Foundation, 86% of the golfers in this country would spend more money on green fees, play more often, drink more beer in the clubhouse and buy more clothes if ONLY they played better!


The same report also points out in detail, that of the golfers that they had surveyed, just 13% of them actually took a golf lesson from a golf professional in the earlier year! If that's not a market waiting to happen I don't know what is, but you have to ask for the sale in order to get it! Overcoming Fear of Money. It is OK to make money selling! The more people you help by providing your product or service, the more money you deserve to make. You dont become a better golfer by just thinking about taking a golf lesson. You have to actually take one! Whether or not you can afford to buy your product or service doesnt mean that others can't and won't.


Whether or not you think it's expensive does not matter at all. Put your personal thoughts and prejudices behind you. Let your customers decide whether or not they will spend their money, but make sure you give them the opportunity.