As entrepreneurs and professional sales people, we’ve all had the negative thought of “what if.” “What if I can’t perform or create enough business to maintain my career?” For some, this fear may just be a passing moment. Others may find themselves so crippled by this anxiety that it can affect both their mental and physical health. What is the basis for this fear? Is this fear real or should we simply get over it? How do we tackle this fear and what can we do to keep it from consuming us?
What do we fear?
Well, that can be summed up by saying we fear the consequence. The consequence of what will happen making a bad call, ill-advised decision or poor investment can have very real financial ramifications. In addition, many of us also fear reaching out for help due to the perception of that we will be seen as weak or incompetent. What’s important to note is every salesman, entrepreneur and CEO share the same fears from time to time, if not all the time. These fears are normal and should be embraced. It’s okay to fear failure, however if you channel that energy into a positive action the results may surprise you. This is not to say you will never fail. Quite the contrary, failure can and will happen. In some cases it may happen frequently. Vince Lombardi once said, “The price of success is hard work, dedication to the job at hand, and the determination that whether we win or lose, we have applied the best of ourselves to the task at hand.”
Sandler Rule #1- You must learn to fail to win
Unfortunately, most people fear prospecting because they don’t like the feeling of rejection. Let’s be honest… who does? The truth is we must distinguish what it is to fail from what it is to be a “failure.” Being rejected is a fail but it does not make you a failure. In sales, rejection is the start of the sales process, not the end.
We have all heard the quotes that we must “learn to fail” or to “accept our failures” in some form or another. The reason we keep hearing it is simply because it’s true. Building a business is about finding what works and constantly evolving. Note the language… It’s not about “knowing.” Once you’ve found what works repeat that behavior and be ready to adapt if you see an opportunity to do better. For example, every business man knows selling is a numbers game. The more people I talk to the more opportunities for success you will have. However, if you fail with a prospect it’s not because you are a failure. It may be time to reevaluate your approach and adjust according to new information, change in environment or based on shift in attitude towards your industry. The result of a single failure can lead to the discovery of a successful game plan going forward.