Now more than ever with COVID-19 it is scary out there and both your prospects and salespeople feel it. But you need to help your sales team manage their fear during this time. If you do not you will have much larger problems and no revenues coming in.
Fear is an important topic, because of how it plays into the sales process both with a salesperson and a prospect. It has been studied at length, especially its effect on salespeople, sales performance, and compliance to a proven and repeatable sales process. I remember listening to a sales trainer once during my first year in sales, and he had a great line that “fear makes things heavy.” He stated that he hired and or trained some of the strongest athletes in the world to sell, but fear made the phone weigh over 1,000 pounds to them; the fear would cause them to not be able to pick up the phone and make the calls. I watched it myself in my career; fear would at times paralyze salespeople from doing the activities that would drive them to success, prospecting calls, follow up calls, and practicing presentations that were created to drive them to success. When I study the stats on the lack of follow up done by sales professionals, I think fear is the unspoken components that holds them back.
I think fear causes salespeople to do and not do certain things. Out of fear they get lost during the day in the tedious and non-important tasks instead of doing what we should be doing every day, making sales, sales calls and creating and sending out follow up and cold outreach marketing emails, LinkedIn Posts, following up on prospects and proposals that are stalled in our pipelines. We attempt to mask our fear of rejection or failure in the trivial actions that do not drive the sale to close, or to the next step in the process.
In managing your sales team, simply knowing that fear is there is the first step. However you need to get to the core of what is causing the fear and train yourself on how you can overcome the fear. One of the most pivotal works on fear and how it hinders salespeople that I have come across in my studies in The Psychology of Sales Call Reluctance by Dudley and Goodsen, which studies what holds salespeople back in all aspects of the sales process, not just cold calling, it also breaks down the reasons why and how fear and self-limiting thoughts play into impacting or performance and production. When I got serious about building highly productive sales teams, the study of high and low performance was critical to my success.
I believe that salespeople are the elite athletes of the business world, and in studying any elite athlete and high performing team, you find their mental approach to the game is the X Factor in driving them to perform at that highest levels. If you recently watched The Last Dance documentary featuring Michael Jordan you saw just how important his mental approach was to the success of his game.
So, let’s get back to fear and your sales team, it is always there. Especially now, it is scary out there in the world. However, as a small business owner you need to fight in the arena each and every day and so do they, so don’t let that fear hold them back for performing at their peak, for following a proven and repeatable sales process, for doing all the little and big things that moves the sale to close. I also believe that salespeople need to learn how to manage fear, how to recognize the signs, and use techniques and triggers to push their performance through to the next level.
In the end, know that we are here to help, if you want to get more information about the resources in this article or others that I have studied and to fill your sales team with high achieving, high performers, call me at 702-756-4544