#826 What are you afraid of?

I was talking to an acquaintance last week who shared with me that she has a fear of flying.  It reminded me that we humans are not terrific at assessing risk.  We’re more afraid of flying than we are of fries and a coke

Today the message is about fear. Jerry Seinfeld once said that public speaking is the number one fear in America.   In the list of fears death actually came in third which means that at the average funeral most people would rather be in the coffin than giving the eulogy!

Fear of rejection can stop you from applying for a job, approaching a prospective client, or meeting an attractive stranger.

Building the rejection muscle can be difficult, but it is essential in sales and, indeed, in life.

Let's think about meeting someone new.  You see an attractive stranger, and you think about approaching but…BUT WHAT; THEY MIGHT SAY NO?

Isn’t not approaching them already a no?  So what’s at risk; your feelings?  Ask yourself this; what are your feelings around completely missing the opportunity?

Isn’t not applying for a position and having your application rejected for that position the same thing?  In the first case you’ve rejected yourself in the second, they’ve rejected you.  The bottom line is you don’t have a new position. You could sit around and wait for the opportunity to come to you but what are the chances that someone will shred all of the applications they have for a position, not talk to any of the applicants and instead come knocking on your door to take the job?

Have you ever hesitated to pick up the phone to call a client for more business or to close on a proposal you have with them?  What stops you is the fear of rejection.  Somehow we like the idea of a live possibility rather than a definitive answer that might be no.  If we don't make a move we get to delude ourselves that it may turn out OK.

We shy away from possible rejection because it sucks; it hurts!

I don’t agree with the trainers who say “They aren’t rejecting you.  They are rejecting your proposal.  Don’t take it personally.”  Sorry, it is personal.  My value as a salesperson is ME!

That’s the difference I’m bringing.  In an Amazon world where I can practically point and click to buy a yacht, I need to make myself the differentiator.  I sell myself, then my company and then my product or service.  If you do it right, selling is fiercely personal!

So how do we get over this very personal fear of rejection?  The same way we go from running around the block to running a 5K; incrementally.  We build the muscle a little at a time.  We make a few tough calls each day.  We introduce ourselves to a few new people at the next event we attend.  We build this muscle until rejection is merely an expected part of the process; like tilling the soil in your garden.  Tilling is part of the process.  You’ve got to till, plant, fertilize and water.  Skip any one of those steps, and there will be no harvest.  Rejection is like that.  No successful person, regardless of your definition of success, gets there without getting rejected along the way.

Own your sales gene…