There we were, in the dark, in the middle of a hotel parking lot, at 3:45 AM. Why? The hotel fire alarm went off and we didn't want to ignore the warning that was so loud my wife and I couldn't hear each other speak. Why was every other guest in the hotel parking lot with us? Well, what if the hotel was on fire? What if our lives were truly in danger?
Unlike the made up fears that prevent salespeople from asking tough questions, qualifying more thoroughly, or picking up the phone and making a cold call, the fear of burning alive in a hotel fire seemed like a pretty justifiable one.
What are salespeople so fearful of? Rejection? Not being liked? Not getting a meeting? Not closing a sale? Oh yes, incredibly scary.
If I had those fears I might not want to leave the house. Oh wait, most salespeople aren't leaving their houses. Is it because they're afraid of the virus? No. It's more likely that they're home because their companies have asked them to work remotely. But make no mistake. Even if they won't admit to it they are afraid of the things I wrote a few sentences back. And today, more than ever, they are loving their convenient excuses for hiding behind their laptop screens, churning out emails instead of making phone calls, and hoping that as Ray Kinsella's daughter, from Field of Dreams said, "People will come."
Why are these imagined fears so debilitating?
Because we allow them to be.
I'm guilty of having debilitating, imagined fears. When my son got his driver's license, my wife and I worried endlessly.Where is he? Do you think he's OK? Could he have gotten in an accident? Do you think he is paying attention? I hope he's not playing his music too loud. Could his friends be distracting him? Why isn't he home yet? Did I ask, "Where is he?"
Turning back to salespeople, suppose the things they worry about were to actually happen? Who would care? How would life change? The only ramification would be their inadequate pipelines. The only ripple effect would be in the size of their commission checks. Their inaction is the only thing that can hurt them. Remaining in their comfort zone hurts them. Failing to change hurts them.
In his 1933 inaugural address, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt said:
The only thing to fear is fear itself.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt
Sir Isaac Newton's third law of Physics states that for every action there is an opposite reaction. What would the opposite reaction be to the action of not taking action?
NOT taking action, and that includes not asking the tough question, IS an action against your pipeline, your income and your success.
NOT taking action due to fear IS an action against your self-worth.
NOT taking action, whether due to laziness or complacency, IS an action against what your company and your customer expect and deserve from you.
I'm sounding the alarm. This is why salespeople fail.
Dave Kurlan is a top-rated speaker, best-selling author, successful entrepreneur, and sales development industry pioneer. The founder and CEO of the
Objective Management Group, the leading developer of sales assessment tools, headquartered in Westboro, Massachusetts. He is also the CEO of
Kurlan & Associates, a leading salesforce development firm. He has 3 decades of experience in all facets of sales development, including consulting, training, coaching, selection, strategy, systems, processes, and metrics.
Dave is also the creator of the Membrain Baseline Selling Edition, a pre-configured Membrain with Baseline Selling built-in, including Dave's sales enablement content. This Edition will help your salespeople to make your way of selling into a competitive advantage.