Fear Isn’t A Good Sales Strategy

Maura Schreier-Fleming's Profile

Some people are afraid of their own shadow.  They have a lot of fears if they’re in sales.  They are afraid of their competitors. They’re afraid of failing.  Fear is the wrong emotion to have when you sell. I want you to be able to get past fear and sell more successfully. 

I’m afraid if we share information our competitors might find out. 

One health care company had leading edge products. They had a large market share and good working relationships with their customers.  As a result, they were often the preferred supplier because of their products along with their excellent customer service.  

Like most companies today they have a website. Their web site was filled with product information and the certifications their products met and exceeded.  The ratings were impressive.  The site also included information about the skills and experience of their staff.  Many were industry experts who were leaders in their field.  What was the problem?  

Management refused to put an approved list of customers on the website.  They were scared that their competitors might see the website and steal their business.  How scary is that! This refusal to post the information was despite the request of the salespeople who said they needed it for them to sell.  

What’s a website for?

Do you think your competitors read your website?  Of course they do.  Do you think your customers look at your website? Sure they do.  What about your prospects?  These are the most important group of people who are looking at your website. 

What are they looking for? They want to see how credible you look. A website is the first “store front” that your prospects see. They’re making a decision about whether they want to go inside your “store” and shop.  

You are likely to earn the approval of a prospect when your website is well-written and filled with useful information like your company history, who your key personnel are, the results you deliver, a clear description of what you do, and some clients you work with.  Your prospect is then ready to move to the next step in his buying process.

There are consequences of fear.

Now consider the alternative.  Your website has your company history, who your key personnel are, the results you deliver, and a clear description of what you do.  What’s missing? A list of your key customers.  You’re afraid of your competitors learning who they are. 

Here’s the problem with that thinking.  There are prospects who will look at your website before they even consider working with you. They’ll compare you with the criteria they have to select a list of possible suppliers.  You won’t get on their short list unless you meet all their criteria.  I learned of one prospect who would only consider a health care supplier who had customers in a particular state.  This health care company did have customers in the state. They just weren’t listed on the website.  

What happened? This health care company, which should have gotten the business, wasn’t even given a request for purchase. They lost a very lucrative contract because of fear. You are less likely to lose your business to a competitor if you are doing the work to earn your business and demonstrate your value. Do you really think your competitors don’t know who your accounts are anyway?

Stop playing small.  You’re playing small when fear is motivating you to do something.  Here’s a tough message. You’re going to lose sales when you play small. The good news is that you just might win if you play big.  

Learn much, much more in Maura's courses on Illumeo.

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Maura Schreier-Fleming founded Best@Selling in 1997. Maura is a versatile, results-oriented speaker, sales trainer and sales consultant who has worked with numerous large and mid-sized clients to improve sales performance. She is the author of Monday Morning Sales Tips and Real-World Selling for Out-of-This World Results. Maura works with business and sales professionals who want to get better results from their work.