How to Handle the Three Biggest Fears

by RJ on May 9, 2012

How to Handle the Three biggest Fears

Three fears that have been plaguing salespeople since the beginning of time are:

  • Fear      of Rejection
  • Fear      of Embarrassment
  • Fear      of Acceptance


Fear of rejection causes many salespeople to fail to ask for the order. Not asking for the order or a trail close as it is called is worse than a turndown. At least when you get turned down you can ask why and handle the objections and try again.


San Boyd, a systems analyst for a large computer company, one of those people that every company has who knows your product and the competitions like the back of his hand decided that he wanted to join the sales force. He always felt that salespeople had more fun every day because all he saw was the sales people having lunch, entertaining customers, and giving presentations. Sam is the guy that all the sales people used to give technical presentations after all the work was done getting to the decision maker and setting up the presentation meeting. Sam gave great presentations. He spoke well, dressed well and knew the product in and out.


After several months in his new sales job Sam didn’t have any appointments with any new clients. He lacked the skills of cold calling, finding the needs of the customer, and not being able to find the decision maker. His sales manager decided to help him set up a few appointments with potential customers. After a few meetings Sam would give his product pitch and thanks everyone for the opportunity to present his products and pack up his briefcase and leave the customer site. Sam thought after a great presentation the customer would call him and give him the order. Of course, after several presentations from several vendors, the customer thought they all looked alike. The order went to the salesperson that asked for the order and handled the objections. The order went to the salesperson that kept calling and did not have a fear of rejection.


Picture yourself on the tennis court with your opponent in the middle of a great volley that has been going on for minutes when your opponent hits the ball right to your forehand. You have plenty of time to place your feet correctly, bring your racket back and lean into the shot. You know it’s a great shot. It felt great. It sounded great. You hit the sweet spot of the racket and followed through perfectly. But all of a sudden as you were admiring your form and fantastic shot, your opponent hit the ball right past you down the sideline. How could she do that to you? It was the best shot you ever hit. It’s the same thing with selling, you must follow up.


A high level of rejection is part of the game of selling. It’s like dating, lots of rejection until you meet the right person or can handle rejection and objections. Learn to face it, learn to accept it, and learn to go on. Don’t ever stop trying.


A vice president of our major computer company found out, as only good managers have a way of finding out, that the largest newspaper in the state was going to buy a competitors system for over 3 million dollars. He asked his district manager who the salesman was on this account. It was none other then our very own Sam Boyd, our great presenter. When questioned about the status of the account, Sam said everything was fine and they loved him. The vice president suggested that Sam make an appointment immediately with the newspaper for the three of them. On the way over to the newspaper Sam was so nervous with the VP and district manager in his car that he made a wrong turn and went an hour out of his way. When they got there the VP asked Sam to let them out in front of the newspaper so they could start the meeting and apologize for being late while Sam parked the car. About 10 minutes later when Sam arrived in the lobby, he found out that no one was aware that they were coming. Sam only left a message with someone that they were coming in. He never got to the decision maker or explained who was coming and their purpose. He never received a confirmation. After waiting another hour to meet the right people they were told that it was true that the newspaper has chosen their competitor. They didn’t feel that Sam was really interested in their business and it was too late since they already made a deposit and signed a contract. On the way out, the VP and district manager reamed Sam out about how he mismanaged this account. Sam was so embarrassed that he forgot where he parked the car. They had to get security to take them around the garage floor by floor until they located the car. The ride home was very quiet and embarrassing for all. The next day Sam quit the company because he could not accept the rejection and the embarrassment. Instead of learning from this experience Sam took the easy way out and quit the company and returned to a system position with another company.


Do you keep on talking once the customer accepts what you are proposing? Many salespeople talk themselves out of the order. The customer said “I’ll buy your product” but the salesperson keeps on talking explaining more features until the customer gets confused and decides to hold off. This is the time to shut up and take the order. Thank the customer for a great decision and take out the order book. Are you listening for those trial close moments? During your presentation the customer tells you that he likes that feature and it’s very important to his company. This is the time to acknowledge his decision and ask if he would like to purchase the product right now. This is called a trail close. If he says yes, you are done. If he says not yet, find out why and handle the objection right now. Don’t keep talking.


Learn to accept rejections as part of the selling cycle and handle the objection immediately. You should have a notebook by now with almost all of the frequently asked objections and how to answer them.

Everyone has embarrassing moments but this is the time to learn from them and keep moving on.

Learn to keep quiet when a customer gives you an acceptance or an opportunity to make a trail close. Close that sale and good luck out there.

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