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We All Fear ‘NO’: The Importance of Selling

Many very successful business owners will claim real strengths for their businesses but will baulk at actually having to sell.  Particularly prospecting and selling to strangers.

They will tell you that they can do most things in their businesses but please do not ask them to sell. “I have a brilliant business but I hate actually selling”.

What is it about otherwise confident, competent, individuals that strikes such fear in them when it comes to selling?

I believe in many cases it is the fear and power of getting rejected. They think of the fear and the actuality of ‘No’, at least in their heads.

It is very human and understandable that otherwise successful people ensure that they avoid putting themselves in the position of getting a ‘NO’.

And yet we all sell all the time, we sell within our business and we sell to outsiders. We lead our team, we service our existing customers, we keep our Bank Manager and our Accountant happy. We are the guardians of many critical relationships. All of that is selling and we do it well.

So why can’t we do the same with prospects, with strangers?

But here is the problem.  Any great or ambitious business manager will almost certainly need to grow, and to grow s/he will probably need to sell and to sell to strangers.

So what can we do about this blockage?

There are at least four options

  • We can live comfortably and stop selling
  • We can ensure we surround ourselves with good sales people. We can hire good sales people
  • We can outsource the selling and growth requirement to a specialist sales growth company. (
  • We can challenge this deficit in ourselves and build up capacities and skills that overcome this deficit

So how do we do that?

  • Confront the fear. Engage in some business building exercises.  You might surprise yourself at how good you are at it even if it makes you uncomfortable initially
  • Most customers like to meet the boss. Utilise that privilege and strength
  • Remind yourself that you already build business in various ways.  Use that experience to extend the reach to new targets
  • Shadow those that do selling for you in whatever platform and scrutinise and analyse what works well and where success comes from
  • You are being sold to all the time.  Steal their clothes and their techniques
  • A stranger is just someone you have not yet met.  Mainly they are less fearsome when you start a dialogue
  • A lot of selling is answering need and starting conversations
  • Reduce your fear of ‘NO’ and you are halfway there

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