Today’s post is brought to us by Ron Wille in Rochester, NY. Learn more about Ron below. Thanks for sharing your expertise with us today, Ron!
Courage is such a strong word to use in the business environment but it can be fitting. I recently decided it was time for me to start my own company after working for two wonderful people for 9 years. I know I am not running into burning buildings or facing enemy fire but I do know it took a lot for me to make this leap.
If I am being honest I think deep down I knew I should have left about 3 years ago. But I could always come up with a reason to stay, a reason to let my fear of the unknown, of failing, overcome my desire to take the leap. In the end, while not heroic, it did take courage for me to do what I knew was right.
I am excited to say my company is growing and that things are going very well. After spending some time reflecting on what took me so long to take this leap, I decide to share my feeling on courage in business and specifically how it can impact sales.
First, I believe courage is needed in business to overcome lots of different fears and pressures:
- The fear to do what is right over what is popular.
- The fear to make decisions and take action with imperfect information.
- The fear to follow through when something “better” comes along.
- The fear to actually manage your staff.
- The fear of failing.
While many of these fears will also impact the sales professional we need to overcome a few different fears and pressures:
- The fear to make a call.
- The fear of being rejected.
- The fear to truly qualify and move on.
- The fear of discussing the “big” issue that has not come up yet.
- The fear to discuss “the numbers” either cost or budget.
- The fear of going after the BIG Sale, the Whale.
So how do you overcome these fears? How do you get the courage to take action? How do you get the courage to go after the large accounts?
The following outlines what people can do in order to take action and actually go after the big one.
- First you need to recognize fear. Is your inaction really fear? Is your questioning and gossiping about the new sales plan really fear? Is your “prepping” for calls and “extra” time creating “perfect” proposals really just fear of making the new calls you need? You need to be honest with yourself and perhaps the best way to do this is to have the courage to admit what is really going on. This is perhaps the perfect place to start being courageous.
- Second you need to get perspective. You are not running into burning buildings or facing enemy fire. You are calling someone, someone with his or her own fears of making decisions, of taking action, of failing. So perhaps if you think about the person on the other end of the line as someone just like you it will give you a different perspective.
- Change the word “selling” or “hunting” with HELPING. If you are truly selling something of value, something that will help the buyer address a need they have, then you are just helping them to be successful to succeed. Really if you think about it you might be helping them to overcome their own little voices.
- Think of your personal goals. Whether they are financial, prestige, security, family or perhaps the new car, it does not matter. You just need to let them help you over your inaction; let them be the reason for your courage.
- Find a Courage Partner. Sometimes you just need to chat with someone for a minute or two to get it out and then get to work. Just don’t let this become yet another distracter. Limit this to 5 minutes once per day.
- Positive Affirmation. You know what…. you have a family you would like to provide for, you work hard, you are well trained, you are well prepared so aren’t you deserving? Why not you? You are just as smart and deserving as the Reps who always win Presidents Club so let’s start acting like it. Isn’t your company as experienced and as deserving as your competitor that is winning all the large accounts? So write these affirmations down in what I call an Affirmation Statement.
- Break things down into smaller chucks. I know you have to make 100 calls today. Well you really only have to make 10 block of 10 call each but gees 10 blocks does not sound that bad. Between blocks walk to the window, review your goals, look at pictures of your kids or read your affirmation statement. Do something quick just to regroup and then start the next block.
- Surround yourself with positive things, stories and people. I read every issue of Success Magazine cover to cover as soon as they come out. I then listen to the Success CD that is included with each issue when I drive between appointments and when I am running my kids all over town. It works for me.
- Know that you are not in this alone. You have an entire “Village” behind you doing their parts.
- Finally, it really comes down to action. Do something, anything that moves you in the right direction. In the end we all have voices and we all have fears, even the super successful person sitting next to you of the leader of the company down the street. You really just need to keep trying new things until you find something that moves you beyond your specific fears that allows you to take action to be courageous.
Just to let you in on a little secret. I still get scared. I still have voices and feelings of doubt but I also have better ways of getting back to taking action sooner. I have found my perspective and it allows me to take action. You just need to spend the time and have the dedication to find yours. Happy Helping.
Ron Wille is a Certified Partner with The Whale Hunters. He has been helping organizations better leverage their technology to achieve superior performance for almost 20 years. Prior to founding BlackTab, Ron was the coCEO of NimbleUser.
Ron, this is an incredibly powerful post–so honest and direct. I am sure it touches everyone who reads it. Thanks–and keep on being courageous!