3 Ways Fear Affects Your Sales Pitch (and Costs You More Than Money)
A lot of digital entrepreneurs deal with a sense of fear when it comes to marketing and selling. Yes, even you and me. You may not want to admit it, but it's there. It can show itself in the form of anxiety about your offer ("Will anyone pay this price for my course?"), timid selling ("I don't want to seem pushy and put anyone off"), a resistance to put yourself "out there" ("I hate self-promotion!"), and the two biggies — fear of rejection ("What if no one buys?") and imposter syndrome ("Who am I to be doing this work?").
Sound familiar? Yup. I've been there too.
But letting fear into your business doesn't just cost you money, it costs you time, effort, energy, and momentum. Think about it — if what you focus on expands, then fear has the ability to totally overwhelm you.
It can slow down your success because you're afraid to ASK for the sale or connect with your audience to truly understand their struggles and how you can help solve them. You may not even quite understand the value that you bring to the table so you discount it and try to be like every other entrepreneur out there.
No wonder so many digital entrepreneurs and small businesses fail.
The good news is, you have a choice to be fearful or fearless. Confident selling is a mindset, and out of all the sales teams, marketing teams, Fortune 500 brands I've worked with throughout my career, fear has shown itself in all of them. This is not a problem you're dealing with alone, and no one is immune to it.
It's all about how we handle and overcome our fear that matters.
Here, I'll walk you through the major ways fear affects your sales pitch, and what to do about each of them. Let's kick fear to the curb together.
Fear Makes You Appear Unqualified
Tell me if you've heard this one before: you are doing your first webinar to sell your online course. You're nervous. You hate the sound of your own voice and you avoid showing your face altogether. You made it through the teaching part, but now you're about to shift gears into the pitch for your paid course.
You freeze up. You're afraid no one is going to buy and you'll look like a failure. Plus, this whole sales thing feels like you're begging for money and it's making you really awkward to the point where you're tripping over your own words. You're sure the people on the webinar are being nice and doing you a favor by sticking around.
I know exactly how that feels because I have been there. My first webinar was a train wreck and I sold a total of ZERO subscriptions to my membership group all because I was so scared of failing and feeling like a pushy salesperson that I stumbled and fumbled through the pitch, which is a huge red flag for potential customers. Why? Because if you are unable to speak about you offer with confidence, you run the risk of coming across as unqualified to sell it and your reputation will be tarnished.
SOLUTION: Sell yourself on your offer first. You know your material. You understand the value of what you're teaching. Alex Goldfayn, someone I've been following closely for a while now says "a confident salesperson believes the customer deserves to benefit from her great value and she owes it to the customer to offer it."
Go through your qualifications. Study up on the benefits your offer provides to your customers. Understand how your product will change people's lives. Once you've shown yourself (and let's be honest, convinced YOURSELF of your value), you'll gain some perspective and be able to speak about the power of your offer with confidence.
Fear Disconnects you From Your Audience
You're anxious about selling, so you tend to talk a lot in order to "fill the space." Your practiced pitch goes out the window because you've gone off on a tangent and now your brain has gone haywire and you can't reign in where you were going with this line of thinking but you press on because the last thing you want to do is seem like you don't know what you're saying. Not only do you seem anxious to your audience, but now you've left little time for them to ask questions in order to learn more about your offer and more importantly, for you to learn about their pain points and struggles. Unfortunately, this gets you farther away from understanding your audience on a deeper level in order to serve them better.
SOLUTION: A successful seller listens more than she talks and if you get nervous or off track, take a deep breath and leave space for questions, comments, or just a moment for your audience to ponder the offer. This will allow you to connect on a deeper level with your audience's wants, needs and fears. Getting your potential customers to talk about themselves is a great way to learn more about them and what they need from you.
Fear Forces You to Leave Sales on the Table
Think back to your last webinar or discovery call. Did you outright ask for someone to buy into your offer or program? I'm going to guess the answer is no. I get it — asking for the sale feels like begging for money (and we all have hang-ups around money) so shame becomes a factor and rejection is the number one reason most salespeople don't ask. But as long as you're not baiting and switching your customers, your offer TRULY is going to help them transform their lives, and you're coming at it from a sense of service, then your customers deserve to acquire the benefits of what you're selling.
Asking for the sale doesn't have to feel pushy or slimy or salesy. Make it conversational and it becomes exactly that — a conversation. It can be as simple as:
"You know [insert name here], after talking with you, I really feel that my group coaching program would be a fit for you because of [insert specific benefits that relate to their struggles here] and honestly, I'd love to help you [insert the transformation they'll experience here]. Also? I think you'd be a great addition to the group and the rest of my students would learn a lot from what you're going through. Will you join us?"
Did that seem like a slimy sales pitch? I think not, but hit me up in the comments if you feel otherwise.
SOLUTION: Come up with a few script outlines that feel personal, conversational, and natural to help guide you through asking for the sale (you can steal the one above if you'd like). These do NOT have to include the phrase "will you buy?"
In fact, in the example above, I've asked her to join me in my group coaching program and if she says she's not ready, it leaves room for me to ask why and dispel any fears or objections she may have about the program. This alleviates concern on her part, helping her feel more confident about the choice to join me.
Over To You
How have you experienced fear in your sales pitching? What were your hangups during your last webinar or discovery call? What do you feel when you shift into "sales mode" — anxiety, shame, fear (of rejection, failure, embarrassment, etc.) or something else? Chat me up in the comments so we can get over these hurdles together.