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Selling can be just as scary as Halloween

The 10 spookiest things about Selling

Don’t be scared

What keeps you up at night? Is it the imaginary monster you remember from your childhood that is still hiding underneath your bed? Is it the ghostly sounds that you hear outside your window while you’re trying to sleep? Is it your black cat that’s scratching your bedroom door?

With Halloween fast approaching, what are the 10 spookiest things that scare you the most about selling?

1). Not getting enough qualified sales leads

Do you want leads? Sure, here’s the Yellow Pages — start calling! Seriously, most salespeople complain about the lack of leads or the quality of what they receive from their marketing team. But hey, thanks to the Internet, there are tons of free and paid sources now available. So, stop complaining, and don’t be afraid of doing some research.

2). Getting little or no training

Your employer told you that you would receive training after you were hired. Instead, you were introduced to your work area and given a prospect list — now start selling. What should you do?

Start reading.

That’s right — start reading sales books, blogs, and articles. Start watching YouTube videos about selling. Study your company’s products and services inside and out until you know them by heart. Do what you must do to be successful — because while your employer may not care, you better give a damn about your job.

After all, what’s even scarier than little or no training is standing in the unemployment line.

Customers and prospects will sometimes disappear like ghosts. Photo by Lucas Ludwig on Unsplash

3). The “no show” prospect

I know. The prospect accepted your meeting calendar invite to view your short webinar, but he disappeared. Where did he go? Did he fall in a pit? Are you going to curse the darkness? Of course not! Don’t panic. Just pick up the phone and try to reschedule the appointment. Things happen. Prospects get busy. Don’t take it personally.

And if all else fails, find other prospects to call to schedule appointments.

4). Competitors who lie, cheat and steal

Hate them or respect them, competitors exist in every industry. You can either be afraid of them or fight them. The choice is yours. While you may want to boil your competitors in a cauldron of oil, the better approach is to stop worrying about your competitors and just do your job. In the long run, you will succeed while your competitors fail.

5). Cold calling

A cold call isn’t cold unless you make it so. Do a little research first before you call a prospect. Is he the key decision maker? Do you feel you have a solution that will help him? Or better yet, try to get a referral.

Sometimes you have to overcome your fear to be successful. Photo by Magne Træland on Unsplash

6). The mysterious marketing department

You heard about the mysterious marketing department, but you’ll be damned if you know if it exists or not.

Is it a ghost department that only comes out at night when everyone else has left work?

You were told that the marketing department was going to provide you qualified leads, but you haven’t seen any for a while. Did the leads sink in quicksand? And if your company’s social media efforts are still in the dark ages, start your own blog, Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn account, and become more active on social media yourself.

While your marketing department may be invisible, you shouldn’t be.

7). Trade Shows

So, you’re afraid to stand at your exhibit booth during trade shows.

Don’t be.

Chances are, most of the attendees are just as scared as you are because salespeople are pouncing on them like vampires every time they get near a booth. Rather than asking good qualified questions, those salespeople are sucking the life out of attendees. Don’t be like that. Act cool. Show some respect. Don’t scan and scam. Take a more consultative sales approach when meeting with attendees. Believe me, in the long run, it will pay off.

8). Conversions of your CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system

You love your CRM. It helps you keep track of your sales notes, customer contact information and all the records you need to do your job. But another salesperson came along and sold your employer a better CRM.

Now what?

It’s conversion time — that long, lengthy, agonizing period of exporting all your data into the new CRM. Scared?

Hell, you should be.

Because sometimes important data has a way of ending up in a dark hole that will never be found again. (I’ve gone through 5 conversions in my career. In one case, the programmers forgot to transfer our sales notes. In another case, they forgot to transfer all our expired clients).

But don’t be afraid — instead, download and save all your information or print it out. But whatever you do, protect your information, or it may disappear…and so will your sales.

Don’ t let panic override your judgment.

9). Bad sales managers

Yes, we’ve all been there, done that. But your sales manager may not be the bogeyman you think he is. Like you, he’s under pressure to make quota or achieve sales goals. The only difference is that he must depend on you and the entire sales team to make it happen. That’s scary.

10). Slow sales periods

Every industry has its slow periods. You know, that time when most clients are not buying because it’s the holidays, or it’s the summer or whatever lame excuse you are given.

So, does that mean you slow down?

Hell no.

Find other prospects to contact. When I once worked in the accounting industry, tax season was considered a slow time to call on CPAs, accountants and tax preparers. Unless you loved getting chewed out by stressed out accountants facing the April 15th tax deadline, you pretty much left them alone. While that made sense, we didn’t sit around and feel sorry for ourselves — instead, we contacted libraries, nonprofit organizations and financial institutions that we thought would be good candidates for our tax research program.

You do what you must do to hit your quota.

What scares you about selling? Please send me a comment.

This is a summarized version of my post published on my blog,

Don Lee is the author of Advice for New Salespeople: Tips to Help your Sales Career.