Selling Fear: Overcome Sales Failure by Promoting Yourself

Wannabe entrepreneurs come from many backgrounds: accounting, engineering, teaching, corporate America - careers that have not required phoning strangers, grasping flesh and smiling when you don't feel like it. Now you must.

“If I am not for myself, who, then, will be for me?” Hillel

Do you enjoy promoting your business? Do you wish someone would do it for you? Is promoting and persuading others to invest with you or buy from you a task you are not comfortable with? If so, you are not unusual. Wannabe entrepreneurs come from many backgrounds: accounting, engineering, teaching, corporate America – careers that have not required phoning strangers, grasping flesh and smiling when you don’t feel like it. Now you must. If you are going to succeed in this game of business, maybe it is time for you to fashion a few inner changes.

As I have written in previous columns, it is not easy to taste success with your own business if economic conditions, shortage of money, aggressive, even unethical, competitors, and your actions all can conspire to bankrupt you. Take a moment and look inward. Do you have any suppressed self-destructive traits or childhood hang-ups that are roadblocks to promoting your dream? Are you putting yourself out of business?

Your inner drive and wherewithal to promote your business is the underpinning of your future success. Can you do it? Or do any of these fears and beliefs hold you back?

1. Fear of failure. I won’t try, therefore I cannot fail.

2. Fear of confrontation. I don’t want anyone mad at me.

3. I hate to ask for your business, as you might say no and reject me.

4. I can’t ask for an order, as I do not like feeling I owe anyone anything.

5. I believe selling is lying. All salespersons lie; they have to, to make a living.

6. I believe selling is manipulative and not sincere.

7. I believe promotion is all personality. You must be a smooth-talking snake charmer.

8. I will not beg to sell you. I will not lower myself to needing your welfare.

If such self-defeating notions block your success, you have some work to do. Change your approach to business and focus on the following truisms:

1. Successful entrepreneurs are always promoting the virtues of their business.

2. Your success will come from your ability to persuade others to believe in you.

3. Entrepreneurship is asking for money, products, cooperation, and relationships.

4. A presentation is communication of your message. It must be effective or it will fail

5. Poor, ill-prepared and unenthusiastic communication does not persuade anyone.

6. The messenger must believe the message.

7. When you get what you want it is fun to ask.

Success is a series of beliefs. If you are looking for inspiration read Ralph Waldo Emerson. He is one of the original positive thinking gurus and my favorite. Within the philosophical content of his works is the belief that we act as we think. The next time these barriers to your success pop up, creating self-doubt, hit the delete key and insert “I believe.”

Easy to say, but not so easy to do. Those who make it in business demonstrate a conviction of their ability to succeed. They are focused on what they want and know how to get it. The rest of us are not quite sure and have to work at it. Self-doubts, even the guilty feeling of going after what we want as being selfish, stand in our way. Casting out our demons of defeat is hard work; it requires a constant vigil and a form of thought police. Just as you learn to get rid of your golf slice, to bid a bridge contract, prepare a gourmet meal, or sky jump, you can learn to believe and focus on what you want.

Believe in your dream, believe in your company, believe in your product/service, and believe you can convince others to believe in you. Otherwise, check the help-wanted ads.

Dr. Paul E. Adams, Professor Emeritus, Business Administration, Ramapo College of New Jersey, is the author of “Fail-Proof Your Business: Beat the Odds and be Successful,” available at Adams-Hall Publishing (800-888-4452). If you have questions or comments or ideas for topics, you may reach Dr. Adams at [email protected]

Article © Copyright 2002 Dr. Paul E. Adams Syndicated by Paradigm News, Inc.

I need help with:

Affiliate Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning we get a commission if you decide to purchase something using one of our links at no extra cost to you.