Ever wonder why it’s so easy to postpone sales activities that can grow your business? Few businesses are started by people from successful sales backgrounds – still, what is it about selling that has business owners opening up QuickBooks before opening up a prospecting file?
The truth is that sales has a longer history than any other business function. In fact, sales is one of the the oldest professions!  When humans first began to have surplus, selling facilitated the transfer of that surplus.  Professional selling has since evolved significantly.  Today, the best sales practices incorporate proven disciplines from neuroscience, psychology, communication, and other sciences.
So why do otherwise solid, forward thinking, successful professionals break out in a cold sweat at the mere thought of having to ‘sell’ something?
It all comes down to one small and very powerful word: No.   The cold sweat is generated by our natural reluctance to be rejected – and ‘NO’ is definitely rejection!
Does success in selling always mean facing rejection?
That depends  on lots of things.  Let’s define “sales” as the human interaction that leads to an exchange of goods, services, or ideas.  No one needs everything all of the time, so – at most points in time – people will not need what you’re selling.  This means the untrained ear is always more likely to hear “no” than “yes” during active selling.   The key word here is untrained.  Sometimes the word “no” means “not now,” or “not me,” or just “I don’t understand”.   How we interpret what is being said is the first part of that sense of rejection; and that interpretation is influenced by our experience, beliefs, current state of mind – lots of things both in and out of our control.
“But wait there’s more!…Now how much would you pay?”
Perhaps even more important is how we allow each “no” from the past to impact our beliefs and activities in the future.  Being rejected is not a preferred social norm in any culture. It is normal to want to avoid rejection.  Admitting we are a salesperson puts our integrity, trust, self-image, and a host of other personal values at risk of social disapproval.
Take the natural fear of rejection and pile on a few negative stereotypes – like Snake Oil,  Used Car, Telemarketer, Investment Banker – and there you have the source of “I’m not a salesperson, but…”
Is it possible to be good at selling without fear of rejection?
What this question is really asking is:  Can I be successful selling without being “slimy?”  In short: Absolutely!  Sidehill helps people do this every day.  At BizCon 2010, we will be talking about this as well as how world class sales people change the old beliefs, habits, and fears that can hold them back.   See you there!

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