What's The Best Way to Overcome Fear of Selling

35 replies
I've noticed that I have a fear about putting my products front and center in full view of my prospects and asking for the sale. I can't put my finger on the exact reason but when I ask for a sale it's it's in an indirect manner (I give free content and 'hope' the prospects see the value and are willing to pay for more).

There's nothing inherently wrong with this approach but I feel it leaves a lot of money on the table.

When you see a Billy Mays commercial you know a product is being offered to buy. You'll get the features, benefits, and a price.

Direct and to the point (which by the way is what I'm shooting for).

Mind you, I've gotten better, but I'm wondering if anybody else has experienced this and what you did to conquer it.


#fear #overcome #selling
  • Profile picture of the author Tinkerbell

    The first time I tried to sell something, an entire industry flew at my head like a bunch of wild, half-starved biddies. Scared the bejesus out of me -- so bad I pulled my product offline.

    Wasn't until later I discovered their upset was a sure-fire sign I had a "winner".

    So, the best way to overcome the fear of selling? Sell something. Really sell it. If it's worth selling, it's worth you giving all you've got to making your offer, right?

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    • Profile picture of the author Killer Joe

      It's important to remember that when you are selling anything, unless it is a total surprise to your prospective client, they are expecting to enter into a sales environment and you should not disappoint them.

      One of the big differences between a good salesperson and a mediocre to poor salesperson is the ability to respect that sales environment. The good ones know that beating around the bush serves no purpose other than to waste time.

      If you value your time, and respect the prospects time, you will instinctively learn to recognize the potential client isn't there for crumpets and tea, they are engaged because they believe the possibility to benefit from your product or service is on the horizon.

      It's your job to show them how your product or service will fulfill that expectation, and lead them through the steps necessary to gain those benefits. And that also means closing the sale with you taking the lead.

      I would suggest that you start reading materials by John Carlton about "selling from your heels". He talks about falling into the trap that your OP described.

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  • Profile picture of the author Daniel E Taylor
    Honestly it's programmed into us that Salesman
    are slimy and marketers are Scamming Maggots.

    Little do most people know if it wasn't for
    salesman and marketers our entire economy
    would crumble and they wouldn't even know
    about many of the things they enjoy in life.

    The way I got over it was sell Vacuum cleaners
    door to door.

    Brian Tracy says everybody should take a job
    selling things door to door.

    That is the hardest way to sell and it gets you
    to overcome alot of those fears.


    Self Actualization is one's true purpose. Everything
    else is an illusion.

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    • Profile picture of the author Vagabond 007
      Originally Posted by Daniel E Taylor View Post

      The way I got over it was sell Vacuum cleaners
      door to door.

      Brian Tracy says everybody should take a job
      selling things door to door.

      That is the hardest way to sell and it gets you
      to overcome alot of those fears.

      I agree. I had a sales job going door to door job. Then, when it got dark out we went back to the office to make cold calls. It was brutal.

      The two, in my opinion, hardest sales jobs out there.

      A whole book could be written on this topic you are asking about, and has been. And there is a lot of great advice posted in this thread.

      My favorite advice being "just do it". The fact that is scares you is EXACTLY the reason you should do it. It's out of your comfort zone, which is why you hesitate.

      But always remember, everything you desire is out of our comfort zone or else you would already have it.
      The Ultimate Sales & Marketing Mind Map (Just updated - now twice as big!) - scott_krech - "Quite possibly one of the BEST WSO's ever."


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      • Profile picture of the author Peter Burke
        Hi Kevin

        Fear comes in all shapes and sizes. There's a lot of good relies here and all of them have some wisdom.

        The best way to overcome fear that I have found is to tackle it - just try and conquer it.

        I have the name of a book you may find very interesting - it helped me conquer a fear that I had it's...

        'Feel The fear and Do It Anyway' by Susan Jeffers - it's small but packs a lot of punch - I think it's about $10 and probably sold on Amazon.


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        • Profile picture of the author Ross Bowring
          Kevin, as I remember you've got a very good product about becoming a pilot? (correct?)

          Someone earlier quoted John Carlton about not selling from your heels.

          My favorite piece of Carlton wisdom: Be the guy your prospect needs you to be to buy from you.

          People want to be led. Give your site visitors leadership to make the decision to buy your product. If you've got a good product you are providing a service by putting it in their hands. It's nothing to be shy about. They OWE YOU.

          Anyone who doesn't feel that way is protected by your strong guarantee.

          Think about it...

          You are giving your customers value which can lead to hundreds of thousands in earnings... wickedly exciting life experiences... a thousand stories to tell their grandkids... and yet you are charging only forty something bucks (!)

          Get selling.
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  • Profile picture of the author Raiel Schwartz
    I think the fear of selling lies in the fact that you want to perfect your product.

    The problem with that approach is that nothing in life is perfect.

    You won't ever be able to please 100% of the population so the best thing you can do is offer support, stick to your guarantees and just release a good ass product to the best of your ability.

    Everything else will fall into place afer that.
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  • Profile picture of the author 1960Texan
    I sucked at my first offline sales job, and was on track to suck even worse at my second, but then I realized something: I chose to take this job. Like it or not, I was now a professional salesperson, and needed to start taking it seriously enough to become an expert in my field (at the time I was selling furniture).

    I read a great book called Selling Retail by John F. Lawhon, and in it he wrote

    "A salesperson's job is to give the customer the information they need to make the best decision for them."

    After that it was easy. I didn't have to compromise my integrity, and I went from being one more bad month away from losing my job to being the top salesperson in the store, a position I held for the remainder of my employment.

    This is a long way of saying: Sell what you believe in. Find a product you're excited about, learn everything you can about that product, and your fear of selling will go away forever.

    Hope this helps.

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    • Profile picture of the author Michael Taylor
      Originally Posted by 1960Texan View Post

      I read a great book called Selling Retail by John F. Lawhon, and in it he wrote

      "A salesperson's job is to give the customer the information they need to make the best decision for them."
      That is an awesome book! It's one of my favorites. Anyone who wants to learn how to sell should put that book on their list for sure.

      Another good one concerning this subject is The Psychology of Sales Call Reluctance by George Dudley and Shannon Goodson. This is good for understanding the underlying psychological issues behind why we are afraid to sell and what to do about it.
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  • Profile picture of the author nichu89
    Actually didnt have any fear selling products first time around...just believed what i am doing is gonna help me...dats it
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    • Profile picture of the author The Brian
      Step outside of yourself and pretend that there's someone else inside your head. Seriously. The person you're selling to doesn't know the difference if you're you or someone else inside your head. To most people, you're just another person. You might as well be the person that sells things to other people!

      (As silly and/or confusing as this sounds, and I really wish I could explain it better without looking like a total nutjob, this is how I overcame severe anxiety of being in certain situations in public.)
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      • Profile picture of the author Shannon Herod
        The only way to get over the fear is to actually go out there and do it. Once you get out there and start offering products and start making the pitch you will become more comfortable with it.

        It's just like everything in life. I'm sure when you first drove a car you were terrified. You were scared of everything around you. You were so aware. But, as you became familiar with your surroundings, as you became familiar with driving, it has become second nature.

        The same will happen with your ability to sell and your ability to promote your products. The more you do it the more natural it will become. The more you do it the easier it will become.

        It's just a matter of getting out there and doing it!

        Talk soon,

        Shannon Herod
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        • Profile picture of the author patselby
          Just go fo it with everything that you have. If it doesn't work, you can modify what you are doing.
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          • Profile picture of the author sylviad
            Like many, you probably fear rejection. You don't want to put people off, so you downplay your salesmanship.

            When I went into Journalism, I was extremely withdrawn and was anxious at even the thought of going out into public and actually interviewing someone. The first few were quite a struggle, let me tell you. The thing pushing me was my assignments - I couldn't complete them or pass the course unless I did them, and that was a lot of motivation for me. I needed this new career.

            Then one day I interviewed our town mayor. Gads. Imagine the fear going into THAT interview. Here he was, top boss - probably really sophisticated and confident. As it turned out, he was shaking more than I was, and he turned out to be a fantastic guy. My tape recorder broke, and he loaned me his, which immediately diminished my nervousness. Our interview went fantastically.

            The way to overcome your inhibitions is to approach selling from your buyer's side. Think of what your product will do for them, how it will help them - and how much you know they can benefit from it. You are doing them a huge service by creating a product that will help them in whatever it is they face.

            Don't focus on your own fears. Believe that you can help your target market.

            For me, I knew that doing those interviews would help society in the long run because I could help them to get the word out about whatever their position was - whether it was to recover from illness, get donations, boast about their successes, promote their businesses or anything else. To get there, I knew I needed to get through that first big interview.

            You can do it, even if it has to begin with baby steps.

            Hope this helps.

            :: Got a dog? Visit my blog. Dog Talk Weekly
            :: Writing, Audio Transcription Services? - Award-winning Journalist is taking new projects. Warrior Discounts!
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  • Profile picture of the author Pete_Moore
    Hi Kevin,

    If you believe in the quality of your product then there is no reason for you not to put it in front of your visitor. They are interested in your market otherwise they wouldn't be there.

    How hard you can push really depends on the market and how conditioned it is. Have a look at other successful established people in your market how do they ask for the sale.

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  • Profile picture of the author Matt Bard
    Have some faith in the good in others.

    Most people are not looking for a reason to criticize you. Most are actually on your side and want to see you succeed.

    The majority of your prospects will overlook minor errors and imperfections.

    Like Craig above said, if you have a support system in place to deal with major issues then that too is acceptable to most people.

    Whatever you do in life there will always be a small percentage of people that complain about everything and are looking for an excuse to do so.

    So you have to decide if you are going to let that small minority steal your potential happiness when you know that so many more are on your side and want you to do well.

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    • Profile picture of the author Silas Hart
      My problem comes from being frugal, sometimes I forget that others don't think the same way I do. Here's what I PERSONALLY do.

      I like to sit at the mall like a crazy old person and watch people who impulse buy insignificant items, feeling that my items aren't actually insignificant, I feel better that there is more of a chance that people will see the importance of my items. My items being eBooks, sometimes that I convert into spiral bound books.

      I buy competition products. I always feel that my item just doesn't have enough pages, or the information isn't as elaborated or detailed enough, then I buy competition's eBooks and no longer feel so bad.

      Pricing makes a HUGE difference to me. If I sell an eBook for $2.99 or something, that's what I convince myself to feel what its worth. Chances are, it's actually worth $17.99 but due to me bring frugal, I convince myself that nobody would spend $17.99 on an eBook. Truth is, the higher you make the price, the more people will consider your product of a higher quality. I think of a shirt. The purpose of a shirt is to cover your back, a $3.00 shirt and a $300.00 shirt serve the same purpose.
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      • Profile picture of the author ExRat
        Hi Kevin,

        What Matt and Shannon said...(#11 & 16)

        Or put another way -

        If you hear a voice within you say 'you cannot paint,' then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced - Van Gogh

        What's The Best Way to Overcome Fear of Selling?

        Roger Davis

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        • Profile picture of the author Kevin AKA Hubcap
          I'd like to thank everyone for their answers and suggestions.

          It's amazing how one can be so confident and self assured in one career (or apsect of life) and fearful in another.

          As I said, you guys have given me some great options that I'll be implementing.


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  • Profile picture of the author tomsmart80
    read tom hopkins
    the art of selling
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    • Profile picture of the author MissTerraK
      I believe it is a mindset that needs to be changed!

      First of all, we hear all the time: what will they say? What will they think? What will they do?

      Ask yourself, Who are "they"? Can you answer that? Has any people labeled only "they" ever done anything significant throughout history? No, they are bit parts on the big screen of life?

      What will "they" think, say, do?

      Who cares! Take control, you are the star on stage!

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  • Profile picture of the author Michael Oksa
    I'd like to offer a bit of a selling philosophy that I've discovered. I say discovered because I don't recall seeing it anywhere else, but it seems so simple that it must have always been around.

    Selling boils down to this:

    What you sell must help people in some way.

    IF you don't at least give them the best chance to buy it, then you are actually doing them harm.

    Therefore, it becomes your DUTY to sell, in order to help people.

    When I discovered this it was a real paradigm shift.

    All the best,

    "Ich bin en fuego!"
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  • Profile picture of the author Instructor
    Like Nike Said..."Just Do It"

    In sales you need to get some book education, but then you just have to get out there and and start shaking some hands and kissing some babies.
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    • Profile picture of the author BrianTubbs
      This is an excellent thread. Lots of good info here.

      I've always had a fear of selling, because I don't like rejection. Never have. Still don't. But, what's helped me is to widen my perspective on what selling is.

      Selling isn't just offering products or services in exchange for money. Selling is ultimately about persuading people to invest either their money or time or trust in something or someone.

      Understanding that made me understand that I've been selling all my life. In fact, we ALL sell -- all the time, all our lives.

      And I recognized that, in some areas, I do well. In others, I don't. So, it isn't really that I fear selling. It's that I'm more comfortable with SOME areas of selling than I am with others.
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      • Profile picture of the author JoshuaG
        The best way to get over your fear of selling is to stop.
        Stop selling and start doing business.

        Your not a salesman. Your a human being in the business of providing your clients/customers with things they want/need.

        The only way you need to adjust yourself is to be business minded. Keep your personality, forge and honest relationship, don't be pushy or manipulative. Simply explain what your product is, what it can do, and ask if your customer/client wants it. Ask them frequently as you go. This relieves the pressure on your customer/client.

        Also, be very upfront with your leads. "Hello Mr Smith, my name is XXX Im selling a product that *list 2-3 benifits*. Is this something you want?
        They say no, you leave em.
        They say yes you go on.

        Sales is about working out a mutually beneficial business relationship.

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  • Profile picture of the author shaddai
    I've always been afraid of selling, but I think I'm about to use another asset of my personality to conquer it..

    I'm simply a mischievous little chit that likes to see what makes people tick...seriously. Not in a harmful way, but I love doing things that make people's jaws drop and gasp in disbelief that I said or did something. I loved DJ'ing, mainly because I always knew when I was onto something that was going to make the club get out of control..and I naturally would start planning on how to make it explode. Security would routinely come over and tell ME to knock it off. I loved getting clubs into a groove, wind them up, and then toss a bottle of gasoline in the fire. I eventually quit because either the alcohol or some girls boyfriend was gonna take me out if I didn't.

    At any rate, I think I can focus on this part of my personality and utilize it to sell. Just trying to work out the particulars & see how it works at the moment...

    I guess I said all that just to say this: You don't always need a drill to create holes in a hunk of wood. If you swing hard enough, a hammer will do it much quicker, give you a bigger hole & shoot splinters everywhere. The same thing with needing the "selling personality" to sell...there may be another trait of your personality you can leverage to get it done...and it may be explosive.


    “Never be afraid to try something new. Remember, amateurs built the ark. Professionals built the Titanic.” -Author Unknown

    Resident computer geek. If you need help, don't be afraid to PM here, or DM on Twitter.
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  • Profile picture of the author joshril
    Just like anything in life, the more you do it, the easier it gets. When I started in sales back in 2002, that phone receiver weighed 1,000 pounds, but it got much easier to pick up as I made more calls.

    Additionally, only offer/sell products or services that are truly helpful. If you feel good about the product or service, it makes it that much easier to be enthusiastic when speaking to a prospect. If you sincerely have a desire to help someone, they will see that come through in your sales presentation.

    I've always told sales people that have worked for me to put the prospect first and sell what will meet their needs... the commission will take care of itself, and in the long-run, you'll get more referrals and repeat business.
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    • Profile picture of the author AndrewCavanagh
      Really get into your prospects and client's heads.

      Find out how it is exactly that your product or service can genuinely enhance their lives.

      Find out what problems it solves and why and how it's better than any other options.

      Then your mindset will change from you feeling bashful about telling them to buy to KNOWING that they need to buy and telling them why they should buy because there is no other option that's good for them.

      Kindest regards,
      Andrew Cavanagh
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  • Profile picture of the author tryinhere
    Look at it another way, instead of you having a fear of selling, back step it, and pick a high quality product that sells itself.

    in 99% of cases i never sell the product anyway, and i will talk about anything else other than the product thats being sold, this approach lets you relax and chat with you client in more like a good friend over and above the big salesmans hat that is scaring some people.

    Learn to put the bait out and when you get a nibble, slowly start to reel it in, and many many people over sell as they fail to see a buy signal, keep selling and oversell, as soon as you have that buy, be quiet and get the paperwork done before talking again.
    | > Choosing to go off the grid for a while to focus on family, work and life in general. Have a great 2020 < |
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    • Profile picture of the author 1937dougal
      I formed a friendship with a pair of Mormon missionaries
      who were to spend 2 years of their lives at their own
      expense promoting their religeon without payment.
      The point I would like to make is the statistic that their
      success rate (ie sales) was on average about ONE in 800.
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  • Profile picture of the author Dan Klatt
    Others touched upon this, although I'm going to describe this from the specific way that made a difference to me.

    Back in the mid 1990s when I started selling online, I was afraid of failing, which is really to say fear of being rejected.

    (That was a self-confidence issue more than anything, and the best resource that comes to mind that helped with that was one or more tape sets by Jack Canfield.)

    What helped me get over my fears was doing a reframe.

    What I learned from Jay Abraham was two things:

    1. The idea of consultative selling: I am the trusted advisor of the people I have made the commitment to serve, and my only job is to listen and learn what the best solutions I'm able to offer to their problems. (That may involve recommending products by someone else, because my role is first and foremost to be of service and help them, whether I get paid as a result, or not.)

    2. Knowing what I know about what their needs are, and how I'm able to be of service to them, I have a moral and ethical obligation to let them know about all the ways their lives would be better by purchasing my trainings, courses, products or memberships.

    I would, in fact, be doing them a disservice if I held something that could cause a life-changing breakthrough for them, and I did not let them know about it.

    People know I'm being genuine with them and that I sincerely care. About twice I promoted an affiliate product I had not seen or reviewed, and my subscribers let me know they bought it because they trust me, although it turned out the thing I recommended did not deliver, and I ended up disappointing people.

    Like I said, that happened just twice. And since then, I have had to know personally the value of the things before I'm willing to endorse them.

    Hope that gives you a sense of what I mean by not thinking of yourself as doing any selling, you're the trusted mentor, advisor or even friend of the people who look to you for guidance and direction.

    And in that role, you have a duty to advise them of how to solve their biggest problems, to the best extent you can!


    Has Think and Grow Rich FAILED YOU, TOO? Join the Small Business Network and get ALL 29 of my new "Master Think and Grow Rich" Trainings FREE

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  • Profile picture of the author Larry Blake
    Originally Posted by Kevin AKA Hubcap View Post

    I've noticed that I have a fear about putting my products front and center in full view of my prospects and asking for the sale. I can't put my finger on the exact reason but when I ask for a sale it's it's in an indirect manner (I give free content and 'hope' the prospects see the value and are willing to pay for more).

    There's nothing inherently wrong with this approach but I feel it leaves a lot of money on the table.

    When you see a Billy Mays commercial you know a product is being offered to buy. You'll get the features, benefits, and a price.

    Direct and to the point (which by the way is what I'm shooting for).

    Mind you, I've gotten better, but I'm wondering if anybody else has experienced this and what you did to conquer it.


    Hi Kevin,

    It has been my experience that the need for strong closes goes way down with the proper approach in prospecting. Frankly, I never was very good at closing sales, but I didn't have to be. My prospects were interested in what I had before I got there.

    I could go into a long, drawn out explanation of this, but Frank J. Rumbauskus' book Never Cold Call Again!goes into detail about it. You can get it for a song at Amazon.com. (I don't make any money with this.)

    Just briefly, the point is that the more interested the prospect is before you enter his/her office/home, the more likely they are to buy, and the less aggressive you have to be in closing.

    The book is a terrific investment. I really recommend it.

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  • Profile picture of the author Ernie Mitchell

    Everyone dreads and fears rejection. To the layman the world of selling is chock full of rejection when in reality, what the layperson perceives as rejection is really refusal. Unless you are rude, ill mannered and overbearing your prospect isn't "rejecting" you personally, they are "refusing" your product. Everyone in the selling game needs to get their head wrapped around the difference between "rejection" and "refusal". In time, as you hone your presentation you can engineer around a large portion of the "refusal" factor.

    You need to be sold on your product! As Zig Ziglar says, "Selling is nothing more than transference of feeling. If you feel the way about my product that I feel about my product, you are going to buy my product."

    If you are sold "REALLY SOLD" on the benefits of owning your product your mission as a salesperson takes on a noble motive, a motive that no one should feel sheepish about. Like Elrod Blues said in the movie The Blues Brothers, "we're on a mission from God."

    Sales people that attempt to sell products that they do not believe in and therefore are not convinced that they will benefit their customers are nothing more than common prostitutes. If you're in this situation find another product to sell.

    When you make a sales call you're purpose is of a commercial or "selling" nature. If you've properly sold your prospect on the reason for your visit your prospect is going to expect for you to spread your wampum (spread your wares) and eventually ask for an order. You aren't there as a professional visitor --- you came to ask for and procure an order. Just remember, a sale is made on every sales call. You either sell your prospect on purchasing your product or your prospect sells you on you keeping your product.

    One VERY important thing for newbies to grasp, whether you're selling one-on-one in Des Moines or from a podium to 3,500 people in London is that your presentation isn't going to be perfect. Think through and practice your presentation but when the time comes to get in front of your prospects don't allow your intellect to critique everything that comes out of your mouth as you are saying it. This kind of ultra conscious intellectual shredding of your message is counter productive to the flow of your presentation and will only serve to trip you up.

    Be at your best but don't attempt to be something that you aren't by using elevated or platform English. Doing so sounds unnatural and phony --- just as phony as someone who cultivates a southern, eastern or any sort of an accent. There is nothing wrong with having a regional accent but cultivating one is a different story. Just be yourself and realize you are going to occasionally screw up. BUT, with each failure you will hone your skills and get better at your profession. Relax; if you screw up, as you will, you can fix it with the next presentation to the next prospect --- or a future second presentation to the same prospect. Have fun and repeat after me --- Every Day In Every Way I'm Getting Better And Beter

    Now Go Out And Sell Something :-)
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  • Profile picture of the author Jag82

    Think about it this way.

    People don't like to be sold to. But they like to buy.

    Help them make the buying decision.

    One good way - ask them for a dollar in return of $100
    in value you will return to them.

    See selling as a way of returning value. Give. And you will get.

    Sales is not as terrifying as it sounds. Really.
    Once you get grateful customers, that's when the real kick comes in.

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