The Risk of Playing It Safe

by | Oct 7, 2020 | Blog

What is the difference between a $30,000 a year and a $300,000 a year salesperson? 

Sure, training and talent have something to do with it, but there’s another critical and often overlooked element of sales success: the willingness to take risks. 

The fact is, sales is sometimes a scary job; ask anyone who has tried to cold call for the first time. To earn the sale, you have to put yourself out there and be willing to get vulnerable with the clients. You risk rejection, failure, and wasted effort. 

For business owners selling their own products or services, the challenge is greater. Rejection is harder when what you’re selling is the product of your labor and ingenuity. 

But here’s the upside: sales is as rewarding as it is challenging; you gain far more than you lose. The pain of rejection is well worthwhile when you taste success.

Scary or not, you owe it to yourself and your business to assume the risk of rejection each and every day, to go out and seek the next customer when the last 99 have shot you down. 

Now the question is, how do you become comfortable with risk in sales? 

1- Become your product’s #1 fan and stop worrying about what anyone else thinks about it.

Your customers won’t believe in your product unless you do. Before you think about sales strategy or training, the first step to becoming successful is to determine why YOU think your offer is valuable. 

When you truly believe in the value of your offer, the risk of failure or rejection becomes much more bearable.

Additionally, your enthusiasm will be evident to the prospect. Passion and authenticity are more persuasive than any killer pitch or differentiating factor. 

2- Pick up the phone and call.

Sometimes you just have to face your fears. The truth is, the fastest way to get comfortable with the sales process is to jump right in. 

Sometimes the phone can feel like it weighs a thousand pounds. The only way to overcome fear is to face it head-on. You will quickly find cold calling is a lot more rewarding and less stressful than you might imagine. Plus, each and every call makes your pitch stronger and sharpens your sales skills. 

When you throw yourself in the proverbial lion’s den, it will quickly become apparent that their teeth aren’t as sharp as you expected. 

3- Look forward to failure.

No matter how talented and lucky you may be, you’re going to fail sometimes. You’ll lose customers, make mistakes in your pitch, and face rejection over and over. Even the best salespeople get told no more often than not. 

Rather than bemoaning this fact, see failure as your greatest teacher. Every mistake is an opportunity for improvement. Every need you aren’t able to meet is a new area for growth. 

When you avoid risk, you miss out on the opportunity to improve, find new opportunities, and correct mistakes. 

Embracing risk doesn’t mean you’ll never fail, it means you’ll never regret failing. 

Take every shot you get. If you aren’t failing sometimes, you probably aren’t trying hard enough.