Fear,The Greatest Enemy of a Closed Sale

Fear is the greatest enemy you’ll ever encounter as a professional salesperson. Your fear, the prospect’s fear, market and trend fears and so on.

What do we fear? As salespeople, we fear saying or doing things that may halt a potential sale. Hopefully, you’ll learn to recognize and conquer your fears through continual education, practice, drill and rehearsal of strategies and tactics that will keep you ahead of the pack.

A tough part of our jobs as salespeople is in helping others understand and overcome their fears so we can earn the opportunity to help them make decisions. Fear is what builds that wall of resistance we so often run into. You must master the skills to either climb over or break through those walls.

Here are some other common, normal and potentially paralyzing fears that many people face in decision-making situations and what you should do about them.

1. Your prospective client is initially afraid of you. This is simply because you are a salesperson. I think you’ll agree with me that salespeople are not generally accepted with open arms by most people.

Accept it. There are some people who are going to be afraid of you just as there are patients who are panic-stricken when they have appointments with doctors or dentists. What you need to do to conquer the “salesperson” fear is to master the skill of putting people at ease. Learn to use a relaxed manner and tone of voice.

2. They have a fear of making a mistake. We’ve all made decisions we’ve later regretted. Perhaps we relied on someone when we weren’t sure of their knowledge on the matter. When you are the salesperson, your prospective client must recognize you as an expert. To help people overcome the fear of making a mistake, you need to lay out all the details they require in an easy-to-understand manner. Once they gain confidence in their own knowledge, making a decision will be easy.

3. They fear being lied to. This is where your literature, testimonial letters and referrals come in. People are more likely to believe the written word than the spoken word so let them read the good news about your product or service for themselves. Let them see how happy the people you currently serve as clients are with the product and your service in particular.

4. They’re afraid of owing money. Most people have a tremendous fear of debt. If your product or service requires financing, you’ll have to be ready to address this concern. Covering the financial details very carefully is key here.

You must be prepared to do whatever it takes to replace any fears they have with confidence in the decision they’re making and in the service you will provide.

No one wants to handle a transaction in which the client may be dissatisfied with the result. Believe me, there will be cases where the grief you will get from that client won’t be worth the fee you’ll earn on the product or service. It doesn’t happen often, but you must go into every presentation with a very curious interest in the who, what, when, where and why of the situation. When you’ve satisfied yourself that this decision is in their best interest, then it’s your duty as an expert in your industry to convince them that this decision is truly good for them.

Learn more>>

This information is copyrighted by Tom Hopkins International, Inc. for reprint permission, contact Judy Slack (judys@tomhopkins.com).



Click to get Closing Sales is Easy eBook by Tom Hopkins


  1. This is one of my favorite posts as it is classic Tom at his most insightful best! It furthers one of Tom’s key sales principals that people must “like you and trust you” before they will do business with you. So, overcoming one’s personal fears is, for me, the first and most important step anyone must take before they could ever settle any client fears. Personal fears are overcome by developing expert knowledge of one’s products, services and markets; then developing your skills to demonstrate that expertise in an easy, comfortable yet reassuring manner to your clients.

    The most profound and important perspective in this article is probably the last: “When you’ve satisfied yourself that this decision is in their best interest, then it’s your duty as an expert in your industry to convince them that this decision is truly good for them.” Most salespersons falter at this last crucial step in closing the sale because it is the greatest fear that they never learn to master, nor overcome.

Speak Your Mind