Sales anxiety can affect anyone. It doesn’t matter if you’re a freelance WordPress developer or a full service digital agency, the sales process is vulnerable. If nobody is selling, there are no projects to work on. No projects, no money! Therefore, it is absolutely essential to know what traps not to fall into when trying to land that next client.
Let’s first look at what sales anxiety actually is before discussing how it causes problems and how to overcome it.
In a nutshell, it’s the issue we all face when we’re trying to land a project quickly. We start to get worked up over how long it’s taking to close a sale. It might be that you haven’t got a project to work on or have failed to close two or three promising leads. The pressure grows and that translates to our approach in the sales process. We start looking for the close that isn’t there yet and the trajectory of a sale begins to dip.
Each lead suddenly becomes an obsession and you want to work it to the bone to close the sale and make the deal. All the meanwhile, you might be missing out on 10 prospects that are easier deals to make. Why? Because you can’t face starting the sales process again because it takes time to build rapport with a prospective client.
Typically sales anxiety stems from poor organisation and not filling up the sales pipeline as a project nears conclusion. Therefore, there’s no natural follow on to the next project with just a minimal break between the two. Granted, it’s not always the case. A client might bail on a project midway through leaving you with a hole to fill. However, even this can be mitigated by having slow burners who are ready to go at an point in the next 2 quarters. Then, a simple email triggers the next project and downtime is minimised.
When there are outside pressures, it is incredibly difficult to remain calm and not panic a sale. Prospective clients quickly pick up on the anxious tone of the conversation and are less inclined to complete the sale.
To the inexperienced salesperson, sales anxiety might be something you don’t even realise you’re suffering from. The curse of inexperience results in very limited knowledge of what works and what doesn’t during a sale.
Have you even heard of sales anxiety or considered its existence? A quick Google reveals it’s a bit of a hot topic. Many first time salespeople talk about the struggles with knowing when to push and when to back off. Sales is a daunting field but once you learn how to sell, it’s an exciting one.
However, it’s very easy to get caught up in the sales process if you have several leads all making the right noises at the same time. We live in a fast paced world and overwhelming the customer with enthusiasm can be very damaging.
You suddenly find yourself jumping the gun and trying to close sales that aren’t ready to be closed. It’s much easier for a lead to simply walk away than try to slow down a rampant salesperson. It’s important to remember that the sales person dictates the conversation. As a result, the lead is likely to walk away from the conversation if they feel uncomfortable. With it, a potential sale.
As the title of this article says – do not panic! Slow down, take a breath. Much of our communication is written, even if there are sales or consultation calls. There’s always a written proposal and emails fired back and forth.
If you’re about to call someone for the 3rd time in a day or fire off your 4th follow up email in as many days, stop. You are going to drive them away. When sales are going well, everyone’s busy and the pressure’s off; leads are cultivated over many days, weeks or months.
When you need to make a deal fast, rather than wait for a nice juicy prospect, smash out some lead gen. Hit up as many prospects as you can with an initial introduction. This gets the rapport building for lots of prospects and the process started. It might be that you have to sacrifice some sales due to over-subscribing your capacity but it gets new projects on the schedule. Then, very consciously take your time. If an email comes in, don’t reply immediately. Read it, read it again and then formulate a reply. Read the reply twice before even considering click send. Make sure the language is passive and not too direct. Don’t ask for decisions, wait for the customer to say. It’s hard but you must clear your mind of all worry and focus solely on meeting your potential clients needs.
If you’re struggling to build your sales process, then it might be an idea to invest in a sales strategy. GloboTek can work with you to develop a winning sales strategy that will give you clear and defined direction to grow your sales pipeline.