For some entrepreneurs, merely thinking about selling feels unnatural and uncomfortable. Truth be told, many entrepreneurs dislike selling, which is a bit ironic since sales drive the success of a business.

The problem is that it isn’t possible to be a wildly successful business owner or entrepreneur if you never learn how to sell. That doesn’t mean you have to love to sell things, but it does mean you need to master the art of it. A great way to start is to realize how important it is to build customer trust to stand out from the competition.

Selling to consumer
photo credit: Erin Nekervis / Flickr

Few people are born with the innate desire and ability to sell. If you are one of those individuals, take a look at these 5 tips that can help you overcome your fear of sales.

1. Change your mindset

One way to overcome the fear and dislike of sales is to reframe your mindset. Don’t view sales as a one-way street. Grasp the reality of today’s business world. Today’s buyers are more informed than in years past. Most online shoppers look at products and read reviews before making a purchase. Some even say that the buyer is the one in charge of today’s sales process and not the salesperson.

Reframe your mindset to understand that as a salesperson, your job isn’t to trick the buyer into making a purchase decision. In reality, it’s to answer questions, engage customers, and sell the value behind your products.

2. Focus on the person

This is one of many customer retention tips for every entrepreneur. You always have to focus on your customer. It’s common for salespeople to focus on the products they are selling, but that’s not the right way to go about it. In order to experience success, you need to focus on whom you are selling to instead of the product you are selling.

Identify consumer needs and the ways your product is the right solution. Remember that 80 percent of sales take five follow-up contacts after the initial meeting. Just under half of sales reps call one time then give up.

3. Recognize your value proposition

Your focus should remain on the person you are selling the product to, but that doesn’t mean you don’t need to prepare. You should have a solid grasp and understanding of your value proposition – this will boost your confidence. The more details and facts you know about the products you are selling, the more confidence you will feel.

If you know all about your value proposition, you won’t feel nervous about any questions that arise. This also alleviates that fear of failure because you realize you won’t face rejection based on lack of preparation or due to being ill informed.

Storytelling to client
photo credit: Kennisland / Flickr

4. Utilize personal stories

The art of sales will always be linked to storytelling. Experiences are how you connect with customers, so relay stories to your prospects or you will miss out on lots of leads.

A great thing about storytelling is that it’s a natural and effortless way for those who fear selling to make those deals. Personal stories are a great way for even the shyest salesperson to close the deal. Think about things you see in movies – it’s common for people to want to be like celebrities. The celebrities don’t go tell you to buy a certain kind of shirt or accessory, but the clothes and accessories worn in the film are likely to experience a rise in sales.

5. Don’t try to speed up the process

Make sure you don’t rush the sales process. The majority of the stress people feel during sales is because of the pressure to close the deal as soon as possible. Rushing the sales process isn’t necessary. In many industries, it’s essential to go slow and take time to develop a relationship with your prospects.

Once you recognize that you don’t have to rush things and make a sale, there is less stress and pressure to sell. This means you can slow down and focus on relationship building and not feel like you are pressuring someone into making a purchase.

The art of selling doesn’t come easily to many people. The good news is that there are several million people who have conquered their fear and dislike of sales and now have lucrative careers that are rooted in their ability to close deals. Even those who hate or fear sales can learn to like it and find great success in their careers.