Several years ago there was a competition reality series on NBC, The Fear Factor, in which contestants had to decide if they have the personal resolve and determination to face their fears while outperforming the competition. If you ever watched this show, every episode had the contestants covered in leeches, bees, in a coffin filled with snakes, etc. The show made you cringe. While not a show I watched with any frequency, I always thought, is this really worth the prize money? But then we never really understand what motivates people do we. 

In our world of sales, agents demonstrate their Fear Factor all the time. Usually it is a subconscious process that sets up mental and emotional barricades to succeeding in sales. Fear can be driven by many factors. FDR made that memorable statement in his first inaugural address, ‘… the only thing we have to fear is...fear itself — nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.’ In sales, many times the agent is not even aware they are not taking the steps to advance their craft. Perhaps it is because an agent is not prepared. Let’s explore a few fears that hinder sales performance.

Fear of the Sales Process:   It continually amazes me that some agents can spend years in sales and their lack of performance discipline continues to handcuff them. In our last edition, we touched on various selling styles. Perhaps agents become paralyzed because they don’t try to break the sales process down into basics:  the Who, What, Where, When and Why. While sales styles change over the years, the basics give an agent their directional map. So whether your sales style is matching personality types, engaging in casual conversation, or blending multiple styles, you still need to know where you are going. By breaking down the process into basics, an agent can perfect one at a time and in the end, lose the fear of the process. And yes, an important part of the Sales Process is understanding the motivation for each prospect.

Fear of Objections:  Some agents shut down when a prospective buyer objects to something. Some interpret an objection as a personal rejection or a rejection of their product. Others just don’t know how to handle objections. Think about it. If someone had no interest at all in your product or community, would they even stop to talk to you? If they have spent 30 minutes or more with you and they raise a concern - that is all it is. Unless a prospect states there is no way they would buy your product or service because of ‘X’, you continue on because you are there to help them through that concern. It is nothing personal, they are just uncertain about a perceived problem. The operative word here is perceived. Perception is subjective and not always based on reality. The agent’s job is to work through that perception and put it to rest.



Fear of Closing:  This is the greatest fear for all agents. Asking someone to make a purchase commitment strikes terror in some sales agents. Why? If you have done your job correctly (the Sales Process), you created a product and community match, your prospect likes what you are selling, then why stop short? If you ask for a purchase commitment, they might say yes. If you don’t, you’ve lost them to competition. So don’t get paralyzed when it comes time to ask for the sale. What is important to learn is the timing of when to ask. I have seen way too many agents who ask too early in their sales presentation. Of course many more don’t even bother to ask. They think they do but what they say is something like ‘if this is something you would like to proceed with’ vs. 'do you want to proceed so home site 56 becomes your new home?”

Fear of Performance Measurement:  So many agents have anxiety attacks when it comes to any form of performance measurement. Meeting sales goals can create a lot of angst for some agents. However, let’s talk about the process of mystery shopping. If an agent is confident in their selling ability, they welcome the process. Others don’t. Every agent has had at least one bad shopping experience. It goes with the territory. However, with each mystery shop, particularly video shops, always make it a learning experience. None of us perform at perfection level on a daily basis. We forget to say things or ask certain questions, haven’t decompressed yet from a difficult buyer, etc. In other words, stuff happens every day. But in your worst mystery shop, you can find something to improve upon. It might not even be verbal. Perhaps you think you are smiling, but while viewing the video you can’t see it. Your back is turned away from your prospect more than it should be. You take too long to come out of your office to greet your prospect. Arms folded? Perhaps not as organized as you should be? There are so many non-verbal elements that can be improved upon. Always make it a learning experience and don’t become a prisoner of your fears.

When it comes time to evaluate what barriers your sales agents have created to generate the sale, allow LeBlanc & Associates to identify what needs to be changed. It’s easy. Go online or give us a call!

Top 5 Most Sinful & Saintly Cities
In a tongue-in-cheek study, looked at American cities to see which were the most sinful and saintly. They rated each one according to the seven deadly sins--for example, obesity and drinking rates denoted gluttony, while violent crime rates showed wrath. Oddly enough, Sin City itself (Las Vegas) came in at only #7 on the list.
Here are the most sinful cities:
1. New Orleans, LA
2. Atlantic City, NJ
3. Philadelphia, PA
4. Tampa, FL
5. Toledo, OH
And the most saintly ones:
1. Cambridge, MA
2. Greely, CO
3. Asheville, NC
4. Boise, ID