Common Fears and Obstacles to Closing Sales

If you’re in sales you should know that there are several common obstacles that salespeople face when closing sales. The end game of selling is stressful and difficult, and, understanding these barriers will help you win the game.

From the prospects point of view, they may experience these fears:

Fear of Failure: Fear of failure isn’t an emotion felt only by a salesperson, it is shared by the prospect as well. It can be a result of negative buying experiences in the past, over which you could have no control, prospects are conditioned to be suspicious, skeptical and wary of salespeople and sales approaches. They may like to buy, but they don’t like to be sold. They are afraid of making a mistake. They are afraid of paying too much and finding it for sale cheaper somewhere else.

Fear of Criticism: Another reality is that prospects secretly are many times afraid of being criticized by others for making the wrong buying decision. They are afraid of buying an inappropriate product and finding out later that they should have purchased something else. This fear of failure, of making a mistake in buying your product, is the major reason why people object, hesitate and procrastinate on the buying decision.

From the salespersons side of the equation, these things can create a closing barrier;

Fear of Rejection: A major obstacle to selling is and has always been the fear of rejection, of criticism and disapproval experienced by a salesperson. A salesperson works long and hard to prospect and cultivate a prospective buyer and you are very reluctant to say anything that might cause the prospect to tune you out and turn you off. You have a lot invested in each prospect and if you are not careful, you will find yourself being afraid of failure, so you are afraid to ask the prospect to buy. You find yourself justifying the fact that if you don’t ask them to buy then you won’t have the pain of the prospect saying no. By the way, the next guy in the door WILL get the sale.

Not recognizing a busy customer: It’s important to identify an honestly busy and preoccupied prospect. Sometimes, it isn’t that the prospect isn’t interested in enjoying the benefits of your product. It’s just that they are overwhelmed with work and they find it difficult to make sufficient time available to think through your recommendations and make a buying decision. And the better they are as a prospect, the busier they tend to be. Therefore, you need to maintain momentum throughout the sales process and gently push it to a conclusion at the appropriate time. Understand what their restrictions are and honor their time. That will get you an eventual sale every time.

The Factor of Inertia: The factor of inertia is another reason that can cause the sales process to come to a halt without a resolution. Prospects and customers alike are lazy and often quite comfortable doing what they are currently doing. Your product or service may require that they make exceptional efforts to accommodate the change or a new way of doing things. They perhaps recognize that they would be better off with your product, but the trouble and expense of installing it hardly seems to make it worth the effort. They see no pressing need or urgency to stop doing what they are doing and start doing something else with what you are selling.

The good news is that everybody you meet has bought and will buy, new products and services from someone, at some time. If they didn’t buy from you, they will from someone else. You must find the way to overcome the natural physical and psychological obstacles to buying and then hone your skills so that you can sell to almost any qualified prospect you speak to.

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