I remember when my mom started her real estate business. She dragged my sister and I to town hall and made a list of every home owner who had bought their house in our town 6 years ago. Then she dragged us to the library, and while my sister and I were entertained with seeing if we could find a pet monkey (that was our reward for being "good kids" when my mother "hit it big,") my mother wrote down information furiously from the reverse directories. We then watched her knock on every door in her "target market" and spend endless hours on the phone attached to the white pages. She had a package of notecards (her CMS,) an opening line from Tom Hopkins (her sales training,) and enough passion and excitement to fuel a rocket.
I vividly recall every turndown ending with her saying:
"Thank you for getting me one "No" closer to a "Yes! "
Les Brown asks that very jarring question, "Are you HUNNNGRY?!?!?" No doubt when it came to my mother, she was. She built a successul business. She'll tell you today, it was because she was too stupid to be scared.
Is there truth to that statement? I think so... not the stupid part obviously, but the scared piece. She wasn't scared. She knew she would be successful. She was creative, inspiring, definitely the rainmaker... Hungry. She was definitely not scared. "People," she would say when coaching her agents, "are going to say "No." They are not saying "I hate you," they are simply saying "No, not today."
Last month we had a business owner join Small Business CT USA. He was launching his business but was really truly doing things the hard way. Turned out, he needed quantity, but he was marketing to the opposite audience. Why? Complete fear of rejection. We ended up role playing, heping him with his marketing material, coaching him and now... he's marketing to full audiences and having success. Lots of it! It wasn't easy. He leveraged Small Business USA as his conscience. He asked us to not let him off the hook and to hold him accountable to his own goals. He leveraged the Ask The Expert calls to become a great salesman and a great marketer. He leveraged the marketing program to hone his ability to convey his passion and his message more effectively.
This business owner had gone to several consultants and mentors for advice. The challenge, when there's fear involved, most business owners choose the path of least resistance. They choose the advice they like and are more comfortable with versus the most effective advice.
Here's what I've learned. Fear holds you back, but if you want it bad enough, you'll find a way to push yourself out of your comfort zone. If you remember that sales are about relationships, trust, and reputation, you'll know that being yourself, understanding your message, and delivering on your promise is what's really important.
Do what you do best, and have the confidence to know that "No" just means you're "one "no" closer to a "yes!"
To your success!
Colleen Ferrary, Founder Small Business CT/USA
SmallBusinessCT.com / SmallBusinessCT.org