How much has fear cost you in your life?
We cannot accurately answer that question, but I think we can agree that the degree to which fear impacts our lives is probably relatively high.
Your customer is no different. Fear is real, and fear has a way of undermining goals and dreams…unless you do something about it. Logic vs emotion plays a huge role when addressing your buyer’s fears.
“You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do.” Eleanor Roosevelt
Should you talk to your customers about fear?
You should. You must. The fear is present, whether you discuss it or not.
The important task for the sales professional is to determine what they’ve based their fear upon. Is the fear legitimate? Is there a logical underpinning, or is it an emotional issue?
Great salespeople don’t just sell a product; they offer something far more valuable to their prospects: confidence.
Confidence is the opposite of fear, so let’s figure out how to build that for our customers.
Keep it Honest
Fear is the ever-present elephant in the room. We all know it’s there; we don’t want to talk about it.
Why does your customer not want to talk about fear? Simple – they do not believe they have permission to do so.
The brave sales professional acts in a counseling role and encourages that discussion. Look, your prospects are carrying the fear whether you know it or not. Is there some advantage to you NOT knowing what concerns your customer? I certainly can’t think of any.
Offer an honest invitation to discuss the topic.
“Tell me what concerns you. Tell me about the fear in moving forward. It’s really helpful just to talk that out.”
Keep it Logical
Well…keep it logical to the extent possible. You don’t want your customer to get wrapped around their emotional axle. Have a fear conversation that is much more matter-of-fact in its tone.
One trick here is to give the fear a name. Fear resides in the customer’s emotional realm, and in that space, there is no language, only feeling. When we name the fear, we engage the logical side of the brain (where language resides).
An unspoken emotional fear can feel to the customer like a horrific potential catastrophe(!). But when we recast it as a “concern about the payments” we lessen the emotional impact.
Keep it Positive
It is possible – necessary, even – to talk about fear in a positive manner.
Pay attention to your emotional tone. Empathizing with a customer’s fear does not mean you have to go into a dark place with them.
One way to do that is to constantly restate the fear with a positive and reassuring tone. I’m not suggesting you are giggling while you do this. Only that your demeanor is pleasant when you are discussing the issue.
Good news – you can practice all this outside of the sales realm. Have a fear discovery conversation with your spouse or significant other (better yet with your children).
This is not just a good sales skill; it’s a good life skill.
Addressing fear is how you change someone’s world.