Planting the Seeds of Success or Doubt?

If we reap what we sow, then why aren’t we more careful about the seeds we choose to plant? As salespeople, it seems simple enough that we should scatter our seeds of success among the fields, but we sometimes hesitate along the way and grab for a handful of doubt instead. Customers can sense doubt a mile away and, if we are not careful, they can use it against us. This has a lot to do with our confidence, but why do we so often fall victim to our own inhibitions? 


Salespeople too often plant the seeds of doubt instead of the seeds of success within their customers by their own actions and lack of control. We plant the seeds of doubt without even realizing it simply because we do not have control over our own selves. The worst part is that we don’t realize that we are doing it until it is too late.  How can we expect to bring the sale to a successful close if we can’t control our own processes and emotions? The most common ways that we plant the seeds of doubt and hand over control of the sale to customer include:

  1. Demonstrating a lack of confidence – ‘I probably won’t be able to close this deal’. If you can’t see it, chances are you won’t get there. Customers want to do business with salespeople they perceive as winners, and if you don’t carry yourself like a winner, you have greatly narrowed your chances of success.
  2. Not executing a formal or deliberate sales process – ‘I’ll just make it up as I go along’. No one wants to do business with a sloppy and unprepared salesperson. It betrays the concept of trust from the start.
  3. Focusing on our fears – ‘I hope the customer didn’t see our bad online review’. Stop considering the worst-case scenario, lest it should find you.
  4. Acting on desperation – ‘I’ll do anything to make this sale’. I know, as salespeople, that we are supposed to do whatever it takes, but this often goes too far. Desperate salespeople actually scare customers.
  5. Becoming attached to false ideas – ‘The customer is only concerned with price’. Sometimes salespeople can make up really bad stories in their heads about what they believe the customer knows or is thinking. Don’t let what you don’t know turn into fear.


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