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5 Client Fears in a Sales Relationship

3 min read
May 21, 2013

While many salespeople are focused on nailing their pitch and capitalizing on their leads, they often overlook the client’s fears of engagement. The perception of salespeople is often tainted with abuse or deception, rather than genuine caring and helpfulness. The sell-to-everyone-now mindset is hugely anti-productive, as it abuses the biggest opportunity out there…your ideal customer.

You have to understand the problem if you want a solution- so what exactly are potential customers afraid of? Mahan Khalsa and Randy Illig’s book, Let’s Get Real Or Let’s Not Play, delves into fear’s role in sales. We pulled out six huge fears to consider when starting a sales relationship. Here they are:

1. Being Manipulated

If the product isn’t right for them, they’ll realize it. No one appreciates feeling cheated or forced into buying something they don’t really need. If it’s obvious your product isn’t useful, don’t keep pushing it.

2. Not Meeting Needs

Know the client’s business. If it’s blatantly obvious you don’t know them, they’ll feel immediately unwelcome. Understand how potential customers will use your product and speak to it. If you have specific questions, just ask. As long as they’re well-articulated, the client will appreciate the attempt to connect. It shows you care.

3. Feeling Abused

This should be pretty obvious. Don’t lie or cheat your customer. Not only is it ethically wrong, but you’ll be sure to lose your client and quickly gain a bad reputation for selling dirty. You don’t want anyone to despise you, especially your clients.

4. Seeming Insignificant

If all you care about is the sale, it shows. Your ignorance makes customers feel worthless and they’ll be quick to move on. Try to learn more about your clients, tailor solutions specifically to them, and make them feel welcome. There’s strength insincerity.

5. Wasting Their Time

This one is simple, but shouldn’t be overlooked. You didn’t have your coffee this morning and got caught sounding silly in a sales call. The potential client thinks your product is weak based on your delivery. Make sure you’re prepared for each and every call, meeting, or presentation. Automate sales intelligence. Don’t let the customer think you’re clumsy and inept.

Even talented and ethical sales professionals can be judged guilty until proven innocent.

The sad realization is that the bad apples in sales have given a bad reputation to the entire profession. Take it into your hands to change that. Give potential clients a reason to think you’re unique and that your product can provide value.

Have any stories or fears we missed? Share your story, we’d love to hear it!