Why You're Afraid to Ask for the Sale

sales paperwork
Asking for the sale isn't as hard as it looks.

Prospects almost never come out and say, “OK, I want to buy this product right now.” No matter how interested they are, they will be inclined to let you just walk out the door unless you specifically ask for the sale. But asking someone to buy from you in so many words can be a scary experience, especially for someone who is relatively new to sales. The trick to overcoming this fear is pinning it down and understand it.

Fear of Poor Perception

One common cause of closing fear is a perception issue. Salespeople are afraid of being seen as pushy, greedy, or otherwise unlikeable. Many salespeople don't like being closed themselves and fear that their prospects will have a similar attitude. Yes, you will run into the occasional prospect (usually someone who has been in sales himself or knows the standard sales approaches) who will pull back if you ask for the sale. But these prospects are extremely rare, and if they're familiar with the sales process, they will know perfectly well that you're just doing your job.

It's really not necessary to be pushy or aggressive to close someone. If you've done a good job in the rest of the presentation, the close will follow naturally and will seem like the next logical step. Ideally, by the time your presentation is done, you'll have piqued the prospect's interest and responded to any objections she has. If the prospect is already convinced, asking for the sale can be as simple as saying, “Great, let's start filling out the paperwork.”

Fear of Making a Mistake

Another very common fear, especially among new salespeople, is fear of making a mistake. Closing feels very awkward at first, and new salespeople often aren't sure exactly how or when to start closing. So they tend to hesitate and hesitate until they think it's too late altogether and just give up on it altogether.

The best way to feel more comfortable with closing technique is by practicing it. You may blow a few sales along the way, but if you don't make an effort to ask for the sale, you'll almost certainly lose that prospect anyway. By making an attempt, you'll move yourself a step closer to becoming a natural closer. And even if your 'practice close' is awkward, there's a good chance you'll get that sale anyway! Odds are, you sound a lot better to the prospect then you do to yourself.

Fear of Rejection

Finally, salespeople don't ask for the sale because they're afraid of getting a 'no' back. Fear of rejection is a major stumbling block for any salesperson, and it's something that you'll have to overcome if you want to succeed in sales. Getting turned down is an inevitable part of sales. The important thing to remember is that when a prospect declines to buy from you, it's not a personal rejection. Prospects decide not to buy for a wide variety of reasons, many of which have nothing to do with you.

The best way to get over the fear of rejection is to grit your teeth and face it. Like all fears, once you've confronted it a few times, it will start to lose its power over you. After a while, the 'nos' that you hear will seem less important – especially once you start getting 'yes' instead and realize how good it feels! When you're getting ready to ask for the sale and start to feel that creeping dread, remind yourself that this feeling is strictly temporary and the more you close, the faster it will fade.