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Fear of making a mistake

What do you do to help customers who hesitate due to a fear of making a mistake? - by Community Mailbox
You have to build value in your product but you have to do that from the very beginning. You also have to build value in yourself so the prospect believes you. You do that by asking questions and listening to what your prospect is telling you he "wants" and "needs". Then, you give him what he "wants" and "needs". Trust, value, ask questions, listen, then give the prospect what he has told you it will take to make him happy. If you do that there should be less reason for the customer to fear a mistake.

Warmest Regards - by MPrince
Offer a guarantee. - by Jim Klein
Martha's suggestions seem sound to me. This rationale will lessen doubt and fear. Not everyone however will buy-in that quickly however. Some people do take longer to make decisions, its not your fault, its just the way they are.
You may find this thread useful (http://www.salespractice.com/forums/...html#post41055), in considering the different types of customer that you meet, which ones you find easiest to sell to, which you find harder and then you can consider how you adapt your approach with each type.
This does help in closing more buisness, as long as you don't just focus on the close. - by marky
You will want to get the prospect to verbalize his/her fear. Not everyone has this fear. And some say they do, but it's really just an excuse to keep them from making a decision. Once they've verbalized this fear, you can discuss it, and ask, "What can I do today to help you get over the fear you have of making a mistake?" (I'm not suggesting you do this at closing...it's too late then. You need to have that discussion when you identify the fear, which is hopefully during the needs and desires investigation.

If you build sales momentum throughout your sales interaction, you'll be much more likely to get over the fear of making a mistake. Sales momentum propels the prospect into the next phase of the decision, and by leveraging this momentum, you can overcome that fear. - by Skip Anderson
What do you do to help customers who hesitate due to a fear of making a mistake?
This is the biggest problem in my industry.
Most of the products are of low quality and sales goes very quickly, usually over just one phone call, even though this is B2B. Sums of up to 100 000 dollars exchange hands after only a few minutes conversation.

The biggest problem is therefore about trust.

People generally do anything to avoid problems and making a mistake is a big problem. On the other hand they will do a lot to get praise and rewards.

What you have to do is make them believe that the chance of a reward far out ways the risk of this being a mistake.

By taking the fear out of the equation you can make the sale.
To do this the only thing that matters is trust.

By explaining why it will work, what will be done and that he/she wont be doing anything wrong by trying and by emphasizing the rewards they will reap does the trick.

//Daniel - by LookingDaniel
What do you do to help customers who hesitate due to a fear of making a mistake?
I'm curious what the scenario is. Is it a case of your competitor going in and instilling Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt (Nobody ever got fired for choosing IBM) or is it more internal? - by DaveB
I'm curious what the scenario is. Is it a case of your competitor going in and instilling Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt (Nobody ever got fired for choosing IBM) or is it more internal?
Your question is filled with insight. :) Fear is an holistic event where internal and external factors are involved.

Notice that fear is NOT and equal opportunity symptom. That is, 100 people can be engaged in the same potentially dangerous activity, yet 100% of them will often not feel afraid.

Regardless of the situation: holding a venomous snake, public speaking or cautiously trying to buy a car--fear is fear is fear. They are just different species of the same genus symptom.

It is not the potential of the "mistake " (being wrong) that causes them fear but rather what defines a "mistake" for them in the first place. And that is--the loss of ideological and/or physical identity.

Fear draws us away from danger. So what is dangerous about public speaking--Identity of self-concept may be damaged or impaired. What is dangerous about holding a venomous snake--Identity of the physical-self may be damaged or impaired along with physical death.

If I believe myself to be a financially responsible person buying a car out of my price range, may cause others to view me as being irresponsible which is in direct conflict with my self-conception or perceived Identity.

Fear is generally eliminated once you establish to the prospect that what you are selling resonates with, and enhances, what they believe themselves to be or want to be.

Sales people have been using the phrase," that is you" for decades--because it does move the sale forward. So, when the potential bride slips on a new wedding dress the sales rep often says, "Now--that is you." - by John Voris
Sales people have been using the phrase," that is you" for decades--because it does move the sale forward. So, when the potential bride slips on a new wedding dress the sales rep often says, "Now--that is you."
John...I find this just a little condescending to consumers.

From my experience buyers are way to smart to fall for lines in this day of cyber knowledge. Buyers have heard every line in the book and to insult their intelligence with a typical sales line is the fastest way to lose a sale. At least that is my opinion. - by MPrince
John...I find this just a little condescending to consumers.

From my experience buyers are way to smart to fall for lines in this day of cyber knowledge. Buyers have heard every line in the book and to insult their intelligence with a typical sales line is the fastest way to lose a sale. At least that is my opinion.
First, you are right if you are dealing with high profile consumers along with other factors. When dealing mainly with professionals, which it sounds like you do, this approach would not be appropriate.
Seasoned sales people have a huge array of approaches and must decide when and when not to use certain sales techniques when facing each individual prospect.

__________________________________________________ __

The topic was fear and my previous sentence was:

"Fear is generally eliminated once you establish to the prospect that what you are selling resonates with, and enhances, what they believe themselves to be or want to be."

I said the following as an example of one of many ways, sales people apply this approach.

"Sales people have been using the phrase," that is you" for decades--because it does move the sale forward. So, when the potential bride slips on a new wedding dress the sales rep often says, "Now--that is you."

There are some women who use professional clothes buyers. They call their favorite boutique store in advance and the professional "sets a room" for her filled with clothes in her size, color and style. Also, many women feel they need this guidance when buying expensive clothes.

While trying on clothes the professional says "no, that's not you," and "now, that color screams Barbara or MPrince, and no one is offended. Interior decorators often use similar language as well.

So, it depends on where you are, your product or service and who is standing in front of you. - by John Voris
So, it depends on where you are, your product or service and who is standing in front of you.
I concede that in that particular setting you could be right. Point well taken! - by MPrince
Another way that one might address this question is to explore this quetion from a change perspective - that is why would a particular buyer change or not change from their present approach to solving the problem that you have identified.

The reasons a buyer in a large company might change could vary all the way from " it saves them money" to the "need to implement state-of-the-art technolog" to they have an intiatitve to go "green." The point is do you have a comprehensive understanding of the company and of the folks involved in the buying decision so that you know the answer to the "why would they change question." You can maximize the value and manage the perceived risk of you solution if you do. - by richard ruff
I am finding this very interesting. Fear of making a mistake is driven by what set of circumstances? I would consider the terminology that I am using to convince the buyer that this is the right choice has not been correct. I have not explained how my product or service makes this an easy choice of action. I have not given enough information that is proof positive that this is the only solution that makes sense and the appropriate action. The buyer has not seen a benefit to use me, my product and service. Basically this is a communication breakdown between the buyer and me. My point a person who makes decisions daily typically will not fear a decision or fear a mistake. This is not to say that a buyer cannot be afraid to make a mistake that can create job loss for him or her. Is there a difference between a timid buyer and fear of mistake buyer? I would think a buyer that fears making a mistake will not hold that position long. A mistake of non action will be a greater loss to the organization.

 
John uses a fantastic analogy of fear; the fear of public speaking. Generally people have a fear of public speaking however I must wonder how many public speakers have a fear of speaking. Any public speakers I have asked to do an event that included public speaking each have been quick to say sure who the audience is.


Ask a person who does not do public speaking and yes the fear of public speaking is huge and an objection to do something he or she is not used to doing quickly arises. That is normal and a normal response from those who do not perform this task. I must help that individual to understand how easy this speaking engagement will be and I am there to assist him or her preparing their topic to discuss. Once we address the issue of fear of speaking it can be overcome. There will be exceptions of course.


Is there a difference between a fear of making a mistake and the fear of a bad decision? I believe there is .The fear of making a bad decision can be overcome with more information and facts supporting the decision. Having all the information and facts would not make a difference with a person that fears a mistake.
 
 
- by rich34232
And the difference between a bad decision and a mistake is what?

Within the context of your post and this thread of course. - by Gary A Boye
I would like to know the difference in;

I am afraid of making a poor decision.
I am afraid of making a mistake. - by MPrince
Gary in the context of this discussion you have left out a very important word and that word is FEAR


Fear is the key word and that must be overcome. Fear of a bad decision often can be overcome with more information and facts.

Fear of a mistake in most cases I believe will not be overcome by information and facts. I considered this type of person to believe they will make a mistake whether or not they choose to buy or not to buy. To buy is a mistake and not to buy is a mistake. This person will feel this way on the majority of their decisions otherwise decisions would be easy.


Using a baseball analogy 3 balls 2 strikes is a great time to steal a base. More good can happen in this case than bad. Runner is safe, batter walks, runner safe, batter hits ball runner advances to 3rd or home or he can be thrown out. Statistically advantage is to the runner however he was thrown out. The facts bear out. The batter strikes out the catcher makes a perfect throw to second base the runner is thrown out. The decision to have the runner steal was a bad decision however the time to steal and every stat supports stealing the base with a 3 and 2 count ,shows this was not a mistake to run at that time. Mistake having Jim Thome steal no matter what the count is. The facts on Jim Thome prove that he cannot run the difference between a mistake and a bad decision.
 
 
- by rich34232
I would like to know the difference in;

I am afraid of making a poor decision.
I am afraid of making a mistake.
This may help:

Decisions are the end results of assessing an accumulation of facts.

A mistake is the incorrect assessment of a particular fact that lead to that decision. - by John Voris
Decisions are the end results of assessing an accumulation of facts.

A mistake is the incorrect assessment of a particular fact that lead to that decision.
So a mistake happens when you incorrectly assess the facts that lead to a poor decision? - by MPrince
This may help:

Decisions are the end results of assessing an accumulation of facts.

A mistake is the incorrect assessment of a particular fact that lead to that decision.
I don't agree with that.

Decisions are just as often based on beliefs, perceptions, or assumptions--or accumulation thereof. The same could be said for mistakes.

With regard to assessments, you assess what you have to assess. That would or could include beliefs, perceptions, assumptions, and facts. - by Gary A Boye
The decision to have the runner steal was a bad decision however the time to steal and every stat supports stealing the base with a 3 and 2 count ,shows this was not a mistake to run at that time. Mistake having Jim Thome steal no matter what the count is.
Are you saying that a good decision must be risk free? Or are you saying that hindsight determines whether a decision or mistake was made?

Coaches and participants play the odds as a rule when they make decisions. If they play the odds knowledgeably are hardy think they are mistake prone. - by Gary A Boye
I don't agree with that.

Decisions are just as often based on beliefs, perceptions, or assumptions--or accumulation thereof. The same could be said for mistakes.

With regard to assessments, you assess what you have to assess. That would or could include beliefs, perceptions, assumptions, and facts.
Very good observation.

My sentences are often too brief.

As you know, the subject was the distinction between decisions and mistakes. I assumed the context was sales.

We all function as if OUR beliefs, perceptions, or assumptions are personal facts for ourselves. We know they are not objective and universal, but daily life demands that we have a subjective opinion about those objective and universal observations. We must make daily decisions and make decisions based on what we believe is true in the moment. That truth becomes our fact in the moment as the fact becomes our truth.

We could say, there are no absolute facts and nothing is true yet again we function based on the illusion of the existence of personal truth. After all, we don't behave based on what we truly believe is false.

This is primarily why I chose the word "fact." In cognitive decision making, as opposed to forming intuitive conclusions, we follow paths of reasoning in the process of accumulating these "facts" to form a decision.

If our personal "fact" is later deemed not true, then we have made a "mistake in fact" (which is also in legal terminology). How we arrive at a "fact" is usually based on observables first unlike decision making which is exclusively abstract.

These discussions can be very esoteric and we can easily get wrapped up in "word play" due to the various levels of criteria as you correctly brought to our attention.

After all--Bill Clinton: It depends on what the meaning of the word "is" is. - by John Voris
So a mistake happens when you incorrectly assess the facts that lead to a poor decision?

Ah--You said it much better than I. - by John Voris
"Are you saying that a good decision must be risk free? Or are you saying that hindsight determines whether a decision or mistake was made?

Coaches and participants play the odds as a rule when they make decisions. If they play the odds knowledgeably are hardy think they are mistake prone".

 
Nowhere have I stated anything is risk free. In my baseball analogy the runner was thrown out. That was a risk wasn’t it? The odds of the runner being thrown out were and are offset by the odds of something good happening.

We as sales people play the odds every time we speak to a client especially a new client. I think we agree your word
knowledgeably is the key and would go hand in hand with more information and facts.
I think we are getting off the topic of the "Fear" of making a mistake and mistake. I make quite a few mistakes however I do not fear the mistakes. I am of the opinion there is nothing that cannot be fixed. Of course death and taxes are not included in this theory.

I have feared decisions however I have made many decisions that I had to live with and make work.

We have a terrible software program. Was it is a mistake or a bad decision. It was bad decision due to the person making the decision and not getting the proper instructions for the use of that software program. The decision was made to get basic training on the program with little thought towards the future. Once I have given you more information we can boil it down to a bad decision and not a mistake.

I would agree with your second sentence that hindsight will verify if a decision is good or bad.This does not address the fear issue.
- by rich34232
I want to bring this back to the context of sales. In doing so, I can share from my own experience and conclusions I made years ago. One of the observations that I have put a circle around, taught, and used, and which became "working knowledge" that more than sufficed---and made me better at sales--was this: People are often reluctant to buy out of fear of making a mistake.

That said, I now confess that at times I interchanged the words "bad decision" for mistake more than once. To the best of my knowledge, the results and success I enjoyed through this knowledge remained the same regardless of how I expressed my observation. As a matter of fact, I think my results through this knowledge would have remained high even if I expressed the thought in Cantonese.

Semantics is one thing. Making knowledge work is another. - by Gary A Boye
I want to provide an example which illustrates the applied knowledge in reference to the fear of making a mistake among buyers. It is this: Good merchandising overcomes choice anxiety among buyers.

I don't want to spend time here connecting the dots between anxiety and fear. I think it's obvious. I have found that "good merchandising" is a matter of selectively limiting the choices and offers rather than expanding them.

I use "merchandising" in a very broad sense. Although the term is most often used in a retail environment, particularly with tangibles, salespeople should learn the art, and practice it regardless of what they sell and who they sell to. At least I would encourage them to do that. - by Gary A Boye
I want to bring this back to the context of sales. In doing so, I can share from my own experience and conclusions I made years ago. One of the observations that I have put a circle around, taught, and used, and which became "working knowledge" that more than sufficed---and made me better at sales--was this: People are often reluctant to buy out of fear of making a mistake.

That said, I now confess that at times I interchanged the words "bad decision" for mistake more than once. To the best of my knowledge, the results and success I enjoyed through this knowledge remained the same regardless of how I expressed my observation. As a matter of fact, I think my results through this knowledge would have remained high even if I expressed the thought in Cantonese.

Semantics is one thing. Making knowledge work is another.
Very well put and as usual you find distinctions that are important for everyone to learn.

Willie Mosconi the famous pool player, was driving across country and decided to spend the night in a small town. He walked in the local bar and challenged the crowd to a game. After several hours of winning, someone complained that it was just luck and he had the best stick in the house.

Willie walked up the owner and requested to buy the broom leaning against the wall in the storage room. The owner agreed and Willie paid for the broom.

He then went outside drew the handle tip across the cement sidewalk to give it texture. Then he went back into the bar, chalked up the end of the broom and proceeded to win every game until the bar closed.

For me, you and a few others here, are like Willie Mosconi with language running from a $1,000.00 Lucasi pool que to a boom stick. Regardless if you call it a "bad decision" or a "mistake" or speak it in Cantonese, the knowledge and results would be the same, just as Willie would win every game. - by John Voris
I want to provide an example which illustrates the applied knowledge in reference to the fear of making a mistake among buyers. It is this: Good merchandising overcomes choice anxiety among buyers.

I don't want to spend time here connecting the dots between anxiety and fear. I think it's obvious. I have found that "good merchandising" is a matter of selectively limiting the choices and offers rather than expanding them.

I use "merchandising" in a very broad sense. Although the term is most often used in a retail environment, particularly with tangibles, salespeople should learn the art, and practice it regardless of what they sell and who they sell to. At least I would encourage them to do that.
Yes,

To free the mind, enslave the body
To enslave the mind, free the body.

The more physical choices we have available, the more the mind can be enslaved by the experience of overwhelm.

The less physical choices we have available, the less the mind can be enslaved by the experience of overwhelm.

Intelligent merchandising does often overcome choice anxiety - by John Voris
Yes,

To free the mind, enslave the body
To enslave the mind, free the body.
I believe that is a paraphrase of Martin Luther King. Viktor Frankl explored that heavily in Man's Search for Meaning--a must read for all who can read. imo - by Gary A Boye
I believe that is a paraphrase of Martin Luther King. Viktor Frankl explored that heavily in Man's Search for Meaning--a must read for all who can read. imo

Very good. You do surprise me and often. sn;

Following Viktor:

"Pleasure is never the goal of human striving but rather is, and must remain,... the side effect of attaining a goal. Attaining the goal constitutes the reason for being happy."

This pertains to all sales as you know.

What if a sales course could be devised that incorporates the human condition, working from the inner constitution outward, rather than beginning with rigid techniques to be imposed on human motivations?

According to Victor, happiness is not something to be pursued as in a grocery list of "doing" but to experience life within the reasons for "becoming" happy. What would be the impact if this and similar approaches were adapted in all sales training?

The pillars of his Logo-therapy does expose the bedrock of communication--the tool of all sales reps?

Just a thought - by John Voris
We could say, there are no absolute facts and nothing is true yet again we function based on the illusion of the existence of personal truth.
This sentence reminds me of something I once read:

"By understanding that human beings do not operate directly on the world they are experiencing but through sensory transforms of that world, we also understand that "truth" is a metaphor rather than a yardstick calibrated to some absolute standard of external reality" - Neuro-Linguistic Programming (Vol. 1) - by Jeff Blackwell
This sentence reminds me of something I once read:

"By understanding that human beings do not operate directly on the world they are experiencing but through sensory transforms of that world, we also understand that "truth" is a metaphor rather than a yardstick calibrated to some absolute standard of external reality" - Neuro-Linguistic Programming (Vol. 1)
Good observation but their message is slightly deceptive.

While "...human beings do not operate directly on the world they are experiencing...," it is NOT true that we understand the world through sensory transformation. That is due to the fact that sensory neurons cannot transmit "truth" only electro-chemical pulsations. - by John Voris
Good observation but their message is slightly deceptive.

While "...human beings do not operate directly on the world they are experiencing...," it is NOT true that we understand the world through sensory transformation. That is due to the fact that sensory neurons cannot transmit "truth" only electro-chemical pulsations.
I personally do not believe that the search for truth starts and ends in epistemology or neurology which rely on the symbols of language. It is the power of doubt that discerns the truth. It is our "knowledge" that obstructs it. When we can let go of the stories that are constructed of the lies we tell ourselves, and the lies from others' stories that reinforce and entrench our own inner lies, then what remains standing will be the truth. The result is inner peace and the courage to grow into who we really are. - by Gary A Boye
I personally do not believe that the search for truth starts and ends in epistemology or neurology which rely on the symbols of language. It is the power of doubt that discerns the truth. It is our "knowledge" that obstructs it. When we can let go of the stories that are constructed of the lies we tell ourselves, and the lies from others' stories that reinforce and entrench our own inner lies, then what remains standing will be the truth. The result is inner peace and the courage to grow into who we really are.

Very well said Gary. It is the layers of our knowledge that obscures the "real" that is beneath our dimensions of simulations and virtual constructions called "knowledge."

According to Kant we are nothing more than antimonies hence: "I am not where I think." - by John Voris
"I am not where I think."
Something like that. ;wi - by Jeff Blackwell
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