In Sales, Sometimes you need to get out of your own way
This is about lacking self-belief, something which I proved to myself spectacularly yesterday.
To give you the background, the Christmas before last, I went over a speed bump too fast and knocked off the right side of my car’s bumper. I shoved the broken bit in the boot, gave myself a good telling off for not taking more care and got on with things.
Over the next few weeks, I kept thinking ‘I need to get that fixed’ but put it off with a variety of excuses – I haven’t got the time, it will cost too much to order a new bumper, it will be inconvenient to take it to the garage, it doesn’t really matter, blah blah.
After a while I got used to having a broken bumper and it sailed right down my list of priorities.
Yesterday, I was clearing out the boot of the car and, tucked right at the back was my broken bit of bumper. My current mindset is a lot different to my mindset 18 months ago and I looked at this piece of debris and wondered…..’could I stick it on myself?’. Now I’m not a car expert, so turn away now if you have a sensitive disposition, but I decided I was going to have a go with superglue and selotape. I went to the shop, got my ingredients and sat down to minister to my car.
Imagine my surprise when I realised that there were two little clips on the piece of bumper which had two matching sockets. I lined them up and pushed. The joy – everything clipped into place. No need for superglue, selotape or an expensive and inconvenient trip to the garage. It took less than 10 seconds. I was so happy! Then I realised I felt kind of stupid too – I’d been driving round for a year and a half with a broken bumper because I’d convinced myself it was going to be incredibly complicated to get it fixed. Never, during that time had I taken the time to even look properly at the broken bit and assess the situation. I had just assumed it was going to be too difficult to fix myself because I ‘knew’ that I didn’t know anything about cars. Wallop! What a shock to realise that!
It made me think about how often I don’t do things because I convince myself they are too hard. The answer was ‘too often’.
In the sales environment a lot of things can be intimidating because we don’t know what to expect, or because we ‘know’ that things will turn out badly. There is the fear of ringing that difficult customer, the reluctance to do some cold calling, the trepidation of a tough negotiation. But you know what? In sales (as in life) sometimes the things that we think are going to be difficult turn out to be surprisingly easy or rewarding. Every time I hesitate to do some difficult task now, I am going to remember that piece of bumper and how I felt when I fixed it.
I am going to get out of my own way.
Janet is based in Enfield, north London and trains small businesses and entrepreneurs how to sell more.
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