This month, I review the book What We've Learned So Far by Larry Anderson & Neil Thornton, which taught me the value to taking a strategic approach to facing fear.
I recently had a sales experience that would have been great in a sit-com. I won't provide the details, but things went horribly wrong and in the end, no one was laughing. Needless to say, I did not get the sale.
The experience was so bad that as a new small business owner, who is not naturally a "salesman", I wondered if I could ever put myself in that type of situation again. I was already uncomfortable in sales situations. Now I became afraid.
I was afraid of saying the wrong thing. Saying too much. Saying too little. Doing things that might be interpreted incorrectly.
Fear paralyzed much of my decision making. Doing nothing was safer than doing something that might backfire. Unfortunately, lack of action can translate into lack of sales rather quickly.
This past month I read "What We've Learned So Far" by Larry Anderson & Neil Thornton and I am glad that I did.
This book was published earlier this year and is very timely. The authors own a consulting firm called Trigger Strategies and share their over 20 years of experience in this book. Most chapters are 1-2 pages in length.
The chapters are focused and provide ideas that can help you in your business today. You do not have to suffer through pages and pages of theory to find the golden nugget of applicable advice. The nuggets are everywhere. The challenge is picking up the one that will help you most right now.
What I Learned
This book provided real examples and ideas for how to improve the situation that I found myself in. The chapter on "Fear" was (as you might imagine) especially helpful. I have learned that in order to get over my fear, I need to take action; there is no magic elixir. But action is not enough. There needs to be strategic action.
I realized that while inaction would hurt my sales, so would a rash of unfocused actions. I couldn't just start to do a variety of activities and hope that sales would increase. So I am working on a plan, and I am putting that plan into action with the understanding that it also takes time to build a business and momentum.
Most overnight successes follow years and years of hard work. There are no shortcuts. I have also come to the realization that I am not going to close every sale and there is a real possibility that I was not going to close the "disaster sale" anyway.
I would highly recommend reading "What We've Learned So Far". If you run a small business or work for one, it is worth the investment.