No risk, no nothing!
If you have been in sales or a commission only position for longer than 10 minutes, you know all about risk.
Risk is defined as “exposure to danger.”
Danger surrounds sales professionals everyday. It could be in the form of a manager, vendor, prospect, client, product, or service. That list could go on and on, but the key point is that risk is clear everywhere you turn.
I believe you could categorize all sales risks into three high level risks.
Those three risks are:
- Risk of rejection
- Risk of failure
- Risk of financial hardship
These three risks highlight why even though sales is the highest paid industry in the world, only a small percentage of the population enters the sales profession. Furthermore, this is why even a smaller percentage of sales professionals survive.
I have dealt with these three risks consistently in my 15 year sales career. Although maybe the context of these risks has evolved over the years, the consequences of them have not.
While the fear of failure, rejection, and financial hardship are real, they are often prevent you from taking the necessary risks to overcome them.
As Jeffrey Gitomer says, “Some people say no risk, no reward. I say no risk, no nothing.”
There is nothing in sales that doesn’t require a certain level of risk.
There is also nothing positive in sales that can occur without taking a risk.
Risk of Rejection
This is the most common risk in sales. Rejection isn’t just part of the sales process, it is the sales process.
Prospects will say no. Prospects will say no often. Prospects will sometimes reject you in a way that will make you want to crawl up and go hide in a deep, dark hole.
If you get one “yes” for every nine “no’s”, that means that every rejection is one more no closer to getting the yes that you want.
Plus, every “no” is a learning experience that will improve your 1 out 10 ratio to 2 out of ten or possibly 3 or 4 out of 10.
Rejection can be looked at in two ways.
- Rejection affirms that a prospect does not like you or your product/service or
- Rejection has allowed you to move one step closer to someone who wants, needs, and will benefit from you and your product/service.
Rejection will forever be a part of the sales cycle, but the only real risk of rejection is if you allow yourself to allow it to hold you back from greatness.
Risk of Failure
The risk goes a step beyond rejection. It’s one thing to be rejected, but another thing to fail.
- If you take no action because you are paralyzed by the risk of failure, then you have failed.
- If you give up because of rejection or other negative experience, then you have failed.
Everything else is just part of the process.
Daily purposeful actions mitigate the risk of failure. In fact, daily purposeful actions destroy the risk of failure.
As long as you are moving with purpose, even at a snail’s pace or temporarily backwards, you are still moving.
The only way you are motionless is when you haven’t started or when simply stop.
Temporary failures are not permanent unless you allow them to be.
You control the risk of failure, never let it control you.
Risk of Financial Hardship
The last high-level risk that sales professional face is the risk of financial hardship. Simply put, this means no sale, no money.
Whereas the first two risks or emotional, this risk is tangible.
There are bills to pay, obligations to meet, and in many cases, others family members to give for and protect.
While this is fear is often a reason people decide not to go into sales at all, it’s also the reason others make a tremendous income in the sales industry.
While fear can be paralyzing to some, fear is motivating to others. It’s not to pretend that this risk doesn’t exist, it means the opportunity outweighs the risk.
In no other profession, do you have full control of your destiny. No, you can’t control every outcome, but you can control your attitude, work-ethic, and daily actions.
The best example I can give is the movie, “The Pursuit of Happyness.” If you haven’t yet watched this movie, put it on your must watch list. If you have already watched it, watch it again. Here is one of my favorite clips.
This is a story of one man who faced overwhelming odds and true financial hardship only to overcome these odds and achieve success. Not because he was the smartest or had the best products and services, but because he believed and he persisted.
You can do the same.
Years and years ago, making a sale consisted of leaving the cave, finding food, and dragging it back home. Today, you just need to have plan of action, persistence, and the ability to take a risk.
No risk, no nothing.
By the way, no saber tooth tiger is waiting to eat you.
Dare to risk!