It’s the most critical phase of the entire selling process yet is also the most fear-inducing: sales lead generation.
You would think that generating leads and siphoning them into the sales pipeline with outbound and inbound tactics would be easy enough, but the truth is that lead gen usually leaves salespeople paralyzed with fear!
Because sales lead generation is so critical to overall sales success yet often leaves even top sales professionals stunned with fear, I’m sharing a 5-step process to help you overcome even your biggest lead gen fears!
Additionally, I’m also sharing practical ways that you can use fear as an opportunity to close more deals in less time!
Go ahead, keep getting paralyzed with fear, but it’ll only:
- Paralyze your sales team members;
- Reduce your potential customer's trust in you; and
- Hold you back from reaching your full sales potential.
Start here to kick fear to the curb and take back power over the most critical phase of the sales process.
Why Is the Lead Gen Process so Fear-Inducing?
To be completely transparent, many sales and marketing teams aren’t just petrified by the lead gen process, but the entire selling process as a whole.
At the heart of most business and sales-related fears is the fear of judgment. Sales reps are afraid of being judged by their fellow team members and especially potential customers, and that bubbles over into an all-out fear of the lead gen process.
Yes, the fear of judgment isn’t just something you experience in high school and then suddenly let go of as an adult! Rather, it sticks for life, because fearing judgment is a product of our own human instincts to want to feel accepted by others.
If a sales rep is afraid to make a sales call, it’s likely because they’re afraid of sounding stupid to the prospect. Similarly, a sales rep is afraid of going all-out with their marketing strategy out of fear that others will judge them for going against the grain.
It’s also important to note that, of all the different pieces of lead generation, salespeople are most afraid of:
- Making cold calls
- Sending cold emails
- Diligent follow-up
They’re most afraid of these three things because they force sales reps to be their most vulnerable.
For example, when making a cold call, you never know exactly what the prospect is going to say, so it forces you into a situation where you might not know what to say right away. As a result, you feel vulnerable and afraid. The same thing goes for cold emails and consistently following up.
That said, if you’re petrified of the lead gen process, then a good place to start is accepting the fact that it’s normal to be afraid and that you’ll never shake the fear 100% because it’s impossible to shake off your human instinct.
Rather than trying to trump fear, the best thing you can do is learn how to manage it. Trumping fear is impossible, so instead of fighting a fight that you can never win, focus on mitigating fear.
The Benefits of Overcoming Your Lead Gen & Cold Outreach Fears
In just about any sales-related situation, fear is the great divider between top-tier sales professionals and the rest of the field.
Not only do top sales pros know this, but they also recognize how beneficial it is to not let fear overcome them.
What are the benefits of overcoming lead gen, and particularly cold outreach fears?
While there are many and aside from the obvious, the key benefits include:
- A more enthusiastic sales team
- Your unique value proposition shines
- High-quality leads gain total confidence in you
As the leader of your sales team, you set the tone for the entire selling process not through what you say, but through how you act. And actions are a product of your feelings.
So, if you’re always operating from a fear-based mindset, you’ll take fear-based actions, and when you take fear-based actions, team members will accept that that’s an acceptable way to act. What could possibly go wrong?
Second, when you’re not afraid of generating leads, you’re not afraid to let your unique value proposition shine through your marketing.
When you’re not afraid to put your uniqueness all out on the line, it shines through factors like your content marketing and social media. As a result, your marketing resonates with ideal customers and increases overall brand awareness.
Lastly, when you’re operating with confidence rather than fear, new leads will sense it. They’ll see you as an absolute expert and as someone worthy of their trust.
Think of it like this: When patients go for surgery, they don’t question the surgeon’s expertise because they exude total confidence instead of fear! By exuding confidence instead of fear, you’ll literally attract new customers towards you.
There are no downsides to not letting fear overcome you, only upsides!
Business Success Is a Matter of Managing Fear
I left out one major benefit of learning to overcome sales lead gen fears, and that is this: Business success is a matter of sales success; if you can’t make sales, then your company doesn’t even exist!
Since overcoming fear, particularly lead gen fear, is the great divider between sales success and sales demise, that puts overcoming fear at the root of all business success!
So if you’ve currently got a killer marketing campaign, awesome referrals for already qualified leads, and even some of the strongest sales reps on your team, you can throw it all away by letting fear get the best of you.
Therefore, the most important benefit of learning to not let fear overcome you is increasing your overall business success potential.
The moment you learn to put your fear to the side is the moment your business potential goes from 0 to 100.
5 Steps to Not Letting B2B Lead Generation Fears Overcome You
If even the thought of generating leads or making a cold call has you paralyzed with fear, then you’ve come to the right place.
Remember, if you’re genuinely filled with fear, your entire sales team and prospective customers will be negatively affected by it. You can try to hold fear in all you want, but it’s such an infectious feeling that it’s nearly impossible to hold in.
Furthermore, set yourself up by lead gen success by taking control of your fears starting NOW.
1. Stop Trying to Overcome Fear Altogether
Like I mentioned above, you’ll never be able to totally trump fear because you’ll never be able to trump your own human instinct.
That said, the first step to not letting fear get the best of you is by shifting your mindset from one of “I’m going to get rid of fear altogether” to “I’m not going to let fear get the best of me.”
By doing so, you set yourself on a path that’s actually realistic instead of one that’s never going to take you anywhere.
Fear Will Never Go Away
What role does the fear of judgment play in human instinct?
Humans are naturally wired to fear judgment because humans are naturally meant to live in cohesive groups. For a group to be cohesive, its members need to align or be similar on many levels. Because of this, humans fear being judged by others as it might mean that they don’t fit in with the cohesive group.
Moreover, fear of judgment will never go away because it’s wired into our DNA.
And there’s nothing wrong with that, as long as you don’t let those instincts dictate the way you live your life.
Use Fear to Your Advantage Instead
Want to know something great about fear that most people will never tell you? It’s that fear can be beneficial in itself in terms of helping you smash your sales goals!
Fear, like all emotions, is simply energy created by the thoughts you think. While energy can’t be created or destroyed, it can be transformed into a new type of energy. More specifically, a kind of energy that helps you throughout the sales process instead of hindering you!
Also known as energy transmutation, transforming fear into a positive kind of energy, such as excitement, is a trick that top sales pros and entrepreneurs use on a regular basis, specifically when it comes to lead gen. As a result, fear starts to work for sales pros instead of against them.
Now, how exactly do you transform energy? More on that below!
2. Create Distance Between You & Your Fears
Part of the reason why it’s so challenging for salespeople to not let their fear get the best of them is because there is no distance between them and their fear.
By that, I mean that the thing that they’re trying to get rid of is literally inside of their own head!
The next step to not letting fear get the best of you is to create distance between you and your fears by getting them out of your head.
With greater distance, you can take a step back to get a realistic view of the unnecessary fears that are currently overwhelming you.
Write Your Fears Down
Perhaps the simplest way to get fears out of your head to create distance between you and them is by writing them down in a journal, or even a simple notepad.
While it sounds like a really small task (which it is), it will make all the difference in mitigating your fears.
Essentially, writing your fears down is the equivalent of ‘venting’ but to the paper instead of a friend!
Profile Your Prospective Customers
Are you one of many salespeople whose lead gen fears are rooted in the fear of being judged by prospects?
If so, one of the best things to do to create distance between you and that fear is profiling your prospective customers.
To do that, go online and research as much information as you can about the prospect! Specifically, dig into their social network profiles, particularly LinkedIn, and write down every fact you can find.
By doing so, the overwhelming idea of the prospect in your head goes away as you suddenly start to see them as human rather than a scary idea in your head.
Moreover, it’s a way to start seeing prospects as people instead of scary monsters!
Think About Probabilities Instead of Possibilities
Now that you’ve written your fears down on paper and created distance between you and them, take a moment to ask yourself this question: Are your fears based on probabilities or possibilities?
More often than not, salespeople set fears based on what is possible instead of what is probable, which is a recipe for disaster.
For example, it’s possible for you to call a prospect and for them to respond saying, “Go away! You’re stupid!”, but that doesn’t mean that that’s probably to happen.
Take a look at what you’ve written down and seriously ask yourself if your fears are rooted in possibility or probability. Once you realize that the fears are most likely products of possibilities, they’ll start to fade away.
3. Set Lead Gen Goals Without Being Religious About Them
How often do you set very specific lead gen goals, miss achieving them by just a slight bit, and then kick yourself because you’re upset about it?
For example, let’s say that you set very specific search engine optimization (SEO) goals hoping to increase your website visitor count, chase them for weeks on end, but then ultimately fail to achieve them for whatever reason. As a result, you feel extremely disappointed and like giving up.
If so, you’re not alone.
When you consider how high of a pedestal goal-setting gets put on these days, it makes sense why you’d get upset about not achieving goals 100% of the time.
However, what if I told you that goal-setting isn’t as chalked up as it’s talked up to be?
The truth is that, while goal-setting is important, it often sets sales reps up to fail because it forces the horse blinders on their head.
By that, I mean that they focus 100% on their outlined plan of attack to achieve their goals, which forces them to only see what is right in front of them.
You should set B2B company-wide goals, sales goals, and personal goals, but you shouldn’t be religious about them. If you are, then you might miss out on better opportunities standing right in front of your face.
Maybe Something Better Is Possible
Set goals all you want, but getting religious about them forces the horse blinders on your head which prevent you from seeing better opportunities right in front of you.
For example, let’s say that you want to improve overall sales outcomes by increasing lead gen conversion rates by 25%. In the process of working towards that goal, the horse blinders go on, and you can’t see that the clear answer to overall better sales success is simply hiring additional team members. In the end, you don’t achieve the goal and return to square one.
Remember, you don’t know it all. While you might think you know exactly what you want to have happen, maybe something better than what you have in your head right now is possible.
4. Prepare, Prepare, Prepare!
Would you believe me if I told you that many sales teams do little to no lead gen-related preparation, dive into the process, and then wonder why they’re so overwhelmed with fear?
Believe it or not, it’s a hard truth.
Would you walk into a school exam feeling confident that you’re going to ace it despite not having studied? Definitely not. Similarly, you can’t expect to dive into lead gen without having prepared and not be overwhelmed with fear.
The most basic solution to reducing fear is by simply preparing yourself!
Outline Your Lead Lead Generation Strategy
If you’re going to prepare anything before diving into lead gen, be sure to prepare your overall lead generation strategy.
Having a solid strategy is central to overall lead gen success! It’s the equivalent of having a blueprint to build a house from scratch.
Moreover, having a solid strategy is like having a shoulder to lean on whenever fear begins to arise.
Outline Your Target Audience
Next up, be sure to outline ideal customers in your target audience. By that, I mean you should create an:
- Ideal prospect profile (IPP) - think things like company demographics and pain points
- Ideal buyer persona (IBP) - think about the company decision-makers and what their personalities are like
Outlining your target audience is the equivalent of studying a company that you’re interviewing for; it boosts your confidence knowing who you’re going to be talking to come interview time.
Also, perhaps the best way to gain insights into your target audience is by simply looking at your existing customers and identifying trends among them.
Collect Contact Information
Once you outline your target audience, go out and prepare a list of contact information for your leads. Specifically, collect:
- Phone numbers
- Email addresses
- Social media handles
By doing so, you won’t be running in circles looking for ways to connect leads come time for outreach.
Organize, Organize, Organize
Lastly, many salespeople throw themselves into a literal frenzy because they don’t have any lead generation tools to help organize and optimize their lead gen process.
Thanks to that frenzy, their fear immediately starts to increase.
Avoid throwing yourself into a frenzy and subsequently making your fear go haywire by getting organized before getting started and staying organized as you go!
These days, there is no excuse for disorganization because there are far too many awesome lead generation software tools at your disposal.
5. Take Action
You can sit around all day brainstorming all the possible ways to prevent getting overcome with fear, however, brainstorming and thinking won’t actually get you anywhere unless you take action.
Far too often, sales professionals simply think about how to mitigate fear but never actually take action. It’s the equivalent of reading a self-help book but never actually applying the advice to your life!
That said, don’t let thinking about fear make you believe that you’re actually doing something to prevent fear. Thinking is pointless unless you take action!
Furthermore, the final and most important secret when it comes to mitigating fear is simply taking action. Because, believe it or not, action itself is what helps keep fear at bay.
Fear Disappears After You Take Action
As I mentioned above, energy transmutation is the way in which many sales pros don’t just prevent fear from overcoming them, but also use it to their advantage.
The simple way that they practice energy transmutation is by taking action despite fear. The moment they take action, they override human instinct. The moment human instinct gets overridden, fear turns into a positive emotion like adrenaline or excitement.
When you take action despite feeling fear, your body thinks to itself, “Oh my gosh, I guess we’re taking action anyways! How can I prevent myself from getting hurt? I know! I’ll turn this fear-based energy into adrenaline so that I can push through the circumstances!”.
Essentially, pushing forward despite fear forces your body into survival mode. Although you’re not in a threatening situation, your body still interprets it as such. As a result, you get to reap the benefits of high-powered emotions like excitement and adrenaline.
From now on, don’t see fear as something you need to squash, but as a tool to help power you forward.
Delegate to Your Sales Team
Lastly, don’t forget to delegate lead gen tasks to your sales team!
Too many sales professionals overwhelm themselves with work and resultantly overwhelm themselves with fear because they refuse to give up control of anything.
Not only does that cause their own fears to shoot up, but it pushes their totally capable sales team into a resentful corner.
Sometimes, the best way to give up fear is by giving up some control. While it might initially spark fear, those fears will drop once the work is off your shoulders and on somebody else’s plate.
Final Thoughts on Overcoming Your Sales Lead Generation Fears
Not only does fear completely stunt the lead generation process, but it’s extremely painful to deal with. There is seriously no need to go through sales always overcome with fear!
Bottom line: Fear is dangerous and pervasive. If you’re ready to take back control of lead gen to close more deals with your dream clients in less time, then start by taming fear. From there on out, your sales potential is virtually limitless.
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