They Can Smell Fear

By Diane Helbig  March 25, 2011

We all know that animals can smell fear and desperation. So can prospects and referral partners. If you want to slam the door on your business, behave with fear or desperation as your primary motivator.

What do I mean by this? Many small business owners and salespeople have their own needs in the forefront of their minds. This focus makes them frame their message from a position of fear. When the owner or salesperson is worried about meeting their financial obligations or is in fear of being fired, they lead with that emotion.

This is really dangerous for a couple of reasons. First of all, it isn’t the client’s problem whether you can meet payroll or pay your mortgage. They aren’t your partner. To share your situation with them will only make them nervous that you won’t be able to perform. You aren’t going to persuade them to do business with you. Quite the opposite; they will run from you. They can’t afford to get into a relationship with a business they fear will vanish soon.

Secondly, prospects buy from people they have confidence in. When you are fearful or desperate, they can smell it – even if you don’t share your problems with them. When they don’t feel confident with what you are telling them, you won’t get the business.

In the same vein, referral partners will not feel comfortable referring you. You will lose your relationships that could be serving your business.  Deb Ng shares a great article on Bizsugar about the impact of desperation on social networks, “6 Ways People Show Desperation on the Social Networks.”

Are you starting to see what happens when you are fearful or desperate? You get the opposite result than the one you need so desperately. You realize what you fear most – failure. No matter where you network, prospect or market, showing fear and desperation is a biz killer.

So, what to do? First of all, move your focus from yourself to your prospect. Concentrate your message on what they need, the value you bring, and how you can help them solve their problem. When we operate from a position of giving, the money comes. You can solve your own problem by helping others solve theirs. When you focus on others you will relax and feel confident. After all, you are confident of the value you bring to your clients, aren’t you? Exactly! And when you act with confidence, others feel it and want to do business with you.

Use your fear to propel you to action–action that is in the best interest of your prospect or client. This action will help you let go of your fear. Remember that when you are fearful you are living in the future. When you take action you are living in the present. The more action you take, the more in the present you are, the more successful you will be.