The Essence of Trust-Based Selling

Timid salesmen have skinny kids (Zig Ziglar)

We know that a “calm, cool, and collected” state of mind is ideal for a Trust-Based sale – but FEAR tends to make that a difficult state of mind to attain.

It is often said the fear of public speaking leads the list of barriers to success, but I’ll wager the FEAR of SALES has it beat!Click To Tweet

Let’s look at a few tactics to overcome this fear of sales … or to at least manage the fear so you can more easily be in a calm, cool, and collected state of mind!)

Once of the reasons I am such a firm believer in the Trust-Based Selling approach is because the MINDSET behind Trust-Based Selling RELIEVES the STRESS/FEAR factor … once you truly understand it.

Begin by shifting your mindset

Whether in a private session, on a coaching call with a client, at an onsite training, or during a speaking engagement – one of the first things I teach is the importance of the MINDSET behind Trust-Based Selling.

It is this: The Goal is to discover the TRUTH of your potential client’s situation. The goal is NOT to make the sale.

The Goal is to discover the TRUTH of your potential client’s situation. The goal is NOT to make the sale.Click To Tweet

Once you understand that foundational principle, you give yourself (and your client) permission to relax.

Yes, not focusing on making a sale seems counter-intuitive. Most people believe that selling is about manipulating someone into doing something they don’t want to do. With an attitude like that, there is BOUND to be STRESS.

Think about it: If you have a solution to someone’s problem,but you don’t identify the depth of that problem and help them see it … then you could end the conversation without helping them in the least. You would have wasted both your and their time.

It is the responsibility of the salesperson to make sure everyone who CAN be helped by his or her product or service IS helped. In a nutshell, that is what sales is ALL about. Trust-Based Sales is NOT about SELLING … it is about HELPING.

Remember: Everything is about sales and everyone is in salesClick To Tweet

One of the most effective ways to overcome your fear of sales is to realize you’re ALREADY DOING IT! If you’re living and breathing, you are selling on a daily basis.

Whether you’re running your own business, or you’re negotiating for a pay increase, or you have persuaded your teenage son to pick up some of the extra chores around the house and yard … you are selling.

At the end of the day it’s all sales. We are daily using persuasion and influence – even if it has nothing to do with money.

Overcome the FEAR of CRITICISM

Napoleon Hill, in his best selling book Think and Grow Rich, identifies Fear of Criticism as one of the Six Basic Fears that almost everyone suffers from at one time or another.

Hill says that, before we can master an enemy, we must know its name, its habits and its place of abode.

He describes the symptoms one exhibits when there is a fear of criticism. These are the SAME SIGNS and SYMPTOMS I see in individuals who perform poorly in sales or say they ‘hate sales.’

Before we can master an enemy, we must know its name, its habits and its place of abode.Click To Tweet

Hmmm …. There seems to be a correlation!

  • Self Consciousness: Generally expressed through nervousness, timidity in conversation, shifting of the eyes, and awkward movements of the hands and limbs when meeting strangers.
  • Lack of Poise: Expressed through lack of voice control, nervousness in the presence of others, poor posture of body, and poor memory.
  • Weak Personality: Lacking in firmness of decision, personal charm, and ability to express opinions definitely. The habit of sidestepping issues instead of meeting them squarely. Agreeing with others without careful examination of their opinions.
  • Lack of Initiative: Failure to embrace opportunities, fear to express opinions, lack of confidence in one’s own ideas, hesitance of manner and speech, deceit in both words and deeds.
  • Lack of Ambition: Mental and physical laziness, lack of self-assertion, the habit of accepting defeat without protest, quitting an undertaking when opposed by others, unwillingness to accept blame or admit mistakes.

Bottom line: You have to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. The only real way to get over the fear of sales and the fear of criticism is to endure the discomfort and do it anyway.

It’s true that sales gets easier with time, but you’ll never get comfortable with the process if you don’t start putting yourself in sales situations more often.

Bottom line: You have to get comfortable with being uncomfortable.Click To Tweet

The quickest way to get over your fear of sales is to START SELLING!

As a sales, communications, and leadership coach, I’ve learned there’s NO CONNECTION between competence and confidence. Even the most capable and talented individuals can be crippled by the fear (often secret fear) of criticism.

In next week’s article, let’s look at how to help you overcome that barrier to confidence: The FEAR of Criticism.


  1. Debbie, this is a REALLY HELPFUL article. Thank you. I’ve never considered the link between the Trust-Based Selling approach you teach and the defeat of FEAR. Now, it is evident. I believe this will help considerably in my next sales presentation.

Speak Your Mind