How To Sell Show

HTSS197 - Getting past the feeling of shame in sales - Scott Sylvan Bell

December 26, 2021

The problem with shame from sales 

The emotions nobody wants to talk about are the ones you should. Everyone wants you to close deals and you want to be a closer but we have to talk about side products, bi-products of the sales process. These conversations are what you may think but are scared to say. Shame comes from internal issues and problems, conversations with salespeople and even professional therapists. Shame can come from the feelings you feel about yourself and the events that take place. Your personal life affects your business life more than you know.

Shame and sales problems 

You can look at multiple definitions of the word "shame" you will find a common thread. This can be internal guilt you have after an event. Lookup multiple definitions and you get something along the lines of:

  • Wrong or foolish behavior
  • Regret, self hate, and dishonor

Deep shame comes from regret and rejection. Shame from sales comes from the belief of judgment from not just others, but yourself. Embarrassment and or humiliation may be at play when you feel shame in after the sales process. Tough conversation and possibly an emotional one as well. Shame is one level deeper than rejection, this is the underpinnings of the rejection and what happens after.

Rejection and shame 

Rejection in sales presentations and after-sales presentations can lead to shame. You use the formula for rejection time, effort, energy, risk, money or reputation. Reputation is targeted here because it is easiest to trigger the feeling of shame. Some of the feelings you face after rejection is pre-programmed from being a kid or events that have happened in your life. If you were bullied, made fun of or even pushed hard as a child shame can be triggered easily. You get caught up in routines and past behavior. 

Feelings of shame after not closing a deal

Shame can be triggered in and after the sales process. The feelings you have when you don’t succeed are those of:

  • Loss
  • Loneliness – nobody can understand this
  • Anxiety – When will this happen, its not working right now
  • Frustration – I have put in so much work and or effort
  • Internal doubt – What’s wrong with me?
  • Shame – I don’t want people to know I am not closing right now

How shame and disappointment trigger each other

If you had a strict upbringing the shame can come from a lack of performance. If you had someone pay for your training, help you get to where you are, the shame can come from letting someone down. You can have projected disappointment by not fulfilling your promises to a company. Disappointment from others can be real or it can be that you believe they will be upset or disappointed with you. Sometimes salespeople and even professionals get shame and rejection confused. Here are the common emotions you can face with shame:

  • Fear
  • Uncertainty
  • Guilt
  • Nervousness
  • Despair
  • Anxiety
  • Humiliation

These feelings can hurt sales flows and progress when not dealt with. When you don’t close deals we have so much riding on the line. It's not just money it's your personal image on the line as well. This is who you are personally and professionally. You can start questioning yourself with questions like: 

  • What did I do wrong
  • Why am I broken
  • I cant do this
  • I will never make it
  • I will not be loved

Why shame in sales is so hard 

Shame is a hard topic most people don’t really want to get into, this is taboo for so many reasons. 10 years ago nobody wanted to talk about shame in sales and shame from not closing deals. Today the conversation about shame in sales is easier. There are common things salespeople do when they face shame:

  • They hide
  • They binge eat
  • The drink
  • They do drugs
  • They gamble
  • They go into party mode

The loss of confidence and shame 

Deep down inside salespeople want not just the dopamine of a closed deal, they want the respect of others including salespeople. This makes sense why salespeople hide when they don’t close deals, they don’t want to show they have the shame of not closing deals. There is a risk to be made fun of, torn down, and to be talked down to. True closers build those up around them. There is a difference between Closers with capital "C" and closers with a lower case "c".  You will want to decide the type of people you want on your side. Closers with a lower case “c” tear people down, try to destroy others and are generally not pleasing people to be around. 

Shame and closers in sales 

Closers with a capital "C" know the feeling of not closing the deal. It takes tons of appointments to get used to the process. It's hard to get there over time without the emotions of loss getting in the way. Shame is part of the game. It's hard to tell you there isn’t. It's hard to live through the tough emotions in sales. 

How to get past shame in sales 

Some of these ideas about shame will not be the thing that helps you sleep at night. Some of these solutions require hard work and effort. Some of these sales solutions are nice and flowery. Know you are a salesperson and part of the game is the ups and downs. You must be willing to put in the hard work. If you are really struggling with sales because of shame, get some help from therapists, coaches, and or mentoring:

Keep a journal

Know you are an amazing person, you are willing to do what so many people are scared of (the greatest fear most people have is all around talking in front of people) be gracious on and about yourself. 

  • Fall in love 
  • Have a hobby outside of work
  • Take vacation
  • Save money 

The dark dark side of sales

You can face shame in sales from making bad decisions, selling the wrong thing or even from selling the wrong item. You can face shame from evil deeds. You may tell yourself "I should haven’t used that tool to close a deal". You know when you have done wrong. Shame in sales can come from not working for or with the best or selling the best. This feeling of shame in sales can touch on:

  • Imposter syndrome
  • Rejection
  • Past fears from life
  • Worried about being exposed for something you are not
  • Anxiety
  • Low self-esteem
  • Depression

If you feel like you are stuck please get help from someone, a professional, and find someone to talk to.

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