It’s Monday and the usual fear, terror and loathing has set in. No, it’s not the upcoming sales meeting, it’s Halloween.

You know, that “holiday” (that they begin marketing in the summer) where people big and small dress up in costumes, try to prank each other and possibly throw together an office lunch potluck. At the risk of declaring Halloween is not my favorite holiday, it got me thinking….

As salespeople, what do we fear most and why do we let it stop us?

Here are some common sales fears and my tips to overcome them:

1. Prospect/client won’t take your call. This is one of the biggest fears and most common. You take it personally–they don’t like you, your magazine or your products. This is not true! 97% of the time it has nothing to do with you. Recognize that people just get busy. Instead, here’s my ideas to rattle some cages!

2. Repeated rejection.  This happens to every salesperson, no matter how experienced they are. Try a brand new approach instead. And whatever you do, DON’T sell. The best thing you can do is ask good questions and then really listen. Don’t just provide info, offer solutions.

3. The unknown. Facing a brand new prospect or cold call can be unnerving, but it doesn’t have to be. This is when it’s so important to make sure you do thorough research on their company culture and history, website and products, etc. It’s even a good idea to talk with your editor and see if they know anything about them.

4. Selling new product. When you sell new products, data, video, etc., make sure you know what you are talking about. Talk to experts if you need to learn more. Anticipate what questions your prospects and clients will have about your cool new offering.

5. Your numbers are down. This happens to every sales pro too. You haven’t had a sale in awhile and you feel like the sky is falling. Remind yourself there are always ups and downs. Sometimes sales fall in your lap and sometimes they are hard to close. Here’s some ways to keep motivated from Bonnie Dodson. Your renewed confidence will give you energy.

6. New technology you don’t know. No one is an expert about everything and there’s a strength in admitting that. It means you’re open to learning. So whether it’s a new CRM, analytics, tools, or social media platforms, don’t let it intimidate you. Instead, seek out experts within your organization and your niche to educate yourself. Ask your manager for training.

Seriously though, being in sales doesn’t have to be scary. Don’t take it personally, do your best research and keep on learning. Then the only spooky thing will be the sudden spike in YOUR sales!

An earlier version of this article appeared here.


More about Carl: Carl Landau is Grand Poobah of Niche Media. In his past life, Carl launched 5 successful niche magazines. He is a media/event guru, SF Giants fan, podcast host and part-time blogger. His 15 minutes of fame took place in the mid-eighties when he launched his famous, “Buy an Ad, Get a Cat” ad campaign. He has long since patched things up with the SPCA.


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