In Prospecting, Tom Libelt, Uncertainty

Tom Libelt, The Sales Evangelist, Uncertainty as a SalespersonHow do you deal with uncertainty as a salesperson? It’s definitely a tough thing that can wipe some people out.

Tom Libelt has been a salesman for almost 20 years; inside sales, outside sales, retail, large corporations – you name it. He has a couple of his own companies as well and is currently focused on the marketing of online courses.

Tom credits just getting up every morning and going to work as the secret to his success. And, he never leaves anything half-finished.

You don’t have to accomplish ten million things in one day – aim for two or three. It is amazing how much you can achieve in a year if you just check two or three items off each day. You could record an album, get a degree, open a store …

In this way, Tom has been able to 5x his company in just three months.

Plan ahead

He says the trick is to plan ahead the night before so as not to lose your focus, momentum, and energy trying to figure it all out the next morning.

When Tom is in the middle of a really fun project, he sometimes will let it set overnight just so he can enjoy it again for another day. Leaving something overnight, however, also just bugs him the whole night; he can’t stop thinking about it.

He wakes up looking forward to finishing it. In his experience, completing a great project first thing in the morning establishes the work flow for the rest of the day.

You will already be in the mindset to get things done.

Dealing with uncertainty

Dealing with uncertainty is especially difficult as a salesperson. We hear ‘No’ more than anyone else in any profession.

It can be a real roller coaster ride: Got a sale! … No sale…. Almost got a sale …hot lead! … nothing.

It is especially hard when there is a target to hit. The ride can last two or three weeks before it lands on a sale. It’s a grind sometimes and it can chip away at your confidence – and increase your uncertainty – if you don’t have the experience to handle it.

As a salesperson, Tom defines uncertainty as a feeling that nothing is working. It is that moment when the negative thoughts start to take over and you begin to worry. It is when the confidence and experience you need to know you will be okay are not there.

Those moments are fueled by fear and the worst decisions are often made as a result.

Imagine trying to close a deal and being terrified of what might happen if you fail. The client can sense that fear and you will not close that deal despite all your abilities. The wrong value and emotions are transferred to the client. Clients don’t buy when they are scared.

You wouldn’t want a hesitant doctor – you want a confident doctor.  It is the same with sales.

Project confidence

We have to project competence, confidence, and professionalism. Tom isn’t concerned whether or not his clients like him but he does want them to trust and respect him.

Tom is of the belief that although having a strong opinion may not always earn you friends, it will earn you respect. Clients don’t want someone who is trying to cater to everyone; they want someone who is confident and able to fix their problem.

Tom and his no-nonsense approach have closed many sales. He doesn’t tell his clients what they want to hear. He tells them what they need to hear.

Sometimes the respect comes automatically because you are working for a well-established brand name but only you, as a salesperson, can earn trust and confidence.

If you are dealing with uncertainty, if you had a poor showing in 2018 for example, Tom believes that 99% of the time it stems from a lack of prospecting.

You have to prospect to fill the sales funnel. Sitting around waiting for the phone to ring is a recipe for uncertainty.

The fundamentals

If you follow the fundamentals, you can succeed. You have to make a start and you have to put in the work. Just because someone hung up on you one time doesn’t mean it will happen every time.

Don’t let uncertainty keep you from continuing to try.

I especially like working with novices because they aren’t afraid. It is the flip side of experience – they haven’t failed enough times to be afraid to try again.

Tom also believes that, as a whole, we have become soft. Instead of cold calling or going door-to-door, we now have technology that allows us to stay at our desk. We no longer have to deal with brutal weather or slamming doors.

Stop asking for permission.

Instead of asking your manager how to best handle a call, or what you should do next, Tom says to just do it! The worst thing that could happen is that the client will say ‘No.’

If that happens, and it will sometimes, just move on and try again. You never know what will happen unless you do it, unless you keep trying. You can’t score unless you step up to the plate and swing the bat.

Sales needs momentum.

Tom realizes that, in the past, he wasn’t always the most successful salesperson. He knows there were times when he slacked off on prospecting, especially after a having a good week. He was forced to restart the process over and over again as a result.

As long as you do what it takes, good things will happen.

Do prospect. Do fill that sales funnel. Stop the amateur nonsense. Leave the outrage and softness at the door.

“Uncertainty as a Salesperson” episode resources

Tom can be reached via smartbrandmarketing.com.

This episode is brought to you in part by prospect.io, a powerful sales automation platform that allows you to build highly personalized, cold email campaigns. To learn more, go to prospect.io/tse. It will help you with your outbound to expand your outreach. It allows you to set it and forget it. Your prospecting will never ever be the same.

Previously known as TSE Hustler’s League, our TSE Certified Sales Program offers modules that you can engage on your own schedule as well as opportunities to engage with other sellers in other industries.

This episode is brought to you in part by mailtag.io, a Chrome browser extension for Gmail that allows you to track and schedule your emails. It’s super easy, it’s helpful, and I recommend that you try it out.

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