Common Fears to Overcome if You Want to Succeed in Business

Fear will usually rear its head the moment you decide to step outside of your comfort zone.  And to be successful building a thriving business or accomplishing anything noteworthy in life for that matter you must at times step outside of your comfort zone and feel the fear that is sure to arise.

And when that fear arises, you must embrace it and move forward despite it.

However, what often happens is the fear people feel paralyzes them, and if you let fear paralyze you, you will never achieve your true potential, and your business will never succeed to the fullest extent possible.

I have seen fear cripple many personal chef clients I have coached.  They become so scared they end up not taking the necessary high pay-off actions they must take to be successful.  As a result, their businesses fail.  They say they want to succeed more than anything, but they aren’t willing to do whatever it takes to accomplish their goals.

Instead they feel the fear and cower and do whatever they can NOT to put themselves into situations that will illicit fear.  And it is precisely these situations that are the ones absolutely necessary for success.

So for those of you who want to break free of the often paralyzing effect of fear, I’ve outlined below 4 common fears I have witnessed in my coaching practice along with suggestions you can take to garner the courage you need to move forward despite your fear.

Fear of Selling
Many people, especially heart-centered entrepreneurs or business owners who have no background in sales or marketing, hate selling because it makes them feel very uncomfortable and pushy. They fear that their efforts to sell will push prospects away and that these prospects will be annoyed at them for asking for the business.

Solution:  Change your perception of selling.  Think of any communication you have with a prospect as a chance for you to be of service to that individual.  You are there to help him solve his problems and improve his life.  You are offering him an opportunity.  You are not selling.

One other important point.  Don’t start conversations by immediately pushing your products or services.  You will become that obnoxious salesperson if you do.

Instead, start by asking questions and listening.  Once you have a sense of the person’s problem or situation and what he wants instead, and you believe your products and services can help, by all means say something about what you do.

Fear of Rejection
People sometimes hesitate to follow up on warm leads, make cold calls, ask for the sale or network because they fear rejection.  When a prospect or other important contact says “no”, they take it personally and become a lot more hesitant to reach out to anyone else.

Solution:  Try not to attach yourself to the outcome of any particular interaction you have with a prospect.  Your job is to simply help your prospect decide if she should work with you (or buy from you) or not.

Uncover her problem, understand her desired outcome, and clearly explain how your products or services can take her from where she is to where she wants to be.  Focus on the benefits and value of what you offer first instead of the features, and then accept the outcome.

Remember, your goal is to be of service.  Trust that your prospect knows how to make the best decision for herself no matter what that decision is.   And if the decision is “no”, bless her, review what you did well and what you could improve and then move on quickly to your next lead or contact.

Fear of Failure
No one wants to fail and because of this, many will avoid any opportunity or situation that they believe could end in failure.  Instead they stick to doing things that they deem safe and that seem to carry little risk.  They keep themselves in what they think is a protective bubble.

The thing is you can’t avoid failure even when you think you are playing it safe.  By playing it safe you are depriving yourself of new experiences, personal growth, and a chance to reach your full potential as a human being.  And when you do this, you are failing.  You are failing yourself and the lives of those who would have benefited from you taking a risk that actually does end up in success.

When you run your own business there is no way to avoid sticking your neck out and doing things that are necessary to succeed but are scary to you.  Without the courage to feel the fear and do it anyway, you have no chance to build the business and the life you desire.  Your fear will come true – you will fail.  And this is just the thing you didn’t want to happen.

Solution:  Recognize that failure is necessary for success to happen by reminding yourself of the successes you have experienced in the past.  How did you become successful then?  Did you hit any road bumps or set backs along the way?  You probably did.  And what did you learn from those set backs?  How did this learning move you closer to the successful outcome you desired?

Failure helps you to see what doesn’t work so you can better see what will work.  That’s that beauty of failing.  Sometimes you have to just jump in not completely prepared, not knowing if you will sink or swim so you can figure out what’s needed to achieve the success you so desire.

One more thought…

When you hesitate to move forward because you are fearful of failure ask yourself if you know for sure that you will fail.  If you can’t say a definitive “yes”, then why not assume you will succeed?  It may be just as possible as failing.   In other words, why not shift your mindset to focus on what is possible instead of what is not possible?

Fear of Success
Yes, you may think this is an odd fear.  Success is what everyone is striving for, isn’t it?  Well not always.  Sometimes people fear becoming too successful, and as a result they may self sabotage their efforts to succeed.

While there are many reasons why people fear success. One common reason is that they fear they won’t be able to handle the increased workload.  How will they get it all done and not disappoint?  How will they maintain work life balance?

Solution:  Having too many people wanting to buy from you or work with you is a good thing.  Rejoice in it.  It gives you options.   Don’t you want options?

If you are okay not growing your business, you don’t have to sell more or take on new clients if you don’t want to.  It’s your choice.  It’s your business.  On the other hand, if you do want to grow your business, you can.

And if the idea of growing your business frightens you because you think you won’t be able to handle it, figure out what you can do so you can handle it.  Come up with and put in place a doable business growth action plan.  You will feel a whole lot better taking on more business if you know exactly how you plan to handle it.

Have you ever experienced any of the above fears?  If yes, what did you do to overcome your fear so you could move forward?  Have you experienced other fears not mentioned?   If yes, which ones and what if anything helped you move through it so you didn’t stay stuck?

7 Confidence-Boosting Tips

Confidence Opens Doors Words in DoorwayIs a lack of confidence holding you back? Do you hesitate to take actions that will move your personal chef business forward because you question something about yourself, your services or your abilities?

Feeling a lack of confidence in some way, shape or form is not uncommon. Below are phrases I’ve heard over the years that indicate that a lack of confidence is an issue…

  • How can I be a personal chef who focuses on health and wellness if I am overweight?
  • I can’t do a cooking demo at a farmer’s market because I live in an area with much better chefs than I am who are doing demos at the farmer’s market all the time.
  • I am going to take a few more classes first to develop my culinary skills before I try getting clients.
  • Do I have to talk and be in front of people to get business?
  • No one will buy my services at the prices I want to charge.
  • People won’t view my personal chef business as legitimate unless I have a website.
  • Why would someone choose to work with me when I don’t have a culinary degree?
  • How am I going to compete when there are so many other personal chefs in my area?
  • I’ll work for another personal chef instead of getting my own clients so I can get more practice first.

A lack of confidence can kill your business. People want to hire people who come across capable and sure of themselves (but not, of course, cocky). If you believe in yourself, your services, and your talent, others will too, and you will become magnetic. People will be clambering to hire you. Nothing else will matter much.

So what can you do to help boost your confidence level?

Below are 7 confidence-boosting tips you can implement now:

Tip 1:  Remind yourself of a time when someone raved about you and your food. If you have testimonials, re-read them. Sometimes it’s important to remind yourself just how good you really are by reading what others have said.

Tip 2:  Switch your focus from yourself to how you can be of service to others – it’s amazing how a lack of confidence simply disappears when you pull your attention away from yourself and focus instead on why you are doing what you are doing to begin with.

Tip 3:  Dress sharp because when you are dressed in a way that makes you feel good on the outside, it can do a whole lot to increase your confidence level on the inside – you’ll find that others will notice and reach out to you more too.

Tip 4:  Take action because simply the act of taking action and going after something you want with focus can help your confidence to flow.

Tip 5:  Listen to an uplifting, motivating song and dance along. Believe me, doing this can really pump you up, get you psyched and boost your confidence levels a lot.

Tip 6:  Be brave and keep doing the uncomfortable even if it means taking a really small step forward. If you are consistent, you will start seeing positive results and the positive results will help your confidence to grow.

Tip 7:  Visualize what it is you want in living color. See yourself acting with confidence doing whatever it is you are afraid to do. Hear the positive feedback you get. See the positive results of your effort.  Smell the delicious, mouthwatering smells of your food. When you visualize your ideal outcome, create such a clear vision in your mind that you can actually see yourself  in your vision as if it were actually happening now.

Do you ever struggle with a lack of confidence? What do you do to give yourself a confidence boost?

Are You Sabotaging Your Efforts to Get Clients by Doing This?

Private Or Public Directions On A SignpostFor many personal chefs finding regular clients on an ongoing basis is a constant struggle. And as time goes on they begrudgingly begin to feel that the on again off again pattern of their businesses is just something they have to accept as personal chefs.

Is the feast or famine pattern of a personal chef business just par for the course?

I don’t think so. There are personal chefs who do get enough clients to keep themselves booked. Some have so many clients coming their way on a regular basis that they can hire others to take on the extra workload.

What can you do differently to break the feast or famine pattern?

There are many things you can do to attract more clients on a consistent basis, but one key and simple thing you may not be doing well that can make a huge difference is following up on existing leads.

I hear personal chefs tell me all the time about people they should reach out to who they think could use their services or who have expressed interest in their services, but they just don’t follow up with these people. They procrastinate.

Does this sound like you? If you have trouble following up on leads, you aren’t alone and you are leaving a lot of money on the table. Unfortunately, it’s not effective to simply let people know you exist and then sit back and hope the phone rings. You must take a more active role in reaching out to people who have interest in what you do.

And why aren’t you doing it?

What is making you hesitate? You know on an intellectual level that you should reach out and make that call or send that email but somehow you let day after day go by without following up.

And the longer you hesitate to follow up, the less likely you will sign-up another client.

What’s behind this seemingly illogical behavior? I think fear may be at the heart of the issue. And the first thing to do to work through your fear so it doesn’t hold you back is to figure out what exactly you are afraid of.

So tell me. Do you have fear of any of the following things?

Fear of success

Suppose too many of the leads you follow up with actually say “yes” to working with you? Now what? How will you handle the workload? You don’t want your life to get too busy and you don’t want to turn business away.

Solution: Having too many people wanting to work with you is a good thing to have. Recognize that you don’t have to work with more clients than you want to. It is your business and you are in charge. Figure out a way to handle the excess. Perhaps you refer them to another personal chef and get a referral fee. Or maybe you eventually find a commercial kitchen to rent so you can service more clients.

Fear of Selling

Oh no! Someone is interested.  Now you actually have to talk to him and “sell” your services. You hate selling because it makes you feel icky inside. You don’t like when someone sells to you. Suppose your lead takes offense too? He may take offense even though he said he wanted to talk to you more. The process of closing the sale and getting the business makes you very uncomfortable.

Solution: Change your perception of selling. Think of any communication you have with a prospect as a chance for you to be of service to that individual. You are there to help him solve his problems and improve his life. You are offering him an opportunity. You are not selling.

Fear of Rejection

Even though your lead has given you permission to contact her, she still may think your services are too expensive or she may not want to work with you in the end. You don’t want to be rejected. You take it personally. You will lose your motivation to reach out to yet another prospect if you are rejected.

Solution: Try not to attach yourself to the outcome of any particular interaction you have with a prospect. Your job is to simply help your prospect decide if she should work with you or not. Remember, your goal is to be of service. Trust that your prospect knows how to make the best decision for herself and in the end that is truly what is best for all. And if the decision is “no”, bless her, review what you did well and not so well during the follow-up and then move on quickly to your next lead.

Fear of Not Knowing What to Say

You wonder how the conversation will flow when you finally do have that in-person or phone discussion with your lead. Suppose you are awkward and can’t think of the right things to say at the right time? What will she think of you? Maybe she won’t see you as a professional with a valuable service to offer.

Solution: Write up a script. Think of all the possible things your prospect might say and brainstorm ahead of time for ways to answer or comment. Practice with a friend.

Fear of Bothering Your Prospect

Even though your lead said you could contact him, you know he is very busy, and you don’t want to disturb him. Every time you muster the courage to place the call, you tell yourself that it isn’t a good time to call because he will probably be busy working, eating dinner, or relaxing with family. You don’t want to interfere or come across too aggressive and pushy, so you keep waiting to reach out to him.

Solution: When someone expresses interest in your services ask him when the best time is to call. And remember, if you don’t follow-up, you are doing a disservice to your prospect. If you never talk, he will never have the opportunity to benefit from your services and his life won’t improve.

So what’s the outcome for you if you let your fear-based mindset influence your actions as they pertain to following up with leads? You will end up with too few clients to keep your calendar fully booked. You won’t be able to turn your personal chef business into a thriving one. You won’t be able to sustain yourself financially. You won’t be able to help people have better lives by reducing their stress and cooking them good, healthy food.

Your dream won’t be realized.

YOUR ASSIGNMENT: Figure out what the root cause is of your follow-up reluctance and then come up with a plan to help you work through your fear so you can take action. Choose some of the approaches above or come up with an approach of your own and then implement it!

What did you think of this blog post? Do you sometimes hesitate to follow-up on leads even if they have given you permission to call? What do you think makes you reluctant to follow-up? Please share your thoughts below in the comment section. I’d love to hear from you.

Interested in learning more about my client attraction services? Let’s talk. Sign up for a Client Attraction Phone Consult with me. We will work together to clarify your business goals, uncover potential roadblocks, and then discuss how you can get more ongoing support to help you get more clients and income.

How to Close the Sale Without Feeling “Salesy”

Personal chef who is afraid of the selling conversation

Personal chef who is afraid of the selling conversation

Many personal chefs feel incredibly uncomfortable with the sales conversation and bringing it to a close.  Have you ever felt that way?

If you have, it’s probably because you hate it when others push their products and services on you.  You want to make sure you don’t come across like them.  A salesperson that is overly aggressive can be a real turn off.  I get this because I have felt totally turned off by and extremely annoyed with salespeople in the past myself.

And why did I feel that way?  It was usually because of one or more of the following reasons…

  1. I didn’t appreciate being interrupted at that particular time
  2. What the salesperson was selling wasn’t what I wanted or needed
  3. The salesperson came across as if it was all about him instead of about me, and I could hardly get a word in edgewise

You don’t have to be an aggressive salesperson.  In fact the aggressive, push-it-in-your face approach is an old-fashioned approach that doesn’t work very well in today’s market environment which is all about building relationships and meaningful connection with others.

So what do you do instead to ask for the business?   Try the following key “closing-the-sale” tips:

Tip #1:  Shift from a Selling to a Service Mindset

You must believe that you aren’t selling anything because you aren’t.  You are offering a service.  A service is something that helps people with a problem they face.  People want solutions to their problems.  This mindset shift can help you overcome your “selling” fears.

Tip #2:  Ask Questions and Listen Closely

Instead of immediately telling others what you do and asking them to hire you, focus instead on learning more about the people with whom you are interacting.  Do this by asking questions and listening closely to the answers.  Be curious about THEM.  Find out about their lives.  Listen for pain points.  Ask them what they want for their lives instead.  See if they have meal planning and preparation challenges.  Do they struggle to eat healthy?  Are they strapped for time?

Tip #3:  Wait for an Opening

As you ask questions, listen to the answers, and seek information, it will become apparent whether the people you are talking to are interested in and could benefit from your services.  If you think your services could help them, ask permission to tell them about how your services can help them overcome the challenges they just shared with you.

Tip #4:  Stress Benefits

If you talk about the benefits of your services as they relate to the challenges the person you are talking to faces, you won’t come across as if you are selling.  Instead you will come across as helpful and service-oriented.  And don’t be surprised if at this point the person who you are talking to asks about price and the details of your service.

Tip #5:  Don’t Attach to Outcome

Allow your prospect to make the decision about whether to hire you.  It’s up to her.  You don’t need to force anything.  Your job is to simply communicate what you can about your service and its benefits as well as you can so that your prospect can make the best decision about whether to use your services or not.

Try these 5 tips the next time you are talking to a potential client and see how it feels.  Do you feel less salesy?  Do you feel more at ease talking about your business? How does the other person respond to you?  I bet you are going to enjoy the selling conversation much more in the future.

Are you interested in having a discussion about topics like closing the sale, marketing and client attraction with other personal chefs in order to get support and to share best practices with one another?  If yes, I invite you to join the “Personal Chef Marketing Network” LinkedIn group.  To learn more and to join visit http://www.linkedin.com/groups/Personal-Chef-Marketing-Network-5072977/about.

 

Get More Clients through Spheres of Influence

A really good way to have prospects reaching out to you regularly is to build relationships with several key spheres of influence because they will refer potential clients your way often.

Spheres of influence are people who are very well connected to your ideal client, and they love to network and link people up.  They typically don’t offer a similar or competing service to your own.  They recognize the value of your service and think that what you offer would be of value to the people in their network.  They know, like and trust you.

Can you think of any people who are or could become your spheres of influence?  Some examples might be a doctor, a well connected neighbor or friend, a nutritionist, an event planner, or a real estate agent to name just a few.

Once you identify some possible spheres of influence in your area, reach out to them and introduce yourself.  Get to know them and share with them what you do.  See if there are ways for you to be of service to one another.  Stay in touch with them over time.

And don’t be afraid to reach out to these people.  Often times we run into someone who would be a perfect sphere of influence for us but fear prevents us from starting a dialogue.

Some common fear-based thoughts that may prevent you from reaching out to these people to build a relationship follow:

  • They may not like me.
  • What if they don’t show any interest in helping me out?
  • I don’t want to sound like I am selling.
  • I am sure they are very busy and don’t want to be interrupted by me.

All these fear-based thoughts are focused on you and aren’t based on known facts or reality.  Focus your thoughts instead on your sphere of influence.  Remind yourself that your sphere of influence is a natural networker who wants to help and who values getting to know new people.  Remind yourself that your service will be of value to your sphere of influence’s network.  Remind yourself that reaching out will get easier the more you do it.

What are the top ways you currently get more clients?  Do you have spheres of influence?  If yes, who are they?  Please share your comments below.

Now if you are still struggling to find enough regular clients or you are tired of dealing with the feast or famine pattern of your business, take advantage of my free, no obligation Client Attraction Phone Consult.  I’d love to get a chance to learn more about your challenges and goals for your business so we can discuss what steps you need to take next to build a thriving business.