A significant portion of an account executive’s job is dealing with situations that are inherently uncomfortable: discussing a client’s budget, consistently calling to follow up with prospects, and dealing with the silence that often comes after asking for the order.
My advice to sellers who feel uneasy with silence is to learn to get comfortable with it. Understand that it’s as likely they’ll get a “no” from a prospect as a “yes.” Savvy sellers get this part of presenting and are conditioned not to fear being turned down. I tell our partner stations’ AEs that the more fearless they are, the stronger they’ll be in the long run. Although leaving one’s comfort zone can be challenging, once you’ve done it and found success, it’s an empowering feeling of accomplishment.
In 1989, his first season in the NFL, QB Troy Aikman and the Dallas Cowboys went 1-15. He was sacked more times than he’d probably care to count, which had to be “uncomfortable,” to say the least. However, those tackles taught the Hall of Famer how to get better. He learned new techniques to prevent being sacked, completed more successful plays, and moved the scorecard to a greater number of wins over losses.
Embrace discomfort and use it to become better at the job and art of selling. The more uncomfortable interactions you put into the win column, the less uncomfortable and more fearless you become.
If you want to read more on this topic…check out How to be Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable: 43 Weird and Wonderful Ways to Build a Strong; Resilient Mindset, by Ben Aldridge.