As Tina Turner sang: What’s love got to do with it? Love is just a second-hand emotion. Although this song is very catchy, it is somewhat misleading. Fear and love are the two primary emotions according to the self-managed course and the book The Course in Miracles. In it, the authors delve into the differences between them. Apparently, all our emotions, words, thoughts, and behaviors can be listed under one or the other emotion. If you are doubtful, just take a piece of paper and draw a line down the middle with ‘fear’ on the left side and ‘love’ on the right. Keep that paper with you and list your thoughts, feelings, and attitude on one side or the other. If you find another category, you be sure to let me know!

Many people have tried to disprove this simple logical way of categorizing their feelings, attitudes, thinking, and behaviors as sourced from either love or fear. Their reasoning was usually, how could it be as simple as that? They tried to label an attitude behavior, thought or action and say this one is different; this doesn’t fit. Sure enough, regardless of the thought, emotion or behavior, you will discover that it fits into one of the two categories: fear or love. The value of this is that typical salespeople (but not the Elite or Top Performers) avoid taking the action that they think will cause them to feel uncomfortable…in other words, they are steeped in fear and are not taking the action to transform it into success. Top Performers challenge their fears because they know that this is a requirement for success. Underperformers stay in their comfort zone.

Resentment is a common human feeling we have towards ourselves, others, or circumstances. This is the emotion that sucks up our energy like a crouton sucking up olive oil. Instead of contributing to our life, it subtracts; the sad part is that it can feel normal. If we transform our resentment, we have much more energy with which to grow our business. We need to quit looking at what others, and our competition, are either doing or not doing. If we look at what our peers on the team are doing, or the good accounts they manage to claim, we cannot focus on getting new clients and therefore cannot improve upon our own situation.

When you are in a difficult team situation, what are some ways that you can diffuse fear-based issues? First, you can deliberately choose to feel neutral because when you become an observer you learn more than those who are reacting. Although this is simple, it is not easy. Resentment and anger are perfectly normal human emotions but they do demonstrate a state of non-acceptance of the current situation. Once these emotions are acknowledged and quelled, a solution can be sought.

Self-management is vital; if we frequently grumble over minor infractions (or even major infractions) against our sensibilities, an energy-draining gremlin called resentment, hops on our back, and weighs us down. This sucks up energy that could otherwise be used for getting the next deal! Another demonstration of fear is to make promises and fail to follow through with them. As I said in an earlier chapter, your fortune is in your follow up. A promise made is a debt unpaid. I recommend that you have a little book and record the promises you make: I’ve made three promises to clients today and I won’t go to bed until I’ve kept all three promises to these three different clients.

Keeping promises to clients (or, indeed, to anyone) is important because when we do our clients and associates see us as credible, trustworthy, and respect-worthy. And if you want to build trust with anyone, it’s best to do so with someone who is also credible, trustworthy, and respectful. These traits demonstrate self-leadership, and it is virtually impossible to be a leader of others if we cannot be a leader of our own sweet selves! To make a promise and then fail to follow through may seem like the convenient thing to do at the time if it gets you out of a tough spot, but it never works in the end. Life has a way of equalizing itself!

Someone who cheats, lies, and steals is bound by fear. They may fear that there is enough in the world for everyone else, but not enough for themselves. They may fear that they will not be accepted if they display their truest self. In sales, a form of lying is false forecasting. When a member of your sales team does this, your sales manager is placed in a difficult position, he or she must justify to the vice-president and the president why they consistently forecast that a prospect or deal will close in a month when it never happens. Even if these opportunities do come to fruition months later, it was still false forecasting at the outset. Eventually, they are viewed as neither credible nor dependable.

Covetousness is another fear-based emotion that you see quite often in a work environment. To be covetous means to want more; more than is your share, more than you have earned, more. It is easy to be covetous when someone introduces you to a new client. In such a scenario, you have two choices. The first is based on fear; because the client was introduced to you, and you worked for them, you have technically earned this commission. You could keep it all to yourself. However, what about the person who introduced the two of you? They acted out of love by giving you the opportunity to work with this client. The generous, love-based thing to do would be to share something with the person who gave you this opportunity. It doesn’t have to be much, and if you need a practical reason to be generous know that it will help build your reputation as someone who is a credible, respectable business person.

Most salespeople don’t ask for referrals because they are afraid. However, what most salespeople do not realize is that their clients have two key fears of their own. First, they are afraid that you will discuss their personal or business situation with anyone they refer to you, and second, they are afraid that you will risk their friendship with the referral by being pushy or egregious in some way. They have one enormous subconscious question: is my relationship with a friend or associate worth compromising for the sake of giving this salesperson a referral? You need to reassure them that you will never divulge any confidential information, nor will you be pushy or aggressive; you will simply introduce yourself and let their associate decide whether to agree to a meeting.

Fear is a basic human quality, and the world of business quite often exacerbates the negative emotions associated with fear. The truly enlightened are those who know how to identify their fears and transition them into feelings that are based upon love and courage. That is a key behavior of Elite and Top Performers because they are geared to success.

This article is an excerpt from my upcoming publication:

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Sara Haynes, P. Eng.
Sigma Solutions

“I took advantage of Alice Wheaton’s offer for a free 30-minute consultation…but we chatted for almost an hour, during which I had several epiphanies that have inspired and motivated me to move forward. These were ideas that I could immediately start working on to help me get new clients and increase recurring revenues. This is what I call Value on Steroids!”

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