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Do you have the courage to go first?

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Perhaps you think you’ll lose the relationship you have with your clients or prospects if you bring up those difficult issues they don’t really want to face. You may believe that speaking to or about those issues will somehow cause them to lose trust in you. But nothing could be further from the truth.

The fear of going first. Lesser salespeople aren’t brave enough to bring up their clients’ deepest, most difficult challenges, because they’re afraid they’ll alienate them. To the clients dealing with those challenges, the salesperson may not look like someone who can help, someone who can make a real difference.

Courage and trust. The salesperson who gains his clients’ trust, however, is the one who has the courage to address a challenging issue head-on. The willingness to engage around difficult issues is exactly what makes that salesperson someone worth doing business with. It demonstrates that you’re willing to help your client with something you both recognize is going to be difficult. This doesn’t destroy trust; it builds it.

You go first. Your clients need to be brave. Change is always a step into the unknown. And it’s difficult to make real change in any organization, even if it consists of only a few individuals. That’s because change means people have to agree to face their fears and learn to do things differently.

You need to be brave in order to help your clients. You need to have the courage to address the issues that might make things more difficult for you in the short run. You need to be brave enough to commit yourself to helping your client make lasting improvements. You need to have the intestinal fortitude to help your clients make changes and see them to the other side of their challenges. Doing these things is exactly how you earn their loyalty and trust. 

When it comes to having the courage to deal with the biggest and most challenging problems your clients face, you need to muster the courage to go first. If you’re going to ask your client to have courage, you need to first show it yourself.

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