"FEAR" is one of those words that, well, puts fear into everyone who entertains the term - in their head, under their breath or out loud. It can reside subconsciously in our system, changing our game without warning and without us even knowing it lurks in the shadows. Fear is an enemy that all sales professionals have to deal with on a daily basis. In today's uncertain business environment, it is more prevalent than ever.

What are the outcomes and the root cause of fear? The primary by-product of fear is worry. Worry is what we do to actively fight fear - to try to overcome it and move forward. Worry is what is created when we analyze every possible outcome and solution to the source of our fear. Worry won't improve the outcome or generate a solution to any challenge. Worry is not productive. It is, however, time-consuming and distracting.

At the root of FEAR and WORRY is usually RISK. Risk is the measure we use to determine what we might lose in the event of an unforeseen outcome. By nature, sales professionals are positive people. To be successful in this profession, you have to be positive to consistently overcome the obstacles that are presented on a daily basis. We must be able to visualize all of the best outcomes. Interestingly, risk is more associated with the negative outcome versus the positive. So how do we begin to give equal time to the positive outcomes from risk as well as the negative? What happens if a competitor steps up their efforts in our largest account? We worry about losing our position. But what happens if we expose the competitor as a price seeking, non-value-added supplier and we actually gain business from the situation?

Always analyze your risk from both perspectives - what can go wrong, but more importantly, what can go RIGHT.

Once you convince yourself that the risk is overwhelming, fear and worry will take over. Nothing paralyzes a sales professional faster. When you engage in risk assessment, be sure to consider both the positive and negative risk. Find ways to turn fear and worry into action and response, and then do your best work! And leave the fear and loathing in Las Vegas*!

*Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson. Thompson is a best-selling author and well-known Gonzo Journalist.--As part of our ongoing commitment to professional development, Carew International publishes a regular blog to provide timely insights for optimal sales performance.  To learn more about Carew's incomparable sales training programs, sales leadership training and customer service training, visit our website at www.carew.com.