The four-letter word that stops most sales

By Karlan Tucker

Tucker Advisors

The easiest fears to help your clients overcome are those involving the product and company you represent. Most people want to trust, so getting them to trust you is not that difficult. The greatest fear we have to help them overcome is the fear of trusting their own judgment.

Whether you’re an adviser selling or a prospect buying, the thing that prevents most sales is fear. The fear of failure is the number one emotion that limits advisers from reaching their greatest potential. The fear of making a mistake is the number one emotion that prevents buyers from buying. Controlling our emotions is essential if we are to succeed, whether selling or buying.

Let’s talk about selling before we talk about buying. The fear of failure looms so large in our minds as salesmen and advisers that it represents more risk to our success than the stock market, being fired from a job or even losing a limb like many veterans have.

Fear prevents us from conducting seminars due to the fear of public speaking, asking for help from a mentor due to the fear of possibly asking a dumb question, or admitting we are not successful. Fear keeps us from asking for the sale a second, third or fourth time due to the fear of appearing like we are pressuring someone.

Tom Hopkins teaches salesmen to get seven no’s before giving up. How many times in your entire career have you ever asked for the sale seven times? My experienced and educated guess is that most of us have never done this.

We fear spending money on marketing will not come back to us because we know we fear sticking to our convictions at the very moment we are asking for the sale. We fear hiring an assistant because of the overhead and responsibility of managing another.

Fear – the single greatest emotion that is holding you back. Think what you could accomplish if you had no fear: public speaking, an assistant and a strong close that won’t take no for an answer.

The average adviser who makes $100,000 annually would have a new problem: how to manage an annual income of over $1 million.

How do I know this? I’m the guy who has had all these fears. I was afraid of public speaking, of hiring my first assistant, of standing on my convictions when it mattered most — at the moment I was asking for the sale.
I discovered that the only way to conquer your fear is to do exactly what you fear. By doing what you fear you realize it wasn’t so scary after all, that you actually are capable of more than you give yourself credit for, and that by doing what you fear, soon enough you fear it no longer.

I have conducted over a thousand seminars; I spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on marketing annually; I have 45 people who work for me; and I am always willing to get seven no’s, although I rarely need to. I don’t pressure people to buy; I just don’t back down from my convictions. How is all this possible? It’s possible because I did what I feared, and now it no longer scares me.

Advisers aren’t the only ones who are scared. Your prospects are also full of fear. They are afraid of you — are you a Bernie Madoff? They fear making the wrong decision as well as not knowing what the future holds, resulting in fear to commit to a financial strategy that involves time. They also fear trusting their savings to a company they know little or nothing about, and they fear outliving their money.

The easiest fears to help them overcome are those involving the product and company you represent. Most people want to trust, so getting them to trust you is not that difficult. The greatest fear we have to help them overcome is the fear of trusting their own judgment. They are asking themselves, “Am I making the right decision? Have I asked the right questions? Am I being taken in?” That’s why after leaving the meeting with you they call their broker for advice; they talk to their brother–in-law; they surf the Internet to look you up as well as the product or strategy you are recommending. They are afraid.

One of the ways we can reassure them that they are making a positive buying decision regarding fixed indexed annuities is to send them to the website The Hidden Truth About Annuities (

This website gathers third-party information from a wide variety of sources and publishes articles and videos about everything having to do with indexed annuities and annuities in general. It contains articles about President Obama’s efforts regarding annuities, Ben Bernanke’s personal savings being invested in annuities, the Wharton School of Business study regarding annuities, and many other articles and compelling videos.
Conquering fear in your own life by confronting fear head-on will result in a dramatic increase in your sales. Try giving a seminar, spending more dollars on marketing, or hiring an assistant, as any one of these actions will have amazing effects on your success.

Then help your prospects confront their fears by showing you are trustworthy and your recommendations are in their best interest.

Exuding conviction about what you are recommending will help your prospects overcome their greatest fear: trusting themselves. I have a saying: “People care more about your confidence than they do your competence.” Why? Because your confidence helps them trust themselves. When you’re strong and unwavering in your recommendations, it’s a lot easier for them to just rely upon your convictions than their own since many are unsure of what they believe and what they should do.

Live fearlessly by confronting your fears, help your prospects do the same, and I’ll see you at the top. The adviser on top of the mountain didn’t fall there. He conquered his fears and climbed. I’m looking forward to seeing you here. The view is amazing.