No need to be afraid to Sell B2B

Ascending the airstairs of the jet bridge, I felt my heart pounding. I punched in the security code for access, swung open the entry, and proceeded to the aircraft's door. A quick turn left, and I raced through the first-class section of this massive L-1011 airliner. Ahead and a step down lay the cockpit.

As I entered, the hum of avionics surrounded me as I searched wildly for the aircraft's manual. Tucked in a panel toward the rear of the cockpit, there it was. I grabbed it and rustled through the pages. Nose gear hookup had to be in there somewhere. At last, I found it, complete with a diagram and instructions on how to hook up the tow bar. A few minutes later I was all set, heading back down to connect the aircraft to the push-back tug where, in about an hour, I would push 250 people and crew from the gate to start their journey to New York.

Years later, I often think about this experience. I had taken an airline job while waiting for a sales training class to start at a future employer. My first task, on my first night working at the airline, was to push a plane loaded with passengers from the gate. I can still hear the supervisor asking, "You know how to push a plane, right?" I answered that of course, I did when I did not have a clue. Not to worry. As a pilot, I knew everything was in the manual. How hard could it be and what was there to fear? I reasoned.

Shape your destiny

As B2B merchant supplier sellers, we have primal fears of rejection and the dreaded no from our prospects. As a result, we fear failing and not making our goal, and finally, some of us fear not being liked by our customers, which further adds to our sales woes. As B2B salespeople, we will face a no or two along the way, as well a