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Sales Training - FUD:  Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt

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FUD – Fear, Uncertainly and Doubt.  Sometimes you just have to scare your prospects into buying something they need.  Pest control and security companies know this and have used this knowledge to build huge industries.  I’m sure you’ve seen the commercials with cockroaches crawling all over the kitchen.   Or the single mom, home alone with her young children, as some creepy guys break into her house.  The announcer chimes in, “Do you want this to happen to you?”  Heck no.  I’m picking up the phone right now and ordering so I can be safe.

Fear of what’s going to happen to you if you don’t take action is an extremely powerful motivator.  Regardless of what you’re selling, if your product can help a company improve in a particular area and that company is currently not using your product, you have a prospect that stands to lose by not purchasing your product.   Your job is to make sure they don’t lose out.

Let’s say you sell network security software to small businesses.   Small businesses are just as vulnerable to cyber threats as large businesses.  And the consequences can be far worse.  Small businesses often don’t have the cushion large businesses do to recover.  Your questions to this type of prospect might include:

·         Do you know 42.6% of all small businesses suffer from some type of security breach?

·         Did you know it takes a small business, on average, 17.5 business days to get up running again and fully recover from a security breach?  How much revenue do you bring in on a daily basis?

·         What are you using now for network security?


You are doing nothing dishonest or sneaky.  Bad things happen to good companies.  If you totally believe in your product, you never lie or mislead and you sell with integrity, using FUD is your responsibility.  If it sometimes takes scaring one of your prospects into taking action in order to keep them from harm, then use FUD to close the deal.

Sales Homework
– List three FUD questions you can ask prospects about your product.




Sales Managers
– FUD is a strategy that makes some sales reps uncomfortable.  Let them see you use it on calls to help them feel more at ease.  Then make sure they have their FUD questions ready for the right situation. 

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