Over the weekend, a video came across my social media feed that was both entertaining and enlightening. The host was walking around a downtown area interviewing people and asking them what they think about sales people.

Predictably, most of the sentiments were negative. Comments like “pushy”, “greedy”, “selfish”, and “don’t listen” dominated the responses. Even more interesting, most of the positive comments came from people who work in sales, exposing a strong disconnect between the self perception of sales-people compared to how the general public actually perceives them.

That public perception fuels most of the rude behavior people direct at those of us in sales, but where does it come from? There are 3 fears that power the negative response most people have when they get a sales call.

1) Loss of time – The prospects are asking themselves how long this is going to take.

2) Loss of money – The prospects are asking themselves how much this is going to cost them.

3) Loss of face –  The prospects are asking themselves how rude they will need to be to get rid of you.

I would stipulate that if you have a solid sales process, you are addressing these 3 fears throughout the prospecting and sales journey. Your process should acknowledge the existence of these fears and be built to defuse their power.

From cold calls to full demo meetings, are you systematically addressing the 3 fears? If you are leading with your agenda, your perspective, your needs, you are setting the stage for clients to be rude to you, because you’re confirming all their preconceived notions and assumptions about sales-people.