6 Obstacles to Selling

obstacles to sellng - figure of a man wondering and thinking about something

What are some common obstacles to selling and how can you overcome them?

Business is about getting paid. But sometimes we are reluctant to even get started. Here are some common internal obstacles that cause this.


  1. A past bad experience with selling.

This could be that you got rejected or you made a loss. Our natural tendency as human beings after any bad experience is to try to avoid that experience in future. How do we overcome that? By going back to the past experience and analyzing what you did wrong in order to learn from it. Try it a different, better way this time. You may still feel fear but the best is to proceed with the action and you will get better at it.

  1. A bad experience of being sold to.

Perhaps there was some very pushy sales person who was bothering you and you kept saying no until you bought just to get rid of the person. This kind of experience can affect you negatively because you might worry that the way you felt about that salesperson is the way other people will feel about you when you try to sell them something. How can you overcome this? By appreciating that what you are selling is indeed solving a problem for people. If you have a solution for someone who has a headache, would you feel bad about telling them about it? No, you are actually helping. When Bana Mulenga brings me vegetables, she is saving me the time of going to the market. Actually, she should be able to sale to me at higher cost without feeling bad about it. Not only is she selling me vegetables, she is also selling me convenience.

  1. A negative association to selling as looking needy.

This can also be from one or both of the experiences above. Some people don’t just try to sell to you, they beg you to buy. Then you remain thinking, I never want to be like that. The moment you associate begging with selling, selling becomes a bad thing in your eyes and you will struggle with it.

  1. A belief that selling is beneath you

Can a person with high academic qualification sale goods from door to door or is that for less educated people?  For many people, the former is unthinkable. If you are one of them, we have just cracked the code as to what could be holding back your sales efforts. The solution? Remembering that business is really about getting paid. You are aware of the term ‘best-selling author’. It’s not ‘best writing author.’ It’s the selling that will get your name out there and add money to your bank account.


  1. Fear of rejection.

Ah…rejection. That one hurts am not even going to pretend. If you like rejection, you might be from another planet. I don’t know any person who likes rejection. But experiencing rejection is a normal part of selling. So what can you do about it? First of all, understand the various possible meanings of the words no. When someone says no to your offer, what does it mean? It can mean so many things but with the fear of rejection, we seem to interpret it as meaning, you suck, I hate you or something along those lines but really customers will say no without explaining and it’s up to us to determine what that means. Here are some possible meanings of the word no as you try to sale

-am not interested as in I have no use for your product, like someone trying to sell me cigarettes. I really just have no use for them.

-I already have a similar item. It won’t make sense to buy another one. One time, a young lady visited me at home begging me to buy solar powered lamps a while ago. I told her no, I am not going to buy. She answered ‘why not?’. I said I don’t have money. She said you don’t look like you don’t have money…lol…she was persistent. Actually, my ‘no’ meant I already have enough solar-powered lamps.


  1. The belief that you should not blow your own trumpet.

Selling involves telling people how good you are and how great your product or service is. But isn’t this boasting or showing off? Odd as it may seem, this feeling actually does hold people back from being good salespeople. We have been brought up to play down our strengths in the name of humility or whatever. Subconsciously we may carry this belief in us and it will affect our attitude towards selling which will then affect our actual sales, work, and results.

Here is another article you might like: Top Three Reasons Why Your Customers Are Not Buying

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