The Four Fears


Understanding human nature is part of sales.  The more you know about people, their motivations and fears, the more likely you will be able to help them.  Making a sale is about connecting a problem with emotions.  I was told early in my career that if you sell with enthusiasm; people will buy with emotion and they will pay for their purchase with logic.  In order to make the sale, we must overcome four basic fears.  You have been able to help your clients overcome these fears, but how are you personally dealing with them regarding the topic of your succession plan?

1.     Fear of Losing Control

You have been in charge most of your adult life.  You make the decisions; you set the priorities.  You have worn many hats: you have been the advisor, the dad, the husband and the boss.  But now it is time to deal with not having the final say and allowing others to have the last word.  Passing the baton to someone seems like an ominous challenge.  Becoming the mentor and achieving success through others is a new role.  You have finally arrived at the point in life where wisdom becomes more important than knowledge.  You are really not losing control, you are gaining more freedom.

2.     Fear of Change

How many meetings have you attended over the years and heard that most people don’t like to deal with change?  How much routine is in your life?  There is an old saying that you can change without growing, but you can’t grow without changing.  There is no other way to transition your practice successfully without making changes.  The reality is that you didn’t achieve what you have without changes.  Create a plan to transition your practice and then make it happen.

3.     Fear of losing Self-respect

You have always been the one with the answers and you have always been the go-to-person.  But now is the time to hand over the job to your successor.  Will they do a better job than you did?  That would be good.  Your clients will appreciate your concern about their well-being and will welcome your choice of a successor.

4.     Fear of Making a Wrong Decision

You are where you are today because you made the right choices.  From your experience you have probably found that many people wait too long to decide and miss out on great opportunities.  Timing is important.  Most stress in life is caused by indecision.  Is one of the stresses caused by your procrastination about the future of your practice?  You know that you should have a plan sooner rather than later.  Have you ever felt sorry for doing the right thing?  Developing a transition plan is the right thing to do.

Contact Ralph Steiner or Ed Howat at or call 612.817.1939.

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