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Create Calmness, Clarity, and Confidence – The Anti-FUD

By Hank Barnes | June 23, 2015 | 2 Comments

go-to-marketFuture of Sales

I can’t tell you how many times I hear sales reps and clients talk about the need to create FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt) in their prospects’ minds.  Every time I hear this, I cringe a little.  Gee, I wonder why most buyers don’t trust providers?   Maybe the focus on FUD is a big factor.

I get it.  If a buyer is well down a decision path, and you know it, then trying to uncover issues that they may not have thought of in order to get them to reconsider their plan makes sense.  As long as those issues are real.

Trust is a huge factor in buying decisions. And FUD tactics, even when they work, are creating an emotional connection around negative ideas.  It certainly does not build trust.


As an industry, it’s time to abandon FUD tactics.  Instead, embrace what I’ll call the 3C approach.

Rather than fear, strive to create Calmness.

Rather than uncertainty, provide Clarity.

And, rather than doubt, instill Confidence.

Put them all together and you are building trust.  You may be delivering the same general messages and insights, but instead of getting buyers focused on what could go wrong, you focus on what can go right–by working with you.    You paint a detailed picture of how to be successful.  And you guide them to a  better, more trusting, place.

This can be done even if you are “attacking” a competitor.  When you expose a potential issue with their approach, don’t “drop a bomb” and leave it to the buyer’s imagination.  Provide clarity on the cause of the issues and, just as importantly, things they could do differently, with you.

I’ve never believed in bashing competition.  Acknowledge them, but win on your own strengths.  Win by helping buyers see how they can get needs addressed and value delivered by you.

Abandon FUD.  Create Calmness, Clarity, and Confidence.


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  • Cindy Cripps-Prawak says:

    As someone on the purchasing side in government, thank you for this posting.

    As our budgets are slashed, personnel layed-off and we are encouraged to innovate, lean-out and go digital, the last thing I need to hear is FUD.. The vendor who can bring calmness, clarity and serenity (oops, I meant confidence) is bringing more intrinsic value to my table and hence better value to my organization.

    • Hank Barnes says:

      Thank you for sharing the buyer perspective, Cindy. Providers—this is what your buyers are dealing with…..