The whole “sales” thing has been a little bit wrecked by used car salesmen, Glengarry Glen Ross and old dudes in suits in weird hotel ballrooms.
In the online business world, there’s a lot more fun shiny stuff to talk about than real deal selling.
Sometimes we inadvertently make content creation the sun around which our entire businesses orbit, as if churning out enough content powers our business.
But as a Fizzler, Harriet, admitted in a recent email, she created 300 videos and never made more than $5,000 a year in her business until she dealt with some deeper sales fear.
So today, we’re facing this head on: sales is the sun, or the engine of our businesses. Without sales, you’ve got a glorified hobby.
Maybe you already know for sure that you have an aversion to selling and you avoid it like the plague. Or, maybe you aren’t sure whether sales is your real problem.
Here’s what an aversion to selling feels like:
We’d all love a quick fix to our sales issues, but of course that general “ick” feeling that accompanies asking people for money goes deeper than a list of tactics & tips.
For one, we know how uncomfortable it is to be on the other side of the equation. Inconveniencing other people with a big ask goes against our basic human nature, and we certainly don’t want to voluntarily make anyone uncomfortable.
On top of that, many of us have complicated relationships with money. Questions like, “Do I deserve to make money? Who am I to take this person’s money?” simmer below the surface. Even if they don’t permeate our conscious thoughts, these money-based fears can hold us back from selling with ease.
Finally, our self worth tends to get all mixed up in our sales success. If we put our big passion projects into the world, they will get rejected by some people. And while that’s totally okay, the sting of hearing “no” can lead us to believe we are being rejected. And who wants to consistently set themselves up to get shot down? Not me!
Quite simply, we need to shift from trying to convince, to trying to consult.
From forcing the sale, to finding a fit.
From persuasion-based selling, to needs-based selling — lots of authenticity, hold the douchebaggery.
You know you’re on the right track when you’re asking more questions than you are doing the talking. We feel really salesy when we talk, talk, talk. When we’re listening, we can actually assess what someone needs — and provide an appropriate solution for a fair price.
Here are 6 big strategies for more relaxed, effective selling:
Every single one of us will hear objections or obstacles as to why prospects can’t become customers. While of course we wish they would jump up and down with glee and throw their money at us immediately, the truth is that most buyers are going to have questions or concerns about working with you — and that’s natural!
Whether you’re having a client consultation call or you’re writing up a sales post, you can use your platform to educate your followers about the value you bring (without trying to convince them!)
Recently on the Courage & Clarity podcast, my friend Emylee Williams of Think Creative Collective gave us an awesome example of how she used her platform to educate and, therefore, overcome objections.
As a high-end photographer, her services weren’t cheap. As such, her biggest competition was what she calls “shoot and burn” photographers — aka, you get your family’s photos taken and you get a CD with all the photos afterwards to print yourself at a very affordable price.
Emylee started using her blog as a platform for educating her readers about why her services were worth the extra cash.
Many of her potential customers hadn’t considered that a CD full of photos to be printed at the drug store won’t pass the test of time. Sure, they’d save money today, but those pictures would likely get lost in years to come.
Instead her photographs, which were printed on canvas, were durable and quality enough to become family heirlooms, passed down for generations to come.
See what she did there? Emylee stepped fully into the customer’s shoes, completely understanding that of course they would be tempted to shop the cheapest photographer. With that understanding she offered another perspective without being pushy, and instead gave her prospects another factor to consider — quality & durability.
You did it! You just got a crash course in non-sleazy sales, the needs-based way.
I would love to hear from you in the comments — what will you do to make your sales process less stressful? How are you going to shift from convincing to consulting in your own business?
We recorded an episode of the Fizzle Show about this very topic where we get into more detail and share some tips that may not be in this article. Enjoy!
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