Since starting my first business in 1991, people I network with have been giving me the same understandable statements:
– e.g. “I don’t feel right about selling my stuff the way most other people do.”
– e.g. “I don’t know how to sell my services or products in a way that I feel will easily sell to them.”
– e.g. “I don’t feel confident or joyful in selling my stuff and I am not sure what is in my way”
– e.g. “I don’t see how what people are telling me to do in sales to be realistic or credible.”
So people – and a lot of people at that – are feeling and being stuck, overwhelmed and lacking confidence in business. This is terrible to watch from my point of view. I have watched too many people with about the same lack of confidence trying to sell each other at too many of my networking events – the conversations are weak or too overbearing – i.e. with both people trying to convince, manipulate and almost coerce the other one to buy.
In this article, I want to present a few short points to get your thinking geared to coming up with a creative but credible way for you to sell:
1. Start with Basics
a. Look & Start Clarifying from what is important for you
If you are unclear or feeling conflicted about your business, it will not rule out selling, but it will certainly make it more difficult to do – online and offline.
A good starting exercise is to do the following:
i. List out all the values that hold dear to in your business e.g. supreme customer service, honesty and transparency, love, healing, etc.
Be honest about this list – if you are not really living up to these values consistently in your own life (outside of business), then review the list.
ii. List out the values that you wish to brand yourself with in your business and in your sales/marketing.
iii. List out where you see conflicts between your values and how you are selling now – or think you should sell.
iv. Identify clearly for yourself why each of these are truly conflicting for you.
b. Looking from the audience’s point of view is much more important in selling
A common pitfall for many in business is to stay stuck in your viewpoint without including or understanding your market’s viewpoint.
1. When was the last time that you talked with your customers to find out exactly what they wanted?
2. How do you know if you have the right audience?
3. What are the characteristics of your right audience?
4. What are their primary pains, challenges of problems that they wish to resolve?
2. Avoid the Other Pitfalls
a. Understanding what does not sell
What typically does not sell are the following:
1. Explaining your product or services first without understanding how they will solve your market’s primary challenges
2. Explaining how your product or services work first and foremost rather than what specifically it will provide for your customers
3. Trying to prove your are competent at the expense of building trust with your potential customers
This is a short list but is usually a good starting list to start thinking through.
b. Short term view vs. Long Term view .
1. Going from one short term idea to the next just to maintain cashflow may be necessary, but without focus on the long term at some point – your business will never grow.
2. This means that if you want to grow your business, you may have to seriously look at two areas:
i. Creating time every week to plan, strategize and make the long term growth happen in your business. This will include time to look at creating strategizes,systems, steps and milestones to making the long term desired results occur.
ii. Investing money and energy into education, training and coaching that will help you come up with clear ideas and approaches tn your marketing that work for you and leave you confident and energized about your future.