If you struggle with selling or making sales in your business because you hate the thought of selling or are afraid of being pushy, this blog is for you.
I hear it so so often from clients, potential clients, workshop attendees and business friends… “I hate selling” “I don’t want to be salesy” or “I’m scared to sell directly”.
The issue here is obvious. Without sales you have no business, so selling your services or products is really important to do. If you hate or fear selling you’ll be very unlikely to do it, which could hold your business back, a lot.
In this blog, I explore three reasons why you might hate or fear selling and for each reason, show you a way to like it, do it and even enjoy it.
3 reasons why you hate selling and how to change that
#1 Sales people are horrible and you hate being sold to.
Sales has a bad name and a bad track record. We’ve all had an experience of a terrible sales person who pushes, manipulates and persuades, who doesn’t take no for an answer and keeps hounding you even when you’ve said no.
It doesn’t feel good at all. You judge them and call them names (mostly in your head) like manipulative, arrogant, bad listener, or pushy. Of course, you don’t want to be like that.
But because you don’t want to be like that, you go too far to the other end of the spectrum.
This is where doing your shadow work comes in. Shadows are the aspects of you that you disown, don’t think you are and try really hard not to be, because you deem them to be unacceptable and think they would cause you to be judged or rejected.
So you shut that part of you down, but while shutting down the part of you you don’t like, you’re shutting down a whole lot more as well.
The solution: Learn to embrace the healthy part of your shadows
Now, shadow work is extremely hard and most people avoid going there, but I’ve found it to be one of the most transformational and freeing parts of personal development anyone can do (personally and as a practitioner).
The concept is that we all have the capacity to be all of it. Meaning you are kind and cruel, you are arrogant and humble, you are informed and ignorant.
So, how you embrace the healthy part is to look deeply at and work with the shadow (the part you are trying so hard not be). Let’s use as an example, as we’re talking about selling, the shadow of being ‘pushy’.
What could be the benefits or good things about you being ‘pushy’ if the volume was turned down a bit on it and the energy behind it was pure and genuine?
– More courage in putting yourself out there eg doing videos or approaching people at networking events.
– The ability to be a good and fair negotiator and go for the best deal.
– More confidence and self-belief.
– The ability to persuade your loved ones to do things that are actually good for them.
All good things right? But what happens is that by rejecting ‘pushy’ you’re rejecting the potential benefits in owning the healthier part of that spectrum.
So how can you embrace the healthier parts? Well one way is to do the above exercise, so taking the shadow (the aspect you’re rejecting, which is personal to you) and think what could be the benefits of being that if the volume was turned down and the intention was clean (ie it was further the other way on the spectrum).
Then start to embrace those other aspects and see how you can be them or be more of them.
See how you get on with that and comment below or where you saw this post if you have any questions.
#2 You’re doing it wrong
You may have your mindset all wrong or have some crossed-wires about selling. For example if you think sales can only be done a certain way, or that you have to be pushy to ‘close the sale’ or that with every sale, you’re taking money from someone unwillingly.
This may be your experience of being sold to and because of your experiences you’ve created beliefs about selling that may not be true, like ‘sales always feels icky’. We all have blocks, beliefs and weird patterns around money and when you have your own business, money (and your attitude to money, earning, worth etc) is very much linked with how you feel about selling.
So you hold yourself back, you hide behind your computer and think selling can be done by email alone.
The solution: Serve don’t sell
Don’t try to sell to people who aren’t interested, don’t want or need your services or who aren’t your ideal client. You don’t need to! Of course it’s going to feel icky trying to sell something to someone that they don’t want. In that situation you’d need to work very hard to sell them it.
I love this quote from sales trainer Alison Edgar aka. The Entrepreneur’s Godmother:
“When delivered correctly, sales and customer service are exactly the same thing!”
Authentic selling is something completely different. It starts with authentic marketing through identifying your ideal clients and understanding their needs and desires. Then making sure that your services fulfil one of their needs or wants. When you genuinely know that your service helps someone achieve a goal or move away from pain, then getting in front of them and showing them your offering is simply serving not selling.
Authentic selling is about understanding the needs of your ideal client and then offering them the solution, you, in a genuine way. It is much more about serving than selling. It also means being honest and telling someone you’re not the right person for them, if you’re not and not wasting your time.
#3 Fear of rejection
Intrinsic in the process of selling, is the possibility that someone will say no to you. Even though you may know they really need it and it can genuinely help them, even though you have rapport with them and you know they’re keen, even though they say they want it…. they may still say no.
Most people hate to receive a no, to a request, a question or when asking for help. A “no’ can make you feel rejected, depending what your unique triggers are in life and relationships. You may question what’s wrong with you, what did you do or say that caused them to say no. And you may take it personally.
It’s not personal (usually). There could be a million reasons they’ve said no to working with you. You have to be OK at hearing “no”. Can you love and respect them anyway and send them on their way with a light heart? If not, why not? Are you attaching your self-worth to whether they say yes work with you or not? Or are you simply struggling and feeling desperate for clients?
This fear of rejection leads to lots of holding back when it comes to selling, such as not asking for the sale or asking for payment, feeling scared to say what your prices are or immediately offering a discount, not having the courage to talk to people directly and not following up with people.
The solution: don’t take it personally
Be so OK with you and so confident in who you are and what you’re offering (including your prices and the value clients get from working with you) that you can accept a “no” without feeling bad.
Don’t take it personally but be open to learn if there’s something in your marketing or filtering of potential clients that isn’t working.
Learn how to have an authentic sales conversation (something I teach my clients to do) and learn how to follow up confidently. A lot of sales happen in the follow up and again, this can be done politely and effectively.
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