Sales is scary.
Sales is sleazy.
Sales is manipulative.
People who sell are untrustworthy.
People who sell are greedy, grabby, nasty…
There are SO many negative beliefs around sales. We’ve been conditioned in so many ways.
The image of the car salesman who’s trying to rip someone off on an old banger just to get their commission.
The cold caller we all love to hang up on.
The ‘nuisance’ person trying to sell us something when we just want to be left alone.
But when we’re operating from this thought system how are we meant to be able to sell ourselves or our products?
Sales is the one thing that’s actually going to make your business grow.
If you can’t find an authentic way to sell that sits with who you are and your values…then you won’t get anywhere.
So lets start reframing it so that doesn’t happen shall we?
Let’s get to the root cause and decide if it’s really true….or if there could be another version of the truth that can help drive you forwards.
Selling and sales isn’t scary…I know many of you are going ‘err, yes it is!’ right now but i’m hoping by the end of this it may have reframed your thoughts…even just a little.
It may FEEL scary right now, but it doesn’t have to be and WON’T be going forwards if you can change the way you look at it.
I was having a conversation around this with one of my clients the other day which prompted me to create this episode as it’s something I see a huge amount of people struggle with.
Here’s the thing…
Sales is simply a skill, we all possess it in some form because we walk around selling literally ALL the time.
Every conversation when we want to go somewhere and want a friend to come.
Every time we have a point of view on something and want to get it across.
Every time we are deciding where to go on a date with our significant others.
We are always selling in the hope of getting the outcome that we desire. We just don’t think of it that way.
It’s also a skill that can be learned.
How do I know?
Because as a whipper snapper for my first REAL job I somehow managed to blag my way into working in the classified advertising department of the Financial Times.
I was a shy, incredibly insecure, self conscious young lady. Even though it may not seem like that was ever possible ha!
Trust me, I wouldn’t say boo to a goose…or even go anywhere by myself.
So how the heck I managed to convince someone I would be able to cold call potential advertisers into parting with their cash is beyond me.
But I did and it was the beginning of a beautiful, successful, 15 year career in Media advertising sales, and I learnt a thing or two along the way.
The dos and don’ts. The disasters and successes. I’ve been everywhere from being screamed at and hung up on, to negotiating multi million pound deals for major national brands.
So let me start by saying, if you’re new to it of COURSE it’s going to feel hard.
Firstly, because it’s NEW!
Everything feels hard when it’s new. You need to be open to making mistakes and learning. You’re thrust into conscious incompetence when you are painfully aware of all the things you don’t know.
Questions about what you’re selling, how to handle potential objections or what those even might be.
My first tip is this…Stay present.
If you’re in your head thinking ‘Oh God, what if they say no, what if they say YES…OMG, what if what if what if’ You’re not really going to be actively listening to the person on the other end.
So how do you think that’s going to turn out?
Which leads me nicely onto my second tip, preparation is key!
If you prepare in advance then you’re going to give yourself the best possible chance of success.
How can you prepare? Have an intake form before your call. I have one connected to my discovery call link.
I ask what’s the biggest thing holding them back right now, I ask a bit about their business or the big life change they want to achieve.
I ask if they’re in a position to invest in themselves.
Ask for their social media handles so you can get a bit of a picture of who you’re talking to and where they’re at, it will help you genuinely connect with them.
It all helps me build a picture for if I think I can help them, if they’re ready, how committed they are. In a few sentences it tells me a lot.
I don’t judge any of it and then get on the call with an aim of just HELPING them through the process and helping them make the right decision for them.
Which leads me nicely onto, Be genuine.
I have never and will never get on a call with someone and look at them as pound signs. That is NOT how you genuinely sell.
My sole aim is to help them make the best decision for them. If I don’t think I can help I will always be honest.
At the end of the day if you look at it as ‘I need the money’ or anything along those lines all it will bring you is grief.
You’re operating from a space of lack. You’re openerating from a place of neediness. You won’t make the best decision for them or yourself and that’s how you end up with nightmare clients.
The kind of clients who won’t do the work, or want the moon on a stick or the ones who treat you like they own you. It’s not fun for either party so if you can operate from a place of genuineness then both of you will win, whether they sign up to work with you or not. And they will remember the process and be grateful for your honesty.
That’s not so scary right? When we have so much attachment to the outcome then of COURSE it’s going to feel more scary because there’s so much more riding on it.
It’s a conversation. Plain and simple. Yes there are processes and structures to a sales call that help but in essence that’s what it is.
A conversation. And you have those every day right?!
Selling is a GOOD thing because you’re going to help solve someone’s problem. That’s magic.
Someone has a problem that you KNOW you can help solve. Why would you keep that from them? It’s your responsibility to let them know how you can help but fundamentally the decision lies with them.
Sales gets easier and more natural the more you do it. Confidence comes from doing.
You learn the most common obstacles for people. You learn the most common objections and reasons why someone might say no…or why they might say yes!
The more open you are to make mistakes the more you’ll learn and the better you’ll get.
The more you approach sales and selling from a place of serving and helping, the easier it becomes.
The more your focus is on the person on the receiving end the easier it will feel.
Grab your journal and work through a few of these:
Check your unconscious beliefs around sales, selling, sales people.
Check your unconscious beliefs around WHAT you’re actually selling.
Check your unconscious beliefs around YOU and your product.
What thoughts come up when you think about being on a sales call?
How do YOU like to be sold to?
Have you had any sales experiences that felt GOOD? (Think outside the box here it could be anything!)
What did you appreciate about it?
What do you not appreciate and what really turns you off?
When you know these things you can find your style.
The likelihood is that your ideal client will appreciate and not appreciate what you do.
So if you can’t stand it when people don’t have their prices on their website, put your prices on your website.
If you appreciate the process being really simple then don’t over complicate yours.
It’s SO important to weed this out early on so you can get selling with confidence.
If you don’t it’s going to affect every single action you do or don’t take and you simply won’t be successful.
If you’re thinking ‘I don’t have enough experience, I’m over charging, I don’t think I can get them the results, they’re going to say no’ then what actions are you going to take? What energy are you going to bring to that call? How are you going to feel before, during and after?
Yes there are many, many, MANY people out there who DO use the sleazy sales tactics. Who DO seek to manipulate and don’t have the best interests of the client at heart. That’s 100% true.
But that doesn’t have to be you.
Just because it works for them doesn’t mean that’s how YOU have to do it.
So really get your journal out and work through those questions and thoughts and really challenge yourself around what’s REALLY true for you.
Find your style and you’ll fly!
P.S – Last question…Are you sick of self sabotaging and procrastinating on getting your business going? Would you like to learn some practical strategies to stop you procrastinating WHEN it happens so you can FINALLY get the things you NEED to do DONE? Download my FREE guide below and I’ll show you 5 simple strategies to stop procrastination in its tracks!
Check out The Positive Pants Podcast here
Fran Excell, Mindset & Productivity Coach – Helping Business Owners Overcome Self Sabotage & Get More Done In Less Time at www.franexcell.com