You’ve probably heard it before: “I’m bad at sales” or “Oh, I’m just not really a sales person.” Hell, you’ve probably uttered it from your lips or at least said it in your head.
And it needs to stop. It’s the worst form of self-sabotage as the boss of your business and it will wreak serious havoc on everything in your wake. If you don’t sell anything, you’re not going to have a business for very long.
For years my mother has joked with me that I can sell anything and is completely mystified by this magical sales ability I seem to possess. So, do I have a special superpower? A natural talent for being able to sell?
While I’d like to think I have superpowers and am some type of modern day business Wonder Woman, I really don’t in this department. Which is good news for you, as you, too, can become an amazing salesperson. Best of all, you can engage in selling without feeling sleazy.
Here are some ideas to make sales so much easier:
It All Starts with Confidence
Don’t worry, we’re not going to talk about learning how to walk with swagger. The confidence I speak of is in the product or service you’re selling.
If you think what you’re selling is a complete and utter piece of crap, it’s going to be hard to actually convince anyone they need this.
If you’re selling yourself or the services you provide, you’re going to have to work hard to figure out why exactly you’re not confident and fix it. Easier said than done, I know, but if you’re not confident all the flippin’ time in what you have to offer, maybe it’s the wrong thing or you’ve got to work on your value proposition.
Over the years, I’ve sold everything from rubber stamps to high-end consulting services, and the real reason I excelled at this is that I believed 100% in what I was selling.
If I don’t believe in a product, I can’t sell it. End of story. And I’m willing to bet you’re the exact same.
Over the last year, I’ve stopped product launches for things I didn’t entirely believe in or that weren’t quite right. I’ve decided that until I can sell it enthusiastically, I won’t sell it at all.
Life’s too short to sell shit you hate.
That’s why by the time I launch my course this Fall, I’ll have spent 9 months working on it. (Cue the pregnancy parallels, because some days having a baby feels like it would be way less work!)
So, if you’re struggling to sell your thing, take some time to figure out if you can improve it so you’re confident offering it up. And if you’re struggling with overall confidence, do what it takes to get to a point where you believe in yourself and your offering enough to make it a success.
Selling Doesn’t Have to be Sleazy
The way selling is done on the Internet has a distinctly masculine energy to it at times. It’s bold, ballsy and in your face.
When we’re consuming a consistent diet of high pressure, make money while you sleep, dude-tastic sales tactics, it’s no wonder that we start to think that selling is sleazy.
It’s not. It doesn’t have to be. Not for a second.
Flaming, flashing red buy now buttons aren’t mandatory to do business on the Internet.
How you sell can be done in a way that’s service-based and with good intentions. You can take the same proven persuasion principles and conversion strategies that work for the dude entrepreneurs and make them entirely yours. All with your soul intact.
Two of my favorite examples of people who do this incredibly well in our industry are Natalie MacNeil and Racheal Cook. They sell beautifully and do it in a way that’s clear, thoughtful and highly effective.
So instead of declaring sales as sleazy and making it way harder than it needs to be, become a student of people that you do vibe with and how they are selling their thing. Watch and learn so you can make it your own and not feel like you need to jam your business into a soulless formula that doesn’t serve you ﹘ or your potential customers ﹘ well.
Make Systems Your Sales BFF
Selling is only one part of your role in your business, which is why you need to create systems to support your sales process.
Whether you’re selling a product (such as an e-course) or a one-on-one service, your systems can do a lot of the heavy lifting to make sure the details are taken care of.
While this seems like the most obvious thing to say, if you can remove yourself from key pieces of the process, you actually will have fewer chances to sabotage it.
Key places you can create systems for in your sales include:
- Consult calls
- Email communications
- Proposals and quotes
Take a look at each of these to see where you can remove yourself with either a system, tool or a team member to ensure that you’re focused on the area where you’re most valuable. (Hint: That’s usually in the part that involves talking to people or sealing the deal.)
Finally, a big part of your sales system needs to be your marketing, which is a whole other cup of tea, but take some time to figure out how you’re going to get people from discovering you to buying. And posting your wares randomly in Facebook groups under the guise of feedback is NOT a sales system. (More on Facebook groups and good manners in this guest post on Jackie Johnstone’s blog here.)
Map out the steps it typically takes for a client to go from finding you to purchasing from you. If you aren’t sure, ask your newest clients for their insight, including how long they’ve been following you. Those blog posts, emails and everything else that you think no one reads or aren’t working may be your sales secret sauce after all.
If you need a helping hand with systems and customer experience, watch out for next week’s post that will share a new (free) resource that you won’t want to miss.
So, where do you need help to make your sales process feel and flow better? Taking action in this area, no matter how uncomfortable you may be is critical to your biz success in the long run.