There’s no getting away from it. Our life coach contributor, Madeline McQueen, tells entrepreneurs that there’s no getting away from the fact that being in business means you need to make your peace with being a salesperson!
It’s been easy for me over the years because I’m naturally chatty and so I literally fell into sales after taking a psychometric test in which I came out as the ideal sales person at the age of 21. If fact, it started before then as I worked for McDonalds as a student and learnt the beauty of upselling – “Do you want fries with that?”
Sales is something that is vital to the success of any business, yet so many people are afraid of it. I know so many business owners who frown when I speak to them about it. In fact, one of them got really angry with me and stormed off as she was so affronted by the fact that she needed to sell to get more business and therefore more income. She didn’t want to, she was scared.
Here are some of the reasons why we struggle:
- We hate rejection – we feel that if someone says “No” then they are rejecting us not the product or service that we are offering.
- We don’t want to come across as pushy – if we ask for the sale then maybe will come across as money grabbing or extra.
- We don’t know how to ask – we simply don’t know how to sell.
- We’ve been ruined by other sales people – our experiences of sales in certain industries puts us of wanting to even attempt to sell.
- We want an easy life – we’re secretly hoping that someone will notice us and our business and will then give us lots of profitable orders.
Whilst these reasons can feel real, they don’t serve us.
In business, not everyone will want what you are offering, even those who need it and that could be for a wide range of reasons but not just because of you. Rejection comes with business and you need to get smart and focus on your clients needs rather than your own. Not everyone is your market and not everyone should be, so it’s important to focus on selling your specific niche.
“No” is something you must learn to appreciate as there is learning in the Nos. It toughens you up and can make you more determined to get a Yes next time. No one ever gets a “Yes” all the time to everything in life, so we have to get comfortable with it and we need to stop taking it as a personal affront. You can never know everything about what is going on for your client so don’t second guess their why and take it personally.
If you are in business, then you are in sales. The people that you are selling too expect you to do so, when you don’t you leave them with the impression that you are not hungry for the sale. You waste their time and you waste your own. It’s not about being pushy, it’s about business. Here is the truth, if you are not able to ask for the sale at some level and you haven’t got someone else to do it for you then maybe you shouldn’t run your own business.
Now, it’s possible that you don’t know how to ask for the sale, that’s OK, there are lots of ways to learn how, whether through courses or book like the one I wrote specifically for people like you. You can learn the questions to ask and how to match your clients wants, needs and language. It’s a little frightening at first, but as I always say, “The more you do, the more you do.” You have to build your confidence by learning how and then using that learning every time in client conversations.
Whilst there are some terrible sales people out there who have ruined sales for the rest of us, know this, true selling is relationship based, not jamming your foot in the door and bashing your client over the head with what you are offering. If you’re respectful and focused on achieving your client’s outcomes without losing sight of yours, then you will be fine.
We all want an easy life, but nothing in life that is worth having, is easy. So, put your big girl pants on and ask. Here’s the thing, if you know that what you offer is beneficial to your potential client, if you know that you provide great value and a fantastic product or service that is right for their business, their clients, employees or system, then why wouldn’t you want to ask them to buy it if you KNOW that it’s good for them?
Sales doesn’t have to be scary, but you do have to ask – so ask, ask and ask again!