Monday March 1, 2021
At the last Thrive Meetup, our Workshop Leader, Suse Bentley, the Gen X Women’s Coach, shared an insightful and informative workshop on ‘How to Sell with Confidence and Curiosity’.
One of the things that struck me during the workshop was how the majority of the Thrive Meetup attendees reported back that they fear selling - or at the very least - associate selling with very negative feelings.
Reflecting on Suse’s workshop, and informed by my own experience and love-hate relationship with selling, I have captured my 8 top tips on how to overcome your fear of selling.
1. Ditch the sales funnel - and all the language that goes with it!
Instead of thinking about sales as some kind of sausage-making process of converting prospects into paying clients, and feeling the need to ‘close the deal’, re-frame your thinking about sales by re-naming the sales funnel as ‘the trust funnel’.
With that new name in mind, start exploring what marketing and communication activities you can carry out at each stage of the trust funnel to enable your clients to know, like and trust you.
2. Selling is all about helping others.
You have spent considerable time, energy and money creating something that people want, and most importantly, something which they need. So, if your products and services genuinely benefit others, then think of sales as part of the process of helping others.
3. Be curious and ask questions.
Don’t expect to know what your clients want nor what they need. When you are in conversation with them, don’t fall into the trap of thinking you need to pitch to them. Instead, listen to what they tell you, rather than tell them what you perceive they need.
Ask open-ended, curiosity questions to find out more about what their needs and challenges are, such as, ‘What is keeping you awake at night?’ or ‘What are the challenges you are facing at the moment?’
4. Share your purpose, vision, mission and values.
Share the 'why' behind your business. Tell your potential clients why you are doing what you do. What is the motivation behind your business? What are you trying to achieve? And related to your mission, what are your values? How do your values inform everything you do in your business? By sharing this information with your clients, your clients will better understand who you are, what you stand for, and in turn, they will become more attached to your brand.
5. Familiarise yourself with your own fears.
Write down your fears. Identify specifically what you are scared of. Once you know what you fear, you will be able to identify ways to overcome those fears. When you are listing your fears, think of the likelihood of that fear becoming a reality. What would happen, if that fear became a reality? Then, think about what someone would do if they weren't afraid of selling. How would they behave and react? What can you learn from their reaction?
6. Accept that 'no' is part of the process.
During your entrepreneurial journey, you will undoubtedly experience rejection - not everyone you approach will want your product or service. When your potential client rejects your offer, try to find out why. Use those objections to better understand your clients' needs, and if necessary, to refine your product or service.
7. If you don't feel like selling today, do something different.
If you don’t feel like selling today, don’t force yourself to do so. Instead, carry out a small, manageable task to contribute to your marketing and communication activities. For example, write a blog, post on social media, or review your marketing copy.
8. Read your clients’ testimonials.
If your fear of selling is related to your pricing, for example, if you are worried you are charging too much, and feel you are not giving your clients enough value, read some testimonials written by your previous clients. These will give you a great confidence boost, and will show you how much value you actually give your clients.
Personally, I think sales is a bit like communication skills. I believe that it is one of those skills which you develop and improve throughout your life-time.
I would be interested to hear what your tips are for overcoming your fear of selling, so please get in touch if you feel you have some tips which would benefit the Thrive community. After all, we are here to support each other!