How can I run a business if I hate selling?
As business owners we all have one goal: make a living by selling our products or services. But what if you hate selling or are just not that good at it? My advice is to focus less on ‘selling’ and more on ‘value adding’. Read why below…
If you run a business, you need to sell.
Let’s be real. Without sales, there is no business. It’s called a hobby. So no matter what, you need to generate income for your business and to do that you need to sell your services or products. However, you haven’t chosen to become a sales professional, which is why the marketing and selling part of your business is really challenging.
Why do I hate selling?
At a workshop last week one of the participants asked me if it wasn’t hard for me to always sell myself. Yes, it’s not easy, I agree. I think personally I’m not good at selling for these two major reasons:
- I hate the spotlight: I don’t like to be the center of attention. So when all eyes (or even just one pair) is on me and expect me to tell them why I’m the best and why they should work with me and no one else, I just freeze. Literally. No, maybe I don’t freeze but I start to stutter 🙂
- I undervalue my results: I was brought up to be modest, not to boast. In Switzerland, where I live, most of us are brought up that way. So it is difficult for me to convey the message that my services absolutely 100% will guarantee results and will be worth every penny of the investment. I always under promise and over deliver.
Selling has changed
Luckily for me, the way people buy and therefore the way business owners should sell, has changed a lot in the last 10 years.The buyer today is much smarter than 10 years ago. He uses the web to do his research before he makes a buying decision. In fact, 57% of the buying decision is already made when he contacts the seller. The modern buyer doesn’t want to be sold to! He wants to be the one to make the move when he has defined a need.
So how does this affect the seller?
I can tell you how it affects me: I have to sell myself much less ! But I do need to be visible, present and therefore be the first person people think of when they do have a need that has to do with what I offer. How do they know what I have to offer? Because I tell them. But I don’t just keep telling them ‘Here’s what I do’ but I create content that teaches them, informs them or entertains them. So I don’t need to sell myself, but I’m selling my expertise. But not in an annoying, boasting kind of way, but by sharing my knowledge with my audience, by giving instead of asking.
Don’t sell, add value
Again, the buyer today doesn’t want to be sold to. Stop selling, start adding value. The final sale will be so much easier because your prospects already know that you’re an expert in your field !
Sounds great, but there’s still some occasions where you need good selling skills
Ok, Sarah, that sounds good, but there’s always some occasions where you need to know how to close that sale. Very true. For example your web copy already needs to be so convincing that people want to buy from you. Or your landing pages. Or you need to know how to convince your prospect after a complimentary initial call. Or you host a webinar and want to pitch your product at the end. So yes, I agree, even after all the value adding, you still need to know some sales techniques. As I said, it’s not one of my strengths…
There’s help for Small Business Owners
But luckily there is one lady who is an expert in the Psychology of Persuasion ! And she has made it her mission to teach tiny businesses how to conquer the minds, hearts & wallets of your customers… using psychology. Her name is Bushra Azhar, she has been featured on Forbes, Fastcompany and many other respected sites as the ‘queen of persuasion’. She has a free Non-Icky Persuasion Toolkit which you can get when you click on the image below. Start there, but if you want to become a real Non-Slimy Sales Pro I highly recommend her Persuasion Hack Lab as well (you’ll find me there as well).