When I first started out in business, the one thing I feared more than anything else was having to go out and sell myself, my ideas and my business.
The fear of selling was driven by the following set of beliefs:
- Selling is about being manipulative. This belief comes from the view I will be manipulating people into buying something they don’t really want. Thus, I was going to be just another one of those slick fast-talking salespeople, which everyone complains about.
- Selling is annoying. The way I would sell is through repeated e-mails and phone calls, both of which I believed would be annoying to the person who receives them. Thus, I was going to be one of those annoyingly persistent & pesky salespeople, who would not take no for an answer.
- Selling is about me. I hated the feeling when a prospect said NO to my sales pitch. Each time I received a NO, I felt like a failure at one of the core functions of being a business owner. This led to increased levels of stress around selling. As a result, I tried to avoid any situation where there was the possibility of the outcome being that I will see myself as a failure.
The sad part is that while I held onto those beliefs, I was never going to be any good at sales.
My journey has been about developing a set of skills and tools that created a different set of beliefs around selling being:
- Sales is about helping. I believe people will be happy to buy when they feel you understand what they are going through and are able to provide a solution that helps them deal with that situation. What is manipulative about that?
- Sales is about being sociable. I view the sales process as being about meeting new people and having fun & interesting conversations with them to learn about their journey in life & business. If the conversation is fun for both me and the other person, how can sales be annoying?
- Sales is not about me. I accept a NO from a prospect is not a reflection about my worth both as a person or as a business coach & mentor. My attitude is a NO just means the prospect is not ready to buy what I am selling. It says more about the prospect than it does about me.