A friend of mine recently opened an online store through which to sell her art. She’s very talented. Her work is exceptional. The store looks fabulous. Except that now that it’s all up and ready for business she tells me that every time she thinks about consciously selling her wares, her hands start to sweat.
Direct selling is not something she has ever done.
It makes her uncomfortable. She doesn’t want to be one of “those people.”
I understand how she feels.
I’m someone who has been selling her whole career and I know that even for those of us who it comes to naturally it’s always a bit harder when the stuff you’re selling comes from your heart and soul.
I felt it when I published my first novel.
Suddenly all those little tricks of the trade that fell easily off my lips when I was selling something that belonged to someone else, got stuck someplace deep in my throat. I questioned whether my novel was any good. I felt pushy and intrusive. I didn’t want to sell it. I wanted it to be found.
That’s a nice idea, but it’s not really how the world works.
If you want to be found, you need to help things along.
Having created a few other products over the years, like my personal branding course, I have learned that when I am in full marketing and selling mode to pretend my product or service belongs to someone else.
It’s a silly trick but it works. It allows me to see the value what I have brings to the table by removing my personal attachment.
No One Wants To Sell
It seems no one wants to sell, yet everyone knows that on some level they have to – especially in an online world where if we’re selling nothing else in the course of a day, we’re selling ourselves – to our husband that the kitchen needs remodeling, our landlord that our apartment needs repainting, or our dinner date over the choice of cuisine.
Rather than “hate” and add fuel to the fire of making it more distateful than what you think it is, I suggest embracing it. Here are some ways to do that.
How To Embrace The Idea of Selling
Own whatever it is you are selling. Whether it’s a product or a service, ingrain in your psyche all the attributes that make it great. Believe in it’s value. Never allow yourself to feel what you have is not worth someone’s time to listen to. Most importantly, understand how it might solve someone else’s problems.
Be a problem solver. Listen for clues that might help you demonstrate to someone how what you have is going to make their life easier. People make the same mistake with selling that they do with social media in thinking it’s all about talking where it’s in the listening you get the information you need.
Know your story. Selling is telling story with purpose. Get clear on what your story is and learn how to tell it so that it engages someone else and prompts them to take action.
Practice asking for the order. There is nothing cheesy about asking for an order. If you don’t ask, you don’t know. Even if the answer is not what you’d like, you know where you stand and you can move on.
Learn to let it go and move on. Don’t get attached to the outcomes. No matter how perfect and well suited a potential client might be for what your product or service is, there’s no guaranteed formula as to who will buy. If there was, I’d have it patented and would be a very rich woman.
Sometimes you can predict the outcome, other times you will be surprised. When it’s not what you hoped for, move on. In an age when we’re very focused on narrowly targeting who we want to reach, we sometimes forget selling is still a game of numbers.
Make it a game. If you take this too seriously, you will become one of “those people.” No one will listen to you, even if you have the best solution on the planet.
The Space Where Selling Meets Marketing
To really grow your business you need to stand in the space where marketing meets selling. Historically many people have preferred keeping them in separate silos.
That’s a mistake.
The best sellers know that the marketing or as I like to say, the telling of their story, is intricately woven in the actual sale. The best marketers know that the purpose of marketing is to make the sale easier.
Now go sell something.