The Number One Reason You Are Afraid to Sell

She said “You did us a disservice by not giving us a way to work with you.”

I was shocked!

It happened in 2010 when I spoke at Christine Kane’s event.  I went as a favour to a friend to share information about Social Media.  I wanted to help her out and add value for her clients.

I did not go there to sell.

After I did my two hour talk a bunch of us were sitting around chatting and that’s when it happened.  A woman approached and told me that I had done them all a disservice because I failed to give them a way to work with me, to learn more, when I spoke.

How do you like them apples? Not exactly what I was expecting by giving them the gift of avoiding my sales pitch.

Boy was I wrong!Fear of Selling

Isn’t it true that most of us fear being too salesy? We are passionate to the core about what we do but we are afraid that we will come off the wrong way by trying to push our stuff on someone else.

And it’s not just about speaking, it’s a mindset that I see over and over again.  People are afraid to sell their products and services. We are afraid to go for the close and ask for the sale.  It’s actually quite funny to watch us squirm.

The biggest reason we are afraid to sell is not that we don’t want to be pushy, the biggest reason we are afraid to sell is we are afraid of rejection.

You got it – your fear of rejection is the number one reason why your business is not growing the way you want it to financially.

An important thing to understand is that part of the fear of rejection comes from a lack of knowledge around the actual sales cycle.  If you have never been trained on the art of selling, then you probably don’t recognize that you should expect a certain percentage of people NOT to buy. In fact, it’s okay when someone says no.  That means you are one person closer to the one who will say yes.

I want you to think of sales like playing golf:

When you learn how to golf you need to learn how to swing a bunch of different clubs.  There is one to drive off the tee box, one to get you out of the sand, one to help you putt etc.

Just imagine, you are playing the game for the first time and you don’t know which club does what! And even worse, you don’t really know how to swing the club so that you can actually hit the ball!  How do you think you are going to do?

Guess what else? – you don’t know how to keep score! How are you going to feel at the end of your first game? Do you think you feel like a rock star? Or, do you think perhaps your ego is a little bit wounded and the thought of playing again is like sticking needles in your eyes?

Sales is just like that.

There is a process you need to go through, and there are different tools every step of the way designed to help you help your client make a buying decision.

If you don’t know the process, and you are not aware of the tools, my guess is you are going to get rejected almost every single. That on it’s own is going to make you afraid of selling and you will avoid it at all costs.

So, is there a way to make it easier? Is there a simple formula that will teach you how to sell the RIGHT way?

Of course! Here is my simple formula for sales:

1. Build trust with your client – Your ability to establish rapport with them is the most important step.  If you botch this, it doesn’t matter how good you are at closing, if they don’t like you, they won’t buy.

2. Determine needs – Ask lots of questions to really understand what it is your client needs.  If we are talking about sales on the web, think about the questions that need to be asked and answered and include this in your copy.

3. Present a solution – once you understand what someone needs, present the right product or service to help fulfill their needs and be sure to show them how this can help them.  Remember to talk about the benefits to them.

4. Overcome objections – there are always objections. Anticipate what they are: price, timing, money.  Be prepared to handle these objections so you can instill confidence in the buyer. You should know why people don’t buy, and if you don’t, then go find out.

5. Close the sale – That’s right, ask them to take action. Ask them to make a decision now.  Imagine you go shoe shopping, you try on shoes, they are fabulous, you tell the clerk you love them and she packages them up and takes them back into the stockroom??? There are many ways to learn how to close the sale so you do not come off as pushy.  Learn what they are and practice asking for the money.  Role play this until it is easy to do.

6. Add on – if they have made a decision on the big item, look for ways to add on.  There is always something else they need to go with what they bought. Your job is to anticipate what that is and offer it at the time.

It’s that simple! Now, keep in mind that this is a really basic overview for you on sales not an all encompassing guide.  And I also want you to remember, Social Media is not the forum to sell your stuff.

Social Media is the forum to build relationships with people, to let them know you exist –  that is what marketing is all about.  Imagine if Starbucks didn’t have a sign on their store fronts how hard it would be for you to figure out what they offer and if it is something you would be interested in.

Social Media is a great way for you to get to know an audience who may need your product or service.  We all like to buy and we all buy from those we know like and trust. Your job as the business owner is to be ready to convert that sale when they are ready.

Stop fearing rejection. Stop doing your potential clients a disservice.  Learn how to sell!

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6 Comments

  1. wow. Did I need this today! After upteem years in business, relying on referrals for commissions (sales), I headed towards the internet after 2007. Built a website w/o knowing how to market it then in 2009 started a blog as a marketing vehicle. I still didn’t know how to close (not to mention ‘pitch) a sale. I’d venture to say the majority of my readers don’t even realize my artwork is available to them – they think I just write about painting.

    I decided this was the year to retool the blog and all social media to integrate my ‘products’. Reading your article came just at the right time. Thank you.

  2. I think you are 100% correct here in most “sales” cases. We are inundated with sales people we DON’T want to hear from, those annoying telephone calls, the door to door guys etc. and I think this automatically puts people in a defensive position. We start with thinking we are being sold something long before we reply to a hello. Makes it tough for sure. So we never want to be put into that category, therefore seldom take the time to offer our needed product or service. Great post Lisa!

  3. Lisa – you are so right. It is such a funny paradigm shift when we begin to realize that the people who love what we do actually want MORE from us and are willing to invest in it. I spoke to someone with a similar story as you- she was so proud of herself for providing a video series free online, and was very “noble” when she told the audience how she didn’t even try to sell anything. I can’t even imagine the disappointment of her watchers when the last video came out with no option to go deeper….but such is the fear of rejection. Definitely have been there and it pops its head out from time to time for all of us 😉

    • It’s so true, we have been conditioned that selling is bad and yet it is what makes the economy work! I am so pleased, one of my clients emailed me today and asked me to teach some sales tips, how to actually sell via the Social Business Academy. That means people want to learn how and I am eager to share!

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