Since the beginning of time I have had a tremendous resistance to selling things. Weather it is my own product or service, or whether it is someone else’s, I continue to struggle with this. Slowly and painfully I have learned that to succeed (and even to get by) as a massage therapist, yoga teacher and personal trainer, I must sell my services. The paradox is that my services are great, not because I say it but because my clients say it. The feedback and testimonials I have received during my career have been off-the-charts, I have helped people avoid surgery and recover from (some would say) incurable injuries. I have also maintained a professional, friendly, educative and inspiring practice that has served hundreds of people live happier and healthier lives. If what I do is so awesome, then why can’t I sell it?
Perhaps you are like me, maybe you are also struggling as an entrepreneur or service provider. You may even work in sales and still struggle with this. So, I decided, as I learn about this myself, that I would share it with you, so that you too can improve your sales skills and be able to reach those who are looking for your products and services. Here are the top pieces of advice I found on my research.
1) Know your fear. We are obviously afraid of selling. Otherwise we would do it, or at least try, but something is holding us back. The feat of rejection, of being turned down. We also don’t want to be seen as pushy and we don’t want to let people down. Knowing that we are afraid is the first step to overcome this fear.
2) Take action to overcome your fear. Yes, you clicked on this article and now you are reading it. That is taking action. Now we need to take a longer step, Push on our limitations and step out of our comfort zone. Find ways to share your product or service in a way that feels authentic and natural to you. If you need to, take a look at what you are offering and make it better so you can be more confident that what you offer will provide positive results.
3) Get excited about your offer. The easiest way to sell something is by being passionate about it. One technique is to make a list of all the benefits that come with your product or service. You can use feedback from past clients so you know you are no making this up.
4) Change your perspective. Instead of thinking that you are selling something, you can choose to think that you are simply sharing information about it. You can simply be talking about what you do or your passion.
5) Take baby steps. Start small. Try first by approaching friends and family members. You can then expand into acquaintances. Maybe you can share your product or service on Facebook or some other social media platform. Eventually you can expand into approaching people you don’t know, business and other organizations.
6) Track of your successes. You can keep a log or a journal with a list of successful sales. This will help you realize that you are moving forward.
7) Celebrate your wins. I know I tend to undervalue my victories. One day I may be fearful of approaching a new business prospect and the next day I may take for granted a huge sale. Celebrate each victory and reward yourself for the good work you are putting out there.
8) Enjoy the process. Instead of approaching this from a stressful and fearful perspective try to have fun with it. Make it interesting, make it entertaining, get creative and find what works for you.
9) Keep your eyes on the prices. Do your best to stay focused and moving towards your goals, don’t let defeat take you down, don’t let others distract you or put you down. Continue to remind yourself of what you want and keep putting a step after the other.
10) Find detachment from the outcome. You can only do your best and the rest is left to the unknown. You know you won’t sell something every time you make an offer. You will win some and loose some, don’t let this get to you. Remember that you are not what you sell and that your value does not depend on how good of a sales man/woman you are.
11) Practice. Selling is a skill that needs practice to improve. Some people may have been born with and intuitive nature towards selling, but most of us are uncomfortable with it or simply new to it. This is why we must practice to become better.
12) Don’t ask, give. Do not think that you are asking people for money, instead, realize that you are making them an offer, you are giving them the opportunity to take something that is good for them. You can even think of it as doing them a favor.
13) Realize you’re already doing it. Some people say that all humans are constantly selling things even if they are unaware of it. Every time that you negotiate something you are, in a way, selling (an idea, a proposition, etc.). We are always using persuasion to get what we want and need, sometimes it is money and other times it is something else.
14) Be less selfish. I used to think that selling things in exchange for money was selfish. Now days I realize that not sharing my skills and knowledge is being selfish, I am letting my fears and insecurities control my behavior to gain a false sence of security while the people who need my help are left empty handed. I need to be more selfless and overcome my fears so I can help other live happier and healthier lives.
15) Understand the difference between rejections and objections. When people say “I need time to think about it” or “I can’t afford it” they are not saying no, they are saying maybe. This can be taken care of by making a better offer or explain the value and benefits of what we are selling.
16) Get comfortable with being uncomfortable. This may sound like common sense but it is easier said than done. If selling is uncomfortable for you it may always be, don’t let this slow you down, recognize that the discomfort will be there and move past it.
17) Don’t always worry about closing the sale. You don’t have to close every pitch. Some people truly need time to think about it and they may come around and come back to you down the road. Focus on increasing your exposure and educating people. Eventually, they will come to you.
18) Use facts. By using fact you will feel better by knowing that you are speaking truth and not scamming anyone. This will make you and the potential buyer more open to make a transaction.
19) Be helpful. Remember that your products and services are helping people improve their lives. At the end of the day, selling is about being of service. Weather you get paid or not, being of service is always good, rejoice in it.
20) Make it easy. Make sure that your sales offer is clean and clear. Make it easy for people to say yes, don’t ask for more than what they are willing to give. Have a quick and simple sales process.
21) Do it with love. Everything grows with love. Be grateful and appreciate your gifts, share them out of love, more than for the need of money. As the saying goes, do what you love and money will follow.