If marketing is about letting your future clients know you exist, then selling is about value exchange, i.e. carrying out the transaction of money for goods/service.
As an entrepreneur, you’ll have a core range of activities that help grow and sustain your business – operations, marketing, sales, finance and your team.
4 out of these 5 activities cost you money. But only one activity generates revenue. Want to take a guess which one?!
Why do most people hate selling?
– “I don’t want to look pushy.”
– “I’m an entrepreneur. Selling is beneath me.”
– “I don’t want to look like a used car salesman.”
– “I don’t want to look desperate.”
We can come up with 1,001 reasons why people hate selling, but the root cause of all these excuses is just one thing.
The fear of rejection.
Remember when you were a little baby?
You shouldn’t. Your conscious brain didn’t begin developing until you were 3. In fact, the forebrain doesn’t fully form until you’re about 25 years old.
Most parents constantly encourage and support their children unconditionally until they’re at least 3-4 years old.
“Yes, you can do it,” encourages the mum or dad as their child learns to take their first steps.
However, by the time they’re walking and talking, the number of times a child hears the word ‘no’ skyrockets to an average of 400 times…every day.
Inwardly, the child begins to develop their lifelong fear of rejection and the belief that they’re not good enough.
If your experience was like this, then of course, you’re going to be naturally terrified of being rejected. What other professional discipline lends itself to getting rejections more than selling?
I can’t think of many.
Ways to deal with your fears about selling
1. Purpose and fear
There are several methods to manage your fear of selling. Here’s the single most powerful method I’ve found that works for me.
Your purpose far exceeds your fears.
When your fears own the real estate of your forebrain, all logic and rational go flying out of the window. You constantly miss opportunities to bring in new business and creativity is significantly reduced.
When I was selling medical devices for a decade, I had a simple purpose. I was saving the lives of my customers’ customers. My customers were hospital doctors. Their customers were patients.
In my mind, the doctors and I were on the same side. What’s the outcome your clients (customers) will benefit from? What about their clients?
Make your customers’ purpose your purpose.
2. Change your mindset about your role.
I hated the idea of being called a ‘salesman’. So I changed my role title in my head.
Have you ever hired a personal shopper to help you choose clothes from a store or several stores?
In my head, I was an ‘assistant buyer’. I helped my clients to buy surgical equipment from my company.
3. Embrace the fear and get courageous.
Fear is not always a bad thing. It can keep you on your toes if you allow it to just do that. You can easily turn that fear into courage. As Richard Branson says,
“Screw it. Do it anyway.”
4. Learn selling skills.
Entrepreneurs are self-starters and go-getters. That’s why they do what they do. But they aren’t masters of everything. If you don’t have the skills to sell, learn them.
Like Zig Ziglar once said,
“Nothing happens until a sale is made.”
5. Become an influencer.
You’re an entrepreneur. If your product or service is as good as you believe, don’t your prospective customers have the right to know?
There are many ways to let the world know you exist. Without a shadow of a doubt, the most effective way is to become an influencer in your industry. Be the go-to-gal or go-to-guy for your sector. (Click here to learn more.)
In summary, we all sell. They may be ideas, concepts, services or tangible products. A business without sales is a hobby. Entrepreneurs must know how to sell. You can hire all the talent in the world to do it for you, but your role will always involve selling.