Article #19, February 25, 2004
Get Over Your Reistance to Sales
I have found that there are two best ways to eliminate your fear or resistance to sales. First, become so familiar with your product/service and any objections that might surface, that you simply can’t be flustered during a sales call. Second, you need to truly believe that your product or service will be of value to your customers – that you’re really helping them by sharing your product with them.
The next most important step is to make sure you’re selling to the right people. Set an appropriate target market and find out where they are. Make sure your sales pitch and sales materials speak to that target market.
By approaching your prospective customers with this approach, they will sense your confidence, which in turn gives them the confidence that you are true to your word.
Often, service businesses struggle more with the sales process since the results and benefits can be very difficult to articulate. I’ll use my coaching business as an example.
When I first started, I had not identified a target market, and could not clearly articulate the benefits of coaching with me. Most of my advertising and marketing attempts were lost in the multitude of messages everyone sees and hears every day. Now that I have some experience (and a LOT more marketing education) I understand the importance of deriving the overt benefits of coaching with me.
However, that alone will not get me clients. I also needed to identify a target – my ideal client. I often hear from coaches and other service professionals that they don’t want to eliminate a large majority of the marketplace by focusing on a niche. The truth is, when you send out a generic marketing message, no matter in what form, you’re not making a connection with anyone. People see and hear hundreds of marketing messages every day – you need to make that emotional connection with someone.
My target is women entrepreneurs – specifically women entrepreneurs whose businesses are doing ok, but they’re not happy for some reason. Imagine an attorney who had so many clients that she needed to hire additional lawyers and an administrative assistant. At that point, she would be spending her time maintaining sales, minimizing expenses, managing employees, keeping up to date on the newest laws, trends, markets and regulations, etc. This does not sound fun! That is the client I want, specifically. By painting you this mental picture, you have a clear idea of my ideal client. You may see yourself in the picture and you may know her and refer her to me.
Setting a target does not exclude other types of clients, but if my messages don’t reach anyone, I’ll have NO clients, or will have to work much, much harder to get each one. Besides, the example client above knows lots of other people who aren’t attorneys who could benefit from my services, and I will ask her to refer me to them.
By going through the steps above, you will want to talk with people about your product, as you know you can answer any question and you will feel you owe it to your target market to share your product with them. If you need help with this process, a book that has really helped me is “Jump Start Your Business Brain” by Doug Hall. Or you can short-cut and call me to walk you through the steps.
After eliminating your resistance, you will then need a plan of action to contact the individuals in your target market, and scripts to know what to say. Sales is simply a numbers game. The more people you contact, the more people who will say yes. Now get out there and sell!