Ahh. Selling. Sometimes, this is a word that is dreaded and feared by all but the most intrepid business owners. It seems that, even though we all know we need to "sell" our products and services, many of us feel fearful or anxious about actually doing so.
These 10 tips are designed to help you shift out of your fear, and into excitement, about sharing your product or service.
1) Know the source of your fear. This tip reminds us that it is necessary, first, to know what we're afraid of. Most often, fears of selling come in several forms. Either we worry about not being liked, or being perceived as pushy, we (secretly) worry that our product or service might not perform as we say, or we struggle with the idea of rejection. Knowing the source of your fear (sometimes it can be a combination) is an important part of overcoming your fear of selling.
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2) Take action to address the source. In this way, you are taking action to overcome your fear. In some cases, this might mean that you improve your product or service (you can use customer feedback for this), or you can find ways to share your product/service in a way that feels more authentic and natural to you. You can also find ways to "bounce back" after rejection which is easier to do, by the way, if you don't take "no" personally.
3) Find enthusiasm for what you offer. One of the best techniques I've ever used to overcome my fear of selling has been to tap into my passion and enthusiasm for what I'm offering. I make a list of all the really wonderful benefits and successful outcomes of past customers. I hang this list nearby where I can see it everyday. Try this for yourself - your confidence will skyrocket.
4) Shift your perspective. How would it feel to think of yourself as "sharing information" about what you do? Or "showing benefits" or "sharing your passion?" If you feel uncomfortable or anxious about "selling"- find a way to shift your perspective to one of sharing information rather than "convincing someone to buy."
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5) Start small. Very often, people tend to tackle projects much larger than they can comfortably handle. When you want to overcome your fear of selling, start small. Maybe you will share your new business with a few trusted friends first and then gradually find ways to expand your sharing to include a larger circle. The most successful business people are those who interact with others in an authentic, passionate way so find a way that feels comfortable with you and stay with it.
6) Keep track of your successes. Keep a "wins" or success journal nearby and record your achievements in it each day. This will help you stay aware of just how much you do right. We sometimes forget this.
7) Have fun with it. Rather than approaching this from a heavy "have to", "doesn't feel good" perspective find a fun, interesting way to share your knowledge or passion. Some of my clients have thrown parties, offered free giveaways, donated products/services to charities - all of these were easy, fun, and income generating. What would be fun for you?
8) Stay focused on your desired outcome. Most people take actions and reach their goals because they stay focused on the benefits of doing so. Sometimes, reminding yourself what you want, why you're doing this can help you take the next action and the next.
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9) Detach from how the outcome shows up. Very often, we get really attached to "making the sale" or having a situation turn out a certain way. Instead, why not focus on efforts "I will give a great, enthusiastic, and passionate presentation" rather than outcome: "They will buy X number of this." Very often, if you stay focused on the effort - doing a great job - the outcome turns out better than you ever imagined.
10) Keep practicing. Like any other business skill, "selling" gets easier the more you do it. So get out there, start small, and keep practicing.