Every small business entrepreneur has to sell – like it or not. Unfortunately, most entrepreneurs would rather (fill in the blank) than have to sell. Why? Entrepreneurs who are “sales reluctant” have experienced bad examples of the sales process and are led to believe that if you’re going to sell, that’s how it’s done.
When you think of “selling”, what immediately comes to mind? The sleazy used-car sales guy puffing on a cheap, stinky cigar wearing lime-green plaid polyester pants and a faded orange shirt? The annoying sales person on the phone who doesn’t seem to understand “no, thank you” and continues to hock their wares? Put aside any preconceived notions of sales to consider these strategies to help you overcome your “sales reluctance”.
1. Reframe your mental notion of selling. Selling isn’t vigorously convincing someone to buy what they don’t want or need. Selling is finding a need and filling it. Selling solves problems for your prospect. Selling provides solutions to their predicament. To conquer “sales reluctance”, shift your thinking from selling to solving problems and providing solutions for your clients needs.
2. Be passionately curious. Those who are passionately curious make excellent sales professionals. They love to learn about things and people. This natural curiosity fuels lead generation. Prospects generally notice your authenticity and care. As someone once said, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” To overcome “sales reluctance”, sincerely show how much you care.
3. Create your sales scripts. Not knowing what to say or how to say it makes even the bravest of entrepreneurs uneasy. Work out what you want to say in advance of any sales meetings. Make the conversation natural and authentic – not contrived and rehearsed. Practice. Massage your scripts until you’re comfortable. To defeat “sales reluctance”, style your sales language to fit you like a glove.
4. Exercise enthusiasm. Enthusiasm ends with I – A – S – M which stands for “I am sold myself”. The first person needing to be sold is YOU. You have to be convinced that you are the solution to your clients problem. If you’re not sold on the solution you provide, how will you sell anyone else? To triumph over “sales reluctance”, sell yourself on your products value.
5. Let go of the outcome. Sales is a numbers game. Holding too tightly to the prospects need to say “yes” puts unnecessary pressure on you and your prospect. You can’t control whether or not a prospect says “yes” but you can control your marketing efforts and the volume of leads you generate. To rise above “sales reluctance”, free yourself from any preconceived conclusions.
Selling isn’t optional if your small business is to grow and succeed but with the right strategies, you can learn to embrace and enjoy sales.
Have you overcome “sales reluctance”? What strategies helped you overcome this hurdle?
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