Have you ever been on the receiving end of someone “salesy?” You bought a product or service and in doing so, went through a sales process. Maybe you felt nervous, like you weren’t listened to, or pushed too hard.
If you’re skeptical of sales, you’ve likely had a bad experience being sold to by someone unskilled or someone with a selfish agenda.
I’ve invested over $100k in my work/self at this point in high-level coaches, retreats, and online programs. Been sold to many times.
Sometimes I loved the process: I felt heard, acknowledged, and was eager to buy. Other times I felt small, undermined, irritated. Get me OFF the phone.
I’ve also done a lot of selling. I’ve sold books, sponsorships to companies, my services, pitched speaking gigs. I teach sales to my clients. You’re always selling in one way or another when you walk your own professional path.
After years of learning and practicing sales, I now enjoy it. People roll their eyes when I say that, “But it’s so hard, Ishita.”
I get it. I screwed things up for many years and I’m still a student. But I learned how to do things right by doing things wrong for many years. And I’ve learned useful fundamentals about sales that reduce stress, struggle, and fear. This month’s theme is sales and I’m eager to share what’s helped me go from “Ugh. %$#K this” to “I’m ready. Let’s go.”
However you feel about sales now, these guidelines will help you become more friendly with sales, or at the very least, stop avoiding it.
Sales starts before you get onto the call.
It starts with your mindset and emotions. If you make sure your state of mind is in good condition, getting on the phone feels less like confronting a monster and more like talking to a friend. How you do that is another post, but it’s whatever you do personally to get into a calm, confident state.
I’ve used the same process for years to get clear before I do anything, with only a few tweaks. I start my day with meditation to set the highest intentions for myself and anyone I come into contact with. Before client calls, meetings, or even in the middle of launch chaos, I get clear #1. I believe in and use universal intelligence everyday: “Get me and my agenda out of the way to let real guidance, strategy, and insight come through for this person for what THEY need at the highest level.”
This allows you to relax into the conversation knowing #1.) You don’t have to prove you have ALL the answers. This gets A LOT of people into trouble because they think they need to save people with ALL the answers. That’s B.S. No one has the answers, myself included. I have useful information I’ve learned that’s worked for me and the people I’ve worked with and spoken to. Thinking you should have all the answers makes you scared, nervous, and constantly proving. Ugh. I hate it when people try to prove.
More importantly, getting yourself out of the way allows you to LET GO of the outcome. Any outcome goes out the window when you say, “Let my agenda go.” That way you listen for what the person actually needs. You let go of a sales goal, which allows you to actually listen. Sales goals are important, they should be a part of your sales strategy. But when you’re on the phone with someone, that’s not the time to focus on it, it’s time to listen to what they need. And if what you offer isn’t exactly what they need, then you gotta throw out your goal. You just do. It’s the nature of learning to sell well. And it leads us to the next big point.
When you learn enough about who you want to – and can – help, you realize you don’t even want to sell to people you KNOW you can’t help.
Because selling is not the same thing as convincing.
Not nearly. They feel very different.
Selling means you listen to the person, hear their needs, and assess if you can help them. I learned, personally, that “help” means TAKE ACTION; They might be ready to buy, but if they’re not ready to USE the info and ACT, I discourage them. Why? I have no interest in you wasting money on another thing you don’t use that will ultimately disempower you. Of course I can’t control it all the time, but I do my best to make sure people I work with or who buy my stuff know they’ll have to ACT. That way, selling feels truthful, natural, like I’m talking to a friend.
Because I’m not attached to you buying, I can stand in what’s real and right for YOU at the highest level.
Convincing, on the other hand, feels awful. It’s pushy, sticky energy – you push your agenda, they push back, you push back. UGH. There’s no space and lots of tension.
You can always feel convincing energy. You know it if you’ve felt it.
In my own life, when someone tries to convince me to do something, I hate it. I get irritated, angry, and the last thing I want to do is what they want me to do.
That same energy on the phone when you can’t tell them to leave you the hell alone is 10x times worse!
Everything in life starts with YOUR state of mind first. Especially sales. Clear your intentions, know your agenda – but be ready to throw it out – and then you become a clear reflection for people and what they really want.
Our next 2-3 posts will be about sales. I’ll show you how to walk the line between convincing someone, which sucks, and holding them accountable to what they really want – which feels good even thought it’s uncomfortable. I’ll give you more guidelines for how to sell and how to manage your fear. Sales will no longer feel like a chore or obligation & you’ll feel proud of yourself for doing something hard, knowing you actually helped someone.
However you feel about sales now, don’t fret. There are ways to become more friendly with it, or at the very least, stop avoiding it.