One of the obstacles I faced when starting my own business more than 10 years ago was that I hated to sell–here’s how I overcame that problem and created a successful business.
What’s your sales mindset? When you think of selling, do you dread it because you believe it means making someone buy something? If you are a professional sales person, that is probably not how you think. However, for those of us who are not used to selling, it is an uncomfortable and even intimidating process.
One way to change that mindset is to realize that all selling is truly about is helping customers get something that will make their lives better. In fact, every time you sell something, you’ve made your customer’s life better. That’s what a business does: make customers’ lives better.
Sometimes a customer’s life is made better in dramatic ways, sometimes simple ones. Perhaps a purchase saves someone’s life, maybe it saves them some time or money, perhaps it rescues them from a problem or maybe it just gives them a bit of joy.
What does your business do for customers? How do you make their lives better? Does it help them to get something they want or avoid something they don’t want? Does it fill a need, or do they just want it? (Meeting a “want” is an easier sell than meeting a “need..”) That’s the key to making sales. Communicate that benefit to your market and customers will want to do business with you.
Understanding how you make customers’ lives better can also be a breakthrough for you. Instead of thinking you are imposing on people when you tell them about your product or service, you will understand why it is important that they know about it.
Your natural enthusiasm for the benefits of your product or service will be contagious. And, it will make it easier for you to approach prospects and talk to them. After all, if you have something that can benefit others—perhaps even change their lives—don’t you have an obligation to tell them about it? Why would you keep it a secret?
Even with this new mindset, you may not be ready to hit the phones. Instead of cold calling, try reaching out to customers in other ways.
Network by joining groups to which your customers belong. Whether it is a professional association, chamber of commerce or breakfast networking group, you will benefit most by attending meetings regularly and making connections within the group. Share your message with others who will in turn share your message with people they know.
Educate customers by speaking to community and professional organizations. Teach a class at your local college or community education center. Publish articles in the magazines and journals your customers read. Show that you have the knowledge to help them solve their problems.
By changing the way you approach sales, you might find that soon you have customers calling you, ready to buy.
As the Idea Lady, Cathy Stucker helps entrepreneurs and professionals attract customers and make themselves famous. Get free marketing tips at http://www.IdeaLady.com/