Sell! You want me to sell something! Are you kidding…..
Does this sound like you? You don’t have the confidence to sell your products and services?
Many sales are lost not only because the salesperson doesn’t have any confidence, the prospective customer doesn’t have confidence in them either.
Building your self-confidence takes time and commitment and that starts with your attitude. You have to want to succeed in selling your products and services. You also need to learn basic selling skills to increase your confidence levels. No doubt you are a technician and haven’t learnt how to sell. When you haven’t learnt how to do something, naturally you are not going to be good at it or you don’t feel very confident (yet).
As Michael Gerber talks about in his book “The E-Myth Revisited,” most people who start a small business are simply technicians. They are very good at what they do – technically. A hairdresser starts a beauty salon. A Plumber becomes a contractor. A business executive becomes a consultant. An accountant or lawyer sets up their own practice. The problem is, they are technical specialists but do they know how to sell their products or services? Chances are – no they don’t.
So when they hear the word salesperson – they immediately think of a sleazy car salesman. And they don’t want to be like that. Or alternately, they feel they are no good at talking to people so shy away from networking or prospecting activities out of fear of being labelled a “salesperson”.
Let’s turn that on its head. Instead of selling – help people buy instead!
What’s wrong with being proud to sell?
- What a buzz a hairdresser gets from seeing their clients walk out the door with a fabulous new hairstyle. Haven’t they made them feel good about themselves?
- What about the plumber who unblocks a toilet in the middle of the night to stop an overflow. Haven’t they helped someone in dire need from causing damage to their home?
- What about the business consultant who was able to add value to a small business owner and improve their bottom line profits or the accountant who saved his clients lots of money in taxes and the lawyer who helped a family in crises.
In each of these examples, they helped people. So if your products and services genuinely help others why wouldn’t you be proud to sell your products and services? So to help you overcome a fear of selling, think of selling as helping people buy instead.
1. Fake it till you become it
In her famous Ted Talk, Amy Cuddy talks about how your body language shapes who you are. She’s a social psychologist who talks about faking it till you become it using a technique called power posing. When you stand in a posture of confidence, even though you might not feel very confident, this reduces the stress hormone cortisol levels in your body. As a result, you feel more confident.
Before meeting with a prospect why not take Amy Cuddy’s advice and stand in a power pose for two minutes prior to going into a sales meeting with a prospect. It completely changes the physiology of your body and instantly gives you more confidence. So what you in effect do is fake confidence until you feel confident.
2. Learn effective selling skills
This is captain obvious yet so many people who have to sell their products and services themselves do so without investing in their personal and professional development. Selling is a process in exactly the same way that when we buy something we go through a buying process. When you learn to match buying behavior with a selling process like the Bi-Sell-Cycle™, you become instantly more confident at selling your products and services by helping people buy from you.
3. Improve your communication skills
In order to sell anything to anyone, you first have to get into rapport with them because people won’t buy from people they do not like or trust. Unless you have the ability to build and maintain rapport when you meet a prospect, no matter what you say or do after that will mean nothing. If they don’t trust you, they won’t buy from you.
You also have to learn the art of effective questioning. You can’t help someone buy from you if you don’t know what their problems or opportunities are commonly referred to as buyer needs. Without a prospect having a need, you have nothing to sell.
Coupled with effective questioning techniques, you also need to know how to actively listen to your prospect. Active listening means to listen for understanding not hearing the words a prospect says. Active listening not only helps you uncover their needs, it helps to maintain rapport. As a result a prospect will trust and have confidence that you are the right person to buy from.
On a final note
When you adopt a positive attitude towards selling and invest in learning how to sell, you will be able to sell your products and services with confidence.
In A Nutshell
To get people to buy from you, you need to:
- Develop a positive attitude towards selling your products and services
- Be proud to sell your products and services
- Don’t look to sell – look to help people buy instead
- Learn the art of power posing so that you can fake it till you become it
- Establish trust by building rapport first
- Develop effective questioning skills
- Learn to actively listen to your prospects so you can help them buy from you