That’s so much like bragging, and didn’t your mother tell you not to brag?
We don’t like being sold to and don’t want our clients to feel that way.
So much about selling and marketing our businesses gives us that icky feeling.
Everyone should just know, right?
They should be able to tell how wonderful we are by looking. By seeing our work. By engaging with us. And knowing how sincere and talented we are and what we are capable of, because it oozes out of every cell in our bodies.
Except it doesn’t work that way.
We all pretty much look the same to clients
It doesn’t work that way because there are so many of us. So many talented, wonderful, sincere, capable, creative business owners for clients to choose between—and they can’t tell the difference. Add to that the number of not-so-talented, not-so-wonderful, insincere, incapable business owners who can talk a good game, and you’ve got a real conundrum for clients—how to choose? I mean, can you see how difficult it is for them when we all pretty much look and sound the same?
Follow these rules to overcome your reluctance for sales:
1. Talk about the passion you have for your work. No one automatically knows anything. Not about you, your business, or what you can do for them. You have to talk about it—a lot. In person, in writing, in your marketing. Talk, talk, talk.
2. Sales pitches aren’t bad, they’re part of business. When you feel a “sales pitch” coming on from someone else, don’t immediately dig in your heels and resist. On the other hand, don’t get swept up in the emotion of the offer, either. Think of it as education—listen carefully to how it is presented and weigh the value to you and your business. Can it help you? Is it worth it? What can you learn from the way the offer was presented?
3. A sales pitch doesn’t have to be a “pitch.” It can be a conversation (see #1). It can simply be you talking with passion about your work, how you do it, and how it helps people. If you start having more earnest conversations about what you do, you will start having more sales—more “less-icky” sales.
4. We know that people only value what they hold dear, and what they have had to work for. Low-balling estimates and giving discounts, while okay for introductory offers and special circumstances, don’t really work in the long run, and they often attract less desirable clients. Have you noticed that your best clients are the ones who buy in at a high level and don’t nitpick over price? Over many years and in many circumstances, I have too.
Having clients value your work at a high level removes lots of icky.
5. Always be selling. We are all in business, and business means selling, or offering services for money. Clients don’t always ask if they can buy from you, and they may not know you even offer what they need. Selling that is authentic is a service to the customer. And, businesses that don’t consistently sell are doing a disservice to their customers by making their offerings difficult to find and understand.