One of the most important things you can do for yourself and your business as you approach sales is to develop an extremely strong trust muscle. Your business needs you to trust your ability to sell your services to the right buyers. To trust that your services are deeply impactful to the people you serve. And to trust that your leads will make the best decisions they can for the needs of their businesses.
A little over three years into owning this agency, I, now, NEVER pressure anyone in our community to buy from us. Not even folks that I get on discovery calls with.
Instead, I’ve developed an unshakeable confidence in our services, refined how I share about those services when in conversation with others so that I am speaking clearly and accurately, and empower everyone that I talk to to make a choice that feels good for them and their business (even if that choice is to NOT work with us). My job isn’t to sell you a service that you don’t need. My job is to sell you the service ONLY if I think your business could highly benefit from our support. If I don’t think we are an aligned partner, it is my ethical responsibility to NOT sell you our service and, instead, refer you to someone else that may be able to help.
I liken sales to dating. In my teenage years, I thought I had to convince the people I was interested in to like me/love me/date me. I thought that I had to change and mold myself in order to make myself worthy of their love and attention. I had absolutely no confidence in what I brought to the table in a relationship and that was so clearly reflected in how dating in my teens unfolded.
As I grew older, and dove head first into inner work and therapy, I was able to develop an authentic sense of confidence in who I am as an individual. I was able to see myself as a whole person who brought a lot to the table. I was able to establish boundaries and communicate my desires and needs (and trusted that the people I was in relationship with were able to do the same). This resulted in healthier, happier relationships.
The “dog-paddling” energy that shows up for a lot of us in our teen dating years also shows up in how many business owners approach sales.
I’ve seen business owners desperately convincing and pressuring their audiences to buy their product/service. A great example of this is when coaches ask leads this one yucky question (“What is stopping you from investing in this program right now?”) over and over again trying to get them to sign on the discovery call, only to then try to convince them out of their very reasonable objections (like being unsure about the cost of the program because it’d make PAYING THEIR RENT difficult!!).
I’ve seen business owners under-value themselves, disregard their boundaries, or change their offer just to get the sale.
I’ve seen business owners chase after leads who have ghosted them in the hope that maybe, just maybe, they will produce a sale.
There’s no shame in acting in this way up until this point. These actions are, most likely, a result of your upbringing and social programming. We’ve all been there.
However, now that you know that there is another way to approach sales, you can act differently. You get to show up in sales as your self-aware, confident self.
Just like we won’t beg a man/woman to date us, we don’t beg or pressure people to work with us. We work hard to build confidence in our own services, develop a clear and accurate way of communicating the services we provide with people who are interested, and trust that folks can make the decision that feels best for them. No pressure, just sharing information confidently.
Just like we won’t bypass our personal values just to be in a romantic relationship with someone else, we don’t fold on our boundaries or under-value our services to work with a client. We will be kind, compassionate, and accommodating (without over-extending), all the while trusting that the right clients for us are the ones that see the value in what we offer (because we’ve shared it confidently and concisely) and respect the boundaries we’ve set (because they trust that we will respect their boundaries too!).
Just like it is our responsibility in dating to communicate what we bring to the table (AKA it is our responsibility to share vulnerably with the people we date) and to cut off the relationship if it isn’t working, it is also our responsibility, as business owners, to share honestly about the benefits of our services, answer any questions folks may have as accurately as we can, and be honest about if we are actually a good fit for what they are needing. We don’t exaggerate or undersell our services. We don’t take on clients we can’t support just to make more money. We don’t brush past valid questions our consumers have.
You can approach sales differently. It takes a little bit of confidence and a whole lot of unwavering trust in your business, yourself, and your community. It can feel hard to get off the dog-paddling hamster wheel of sales that many of us have been taught, but I promise it’ll be oh so worth it when you embrace another way.