Episode #15: How to Overcome Your Fear of SalesJun 11, 2020
This week’s episode is for any of you who cringe a little (or maybe a lot) when it comes to thinking about sales as part of your business. You know it’s important...but it just feels too intimidating to do.
We’re building off of last week’s episode about the most important traits for entrepreneurs and talking about the trait of being sales-focused. This is so important because without sales transactions, you don’t have a business!
Let’s start by defining what exactly sales is. Sales is about convincing a prospect—someone who has demonstrated interest in your brand—to take action right now and buy your product or service. To generate sales, you need to identify the people who are ready to take that step and put the right offer in front of them at the right time.
Sales is different from marketing, which is about attracting people who may be interested in your brand. Once you have attracted these people and they maintain their interest, they may move to the sales stage.
To help you overcome your fear of sales, we’ll start by walking through the sales process.
The Sales Process
Many people are intimidated by the sales process because they don’t fully understand each step. If you’re thinking of sales as a cold sales pitch and no more, it’s time to rethink that! Here’s a glimpse at what the entire sales process looks like:
- Prospect. Identify people who may be interested in your brand and draw them to your business.
- Connect and qualify. Communicate with your prospects and show them you are a trustworthy authority in your niche. Provide a taste of what they’ll get as a paying customer.
- Research. Understand their pain point and journey. Know exactly what your prospects need and when.
- Present. Give your customers an offer that will help them with their problem at the right time for them.
- Handle objections. Answer questions and provide more compelling reasons for your customer to trust you and your product.
- Close. Your customer takes action and makes a purchase.
- Follow-up for continued sales and/or referrals. Keep communication open to offer different products, leverage their feedback into new offerings, or use the customer’s word-of-mouth recommendation to gain more customers.
By moving through this process, you don’t come across as salesy, and you’re not cold contacting prospects. You’re building trust with a community of people that you seek to understand so you can better meet their needs.
Maybe, though, your fear of sales is a little different. Here are some other common fears and thoughts you might be experiencing when it comes to sales:
- It’s awkward and I don’t want to bother people
- It’s hard to ask for money in exchange for my services
- Giving an elevator pitch stresses me out!
- I can talk about it, but I can’t close the sale
In the episode, we give a few more examples and talk through them for you—and, Oie shares her experience in sales as a telemarketer.
If sales isn’t all the things we mentioned above, then what exactly is it? Let’s take a closer look at some of those misconceptions and reframe them as what they actually are.
It’s Not About Being Salesy
Sales isn’t cold elevator pitches and overly salesy emails. Instead, it’s about having a mission and making an impact in the world by helping people reach their goals and overcome their struggles through your product.
We’ve found that many aspiring entrepreneurs are afraid of being judged for trying to sell their product. If that’s the case for you, there are two things you can do:
- Remember that the people judging you aren’t going to be your customers. It doesn’t matter what they think!
- Take time to self-reflect on your mission. How are you impacting the world? By focusing on your mission, you can direct your energy toward helping people rather than worrying about what judgmental people think.
Often, people are judgmental because they lack understanding. But for online entrepreneurs, it only matters that your customers understand it! Take time to be sure your customers understand your mission and what you are offering—if they do, you’ve done your job!
It’s Not About Being Manipulative
Sales isn’t about trying to convince people to buy something they don’t need. It’s about showing them how your product or service meets their needs or helps them reach their goal.
Throughout the sales process, you’re providing your prospects with information, resources, and tips and tricks to help them—before you ever get to offering a product. By the time you do offer them a product, it should serve as a confirmation to them that they want or need your offer.
Don’t Get Discouraged When You Don’t Make the Sale
You might find that after your entire sales process, some people still have objections or simply don’t want to purchase your product. This is totally okay! Sometimes customers have difficulty thinking through how exactly they’ll get the results you promise. Sometimes the timing just isn’t right. They will move on to finding someone or something else that can help them, and you’ll move on to finding someone you can help.
Don’t think of these situations as failures or a waste of time. We know—it’s hard! When someone doesn’t take your offer after all your hard work, it can feel like a personal slight on your work or product. But this isn’t the case. While we can sometimes help customers see that they are ready to buy our product, sometimes it’s entirely about the decisions they need to make for themselves at that time. In these situations, you may have still helped a customer understand what they really want, and if it’s not your product, then you have a better understanding of your customer base!
More Ways to Redefine Sales
There are a few other pieces of sales that we want to redefine for you. We’ve listed them here, but you can hear more detailed thoughts when you listen to the podcast.
- It’s not about proving yourself, it’s about allowing people to be interested in what you do.
- It’s not about bothering people, it’s about inspiring potential customers to take action to reach their goals.
- It’s not about an elevator pitch, it’s about having a strong knowledge base about who you’re serving, what their struggles are, and how your products help them.
- It’s not about closing the deal, it’s about helping people know if they want the financial, emotional, and other benefits of your product right now.
Here’s another way to reframe sales in your mind: have you ever experienced something so fantastic that you needed to tell everyone about it? Maybe it was exactly what you wanted or needed at that time, or maybe something completely exceeded your expectations or transformed your struggles.
Think about how you felt when telling everyone about this experience. Were you excited and anxious to tell them? Did you feel happy and laugh and smile as you talked about how great it was?
This is how sales should feel! If you have a strong mission that you believe will help people, don’t you want to tell everyone about it? And help them see how what you offer can bring them joy and happiness? Take whatever mindset you have around sales right now, and replace it with that feeling of sharing something that you know will make others happy or delighted!
Listen to Episode #15 Now!
As you have authentic conversations with your customers who are ready to buy, remember that sales is not about cold pitching, manipulation, or bothering people.
It’s about having a strong mission that helps others, and inspiring others to take the next steps to meet their goals through that mission. It’s about knowing exactly who you serve and what they need, and demonstrating that you can meet that need, right when the customer needs it most.
If you can reframe your mindset around sales as a positive, mission-driven way of thinking, you’ll never be intimidated by closing the sale again.
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