Selling with Generosity
One of the biggest obstacles in business ownership is the feelings we have around selling. Especially for women, selling things or our services feels greedy, selfish, and completely unnatural. For me, when I started my business, I knew that selling my coaching packages was part of what I had to do in order to be successful in business but it didn’t make it any less anxiety provoking.
Some of the things I used to think irrationally in my head (did you / do you do this too?)
- Even though I rationally know that I can help people, do I have something worth paying for?
- Even after I had sold out my 1:1 coaching slots, when trying to sell something else, I worried about not knowing how to sell what I had will people think I’m a fraud for selling something that’s not coaching?
As a person with a huge desire to serve others, it feels natural to always give of myself. I know I can totally help people (I know you feel this way too). Once money exchanging hands was part of the equation, I experienced a lot of fear around worthiness.
Thankfully, I’ve invested a lot of time and energy into reframing my mindset and now feel like it’s a privilege to sell and to be able to serve my clients better. I don’t think it has to be that hard but it does take practice to make the shift in selling from ick to empowered.
I believe that selling can be a generous process. It’s necessary for any business owner to improve selling skills, to increase the precision in which we do it and to ultimately master the skill. It’s part of having a Heart Centered Biz. You’ve gotta become your best sales agent without being sleazy to have a sustainable, profitable business.
Without profit, you’re running a very expensive hobby.
In selling, focus on the relationship
For most people, selling feels icky because it conjures the image of a salesperson who is pushy, doesn’t listen, and offers things that only serve their bottom line. What if you could believe that you could do it differently? You could put the person’s needs first and believe that you could serve them in a way that supports where they are. By showing them what you bring to the table, you’re ultimately serving them better. When you focus on the relationship rather than on the sale, you’re showing the client that you’re paying attention to their needs. It feels good for you and it feels good to them.
This is also true for product based businesses as well. How you follow up with your shoppers who don’t buy, how you execute customer service (like by having a chat that can answer questions) can be super helpful in serving the relationship!
Selling = Helping
This is a Kendrick Shope-ism that I learned early in my business. Shifting your mindset from selling is ICK to selling is HELPING can make all the difference. When you truly believe that your “thing” (aka your talents, your product, your art, your service) will help your customer, it makes it almost a crime to not tell them about it! If you have a tool that can save people time, make people happier, and solve a problem that they’ve been struggling with, wouldn’t you want it for yourself? It would almost be selfish to keep it to yourself. So remember to share your “thing” with pride!
Know exactly what the benefit of your “thing” is
And to go right along with that belief that selling = helping, what you’re going to want to stop doing is to stop talking about the “thing” and start showing your customer what will happen to them when they have it.
People don’t buy the diet pill, they’re looking to lose weight so that their significant other will tell them that they’re attractive.
People don’t buy an Apple Watch because they want to know the time, they buy it because they think it will make them look cool and tech savvy.
People don’t invest in life coaching because they’re looking to understand the purpose of their lives (or insert any life coach jargon that I used to use), they’re looking to be able to work less on that stuff they hate and have more fun and flexibility.
Spending time to figure out what the benefit of the benefit of your “thing” is will help you to show your potential client what exactly it is that they can expect when they purchase!
You are the secret sauce
Another place where people get tripped up is the fact that other people offer the same things that we offer. There are plenty of other coaches, podcasts, social media consultants, marketing strategists, virtual assistants, artists, candy makers, photographers, wedding planners so I get it, it feels like you’re totally unoriginal and you’re competing with all.the.people. but really, you’re not. You have your own style, your own flare, your own opinion, your own way you do things that makes the “thing” more original.
When you’re in a place of “I’m not original and everybody does what I do,” it’s like climbing a steep hill. When you’re in a place of more abundance and “I’m pretty awesome.” It’s easier to identify your secret formula when you’re feeling better about yourself than when you’re feeling the doubt.
The process is almost as important as the actual “thing”
In a crowded market, the product or service isn’t always the most important thing. One of the most important thing is obviously the result or the benefit that your “thing” brings to your customer. Without it, there’s really no competition. Beyond that, however, you’re really competing on process.
Process is everything. Your products are already awesome but what will wow the client? What will make them even more of a product evangelist? What would make them shout your stuff from the rooftops? It’s probably the little things like a well timed email telling them what they can expect, a postcard in the mail that they weren’t expecting, a series of videos that explain how better they can prepare in using your product or service, or the customer service experience they have. Think of one way to improve something in your customer process that will make them be your biggest cheerleaders!
The selling process is a vital one for business survival; however, it’s up to you as to whether or not you continue to feel drained by the selling process. I believe that selling can feel generous and supportive to the customers you want to be serving.
I think that by learning how to sell with generosity, you’ll have the basis to build a strong sustainable and profitable business.