Did you cringe a little with that word?
Ouch. Perhaps a bit more cringe?
I get it. Most entrepreneurs, whether you are a hair stylist, realtor, coach, or other service provider, most likely you do not like the idea of sales. In fact, you may have said (more than once) “I am NOT a salesperson!”
Unfortunately, you would be wrong. Because in fact, you ARE a salesperson. All sales really is, is the ability to fill a need. Provide value to someone else. Do you do that?
The crux is our mindset about what that word represents, and our own experience with that word. Maybe you had a horrific sales experience in the past (Time share presentation? Buying a car with an overzealous salesman?) or you simply don’t like the idea of ‘selling’. That okay. All are valid feelings. I would like to help you shift to seeing the value in embracing your inner salesperson.
First, think about what it is you do. What is the service you provide? Does your product or service fill a need for others? Does what you do bring joy or benefit to those you serve? Do you believe in what you are doing? Are you passionate about it? If what you are doing, brings value to others, then it is your job to let more people know what it is you do. It is also your responsibility to identify if what you have is the right fit for others.
Clearly, if you are in a profession like cosmetology, and you cut hair for a living, then that’s pretty easy: someone needs a haircut, you can help. However, now we get into the nuances of WHY someone would want to come to you. They have hundreds if not thousands of places and people to choose from to cut their hair. Why you? For them? That’s where learning how to ‘sell’ effectively comes in. Yes, there is a whole process to this, that I will save for another time, yet let’s get back to WHY you want to embrace this process – the ‘sales’ process.
I believe that if you truly believe in what you’re doing, that you are passionate about it and believe in the value you bring to others, the ‘process’ is much more simplified – and easy to do. When you have a plan, when you understand the why behind the process, and see how by sharing what you love and are good at with others, can bring joy and value to them, then it is easier to ‘sell’ yourself and/or your service/product.
After being in the ‘people’ business for over 30 years, I can tell you that all good ‘sales’ experiences boil down to one thing: communication. Building rapport, strengthening relationships, and having good, quality and consistent communication with your network, is vital to you not only growing as an entrepreneur, but also thriving as one.
Remember, this is YOUR business. No one is more invested in your success than you are. Embracing the sales process (or not) can make (or break) your business.
I shared the image that I did for this post to emphasize the importance of following up with your potential, and even current clients. Certainly you want to continue quality follow up with prospective ones, as you want to stay front of mind, let them know you are still concerned about them and that they do get their problem solved and/or needs met, and hopefully, eventually, they will see (and appreciate) your professionalism and choose to do business with you. I mentioned following up with current clients, as that too is incredibly important in order to maintain a positive relationship with your clients and keep them coming back and hopefully even referring business to you. The better we can take care of our customers, the more likely they will take care of us.