Most online educators and entrepreneurs will be the first to admit that they are not salespeople – and I can definitely relate to that.
Personally, I love the marketing side of the business and get incredibly nervous at the thought of having to go in for the sell when it comes to my services and products.
So, why do we hate it so much, and how can we rectify that so we can build up our businesses and get our products to the people who need it the most?
On a recent episode of The Anomalous Educator podcast, I spoke with Damian Thompson, the Founder & Chief Training Officer of Salesability and the Cofounder of LeadFuze. He gave some useful insight into how we can overcome sales fear, and how we can all sell with confidence.
Change your Point of View
“Sales” is that five-letter word that certainly has a bad rep, and that certainly needs to change.
“There are so many bad salespeople in the world, that set a bad example for selling,” Damian explains and it has generated a cliché that has stuck for decades.
So, in our minds, sales equals bad, right? Well, you have to turn that around.
“Sales, really at the end of the day is two things – it’s education and problem solving,” which is perfect for all you online educators out there.
There are no Shortcuts
There is no magic wand to make you an exceptional salesperson – I wish there were. When you come across these sales gurus offering quick sales fixes and pushing their sales ‘hacks,’ there’s one thing you should know, it’s all baloney.
“Sales is the most important skill for an entrepreneur,” Damian explains “You can’t hack it, it’s a process. It takes time, it takes expertise.”
Imagine you want to lose weight, you know exactly what you need to do to get to your goal – eat less and exercise and that takes time. Damian hates the hacks idea, “I can’t pay my personal trainer to work out for me, right?”
You have to go in every day, put the effort in, show up and do the work – that’s life, my friends.
Know your Audience and Know how to Serve Them
Sales is just a business function – it’s as simple as that.
Peter Drucker, the famed management consultant rightly said, “A company has two purposes, and two purposes only. First, to create intellectual property and then to market that intellectual property.”
To get away from your fear of selling, Damian asks that you think about this, “If you have the hutzpah to go out there and build this business” you know, the one that you’ve worked so hard to construct, “the challenge of that, and the courage it takes to actually do that, you can do sales. That’s easy. It’s just mindset a lot of it.”
Now that you’re all puffed up with confidence, in order to lose that fear of selling, understand who you’re serving and how to serve them.
Once that’s locked in your mind, the next thing is to extend your knowledge and your message to the people who genuinely need it. “Sales isn’t tricking people into buying what they want, sales is helping someone make the right decision, which is hopefully what you’re selling.”
“It almost becomes like this responsibility to get this message in front of people, like ‘Hey, I’ve created something, I’ve solved the problem that people are willing to pay money for.’ My job is to get that in front of as many people as possible and help them make the right decision. “
Selling doesn’t come naturally to everyone, but it’s an essential component for every entrepreneur’s business. Take the time to recognise and establish your market and pitch to that particular niche. Solve problems rather than push products.