If you want to succeed at being an entrepreneur, becoming comfortable with sales is key. Yet figuring out how to sell your service or product can be a challenge if you have a bad association with sales or think you might be perceived as sleazy. Many entrepreneurs give up, but the real solution is defining a process that feels comfortable and organic.
By the way – if you want help with that process, definitely check out my FREE Sales eBook – you can download it here.
Fears around sales
Here are the most common reasons why entrepreneurs don’t ask for the sale and what you can do about it.
Fear of rejection
This is by far the most common reason why people don’t ask for the business. I don’t know many people actually enjoy being rejected.
I’ve found in modern sales processes, most people never get an outright “no”; more often, the prospect defers the decision—which is fine, there is no good reason you need to “close” someone in the sales presentation. Just make sure you have a good follow up process. And keep in mind, even the best sales people are rejected at least 20% of the time.
They don’t know how to ask
Some entrepreneurs, especially individuals who are relatively new to sales, simply don’t know how to ask.
When I first started out, I literally had a brochure to remind me of the steps in my sales process, so I never lost my place in my presentation. What I discovered was, if you’ve done a good job of listening, asking questions and making sure you’ve addressed all of the prospect’s questions, the discussion invariably leads to next steps—and that is a perfect time to bring up scheduling and how to move forward.
They don’t know when to ask
Some sales trainers say timing is everything, but I have found that if you’re having a human conversation, as things wrap up it and the conversation comes to a natural conclusion, it feels pretty comfortable to ask what their timeframe is for taking action.
They are afraid of being perceived as being pushy
When people tell me they are afraid of looking pushy, I imagine that they have an image of themselves morphing into some kind of aggressive sales robot. It just won’t happen.
At the same time, you might need to reframe your perception of “pushy.” If people don’t commit to working with me in our phone call, I follow up with them consistently.
The key here is to treat someone how you would want to be treated. When someone follows up to get MY sale, I appreciate the extra effort and follow through.
They are afraid of objections
Objections are a natural part of the sales process; the best way to deal with them is to learn what the most common ones are, and address them in your sales discussion. When someone expresses a real objection, it’s actually means that person may be closer to buying than the person who has zero objections.
At the same time, never feel like you have to become an objection ninja; there are some objections people have to working with me that I know I’ll never overcome. That’s okay, I don’t need to work with everybody (and neither do you).
It feels awkward or uncomfortable
Doesn’t everything feel awkward the first time you attempt it? I always tell people that sales is more like a sport than an academic pursuit—you can’t “book-learn” sales, because it’s hard to translate intellectual knowledge to execution. Instead, you have to practice sales conversations until things become second nature to you. Sales is a muscle.
The truth about how to sell
What I discovered about sales training as I built my business (as well as through my experience training hundreds of planners) is that diligence, tenacity and follow through win out over being “salesy” every day of the week. Imagine that you can BE YOURSELF—and even be transparent and open with prospects—and be even more effective than if you tried to engage in some archaic sales technique—astounding, right? But it’s true.
Before you assume that you’re the worst sale person ever, go back and review your process. How organized are you? Do you have a procedure for every step of the cycle? You might find that your conversion improves not by being more “salesy,” but instead, by creating more structure around the process. And only by being authentic, real and staying true to yourself will you ultimately be successful at sales.
P.S. Are you looking to become more skilled at sales? You should download my free Sales eBook now!