Do you have a healthy relationship with Sales?
I loved “Field of Dreams”. It resonated with a deeply held belief that something valuable will magically be found by those who need it.
As a marketing person, that realisation shocked me.
Logically, I knew I needed to sell … to let people know how I could be of service.
I thought I gave it a good go. With 20/20 hindsight, I recognised I sabotaged my most significant opportunities in a variety of creative ways.
Here’s how it played out for me
- I had negative connotations associated with the word selling. The concept of selling felt aggressive and transactional. It felt dirty.
- The concept of putting something so precious as my hopes and dreams in front of others – potentially to be rejected – wasn’t something I rushed to do.
- Perfection was a huge driver for me. I had perfection associated with being recognised, accepted and appreciated. The concept of Minimum Viable Product was my worst nightmare.
- It felt as though selling compromised my ‘integrity’. I thought I had to choose between living my Purpose and selling. The two didn’t seem compatible.
- The act of selling felt so uncertain and vulnerable to me that it felt unsafe.
- While I created my products and services from sound research and consumer understanding, they were wonderful solutions in my mind and the thought of having them knocked to the ground was frightening. I interpreted that as an indicator that I didn’t know what I was doing.
- Selling triggered feelings of self-doubt, particularly if the uptake on what I was selling was slow.
Can you relate to any of these?
Here’s the crazy thing.
We all sell. And we sell every day. We may passionately express our ideas in a team meeting. We may be persuasive about where we go for dinner. We may sell the idea of cleaning their room with our teenagers. We sell all the time in our everyday lives. Ask my sisters!
So the problem is not whether we can sell.
The problem arises when the stakes are higher, when we identify too closely with the sales process and when we’re selling something that feels very personal to us. It becomes a very different experience
Over the years, I’ve unpacked selling. Firstly, so I could get past some incredibly limiting beliefs and behaviours that held me back. I recognised selling as an essential driver of business success. I wanted to understand why I was so lousy at it.
The second reason I wanted to dig deep into selling was to find a way to sell comfortably that didn’t feel like I was compromising my integrity. I could then share that with my clients.
Selling takes confidence
Selling is an outright declaration of value. It is a belief. It’s a strong statement of confidence that has a sound to it.
As business people driven by Purpose, the products and services we put onto the market are likely to be labours of love. We put so much into what we offer and we may find it difficult to separate between the products and services and ourselves.
From that personal perspective, when we get a rejection – which is inevitable – we’re hurt. That ‘No’ hurts us emotionally; it hurts us financially; and it has a negative impact on our ability to create the difference that we’re looking to make.
How can we sell with integrity?
Shift our perspective from the transaction of money for a product or service and the ego often associated with that transaction to the relationship and community of a unifying Purpose.
Purpose is the highest form of engagement. It’s inspirational, emotional, exciting, filled with possibilities. It has the power to move mountains.
Purpose requires that we see our own value. Not always easy if we’ve been bruised by the sales process over a period of time. We may need to reconnect with that value.
So, working on ourselves and our self esteem is a great start. Then we can explore our mindset blueprint in the context of selling. What beliefs do we hold about selling and our ability to sell? How do we see success? How do we see ourselves and our worthiness of success?
What’s your experience of selling?
If you experience sales as I did and you’d like to bring in more clients and money so you can make a greater impact, I offer free Webinars on Selling from your Heart.