Over the past few years of coaching women in business, I’ve met many brilliant and gifted business owners whose resistance to selling was crippling their business and their ability to grow. In this post I aim to shed light on where that resistance comes from and how to overcome it to make your business a success.
The premise of this post is based on the following statement. Take a moment now to consider what this really means to you.
You hate sales and marketing because of what you believe sales and marketing represents.
We live in a world where sales has become synonymous with deceitful practices in marketing and advertising. Where selling is a game of persuasion and manipulation. It’s everywhere, it’s on our televisions, our computers, on the streets, on the sides of buildings, on our trains and buses. EVERYWHERE we look we can see intrusive, manipulative and dishonest marketing and advertising practices designed to get us to buy, buy, buy. We live in a world that prioritises profits over people and for women like you and I, this hurts us to the core.
As a consumer, we feel overwhelmed because every which way we turn, somebody is trying to get us to buy something. Most often, things, that many of us as soul-led, spiritually inclined women know in our hearts that we don’t even need. Clutter that only serves to weigh us down and keep us from enjoying the present moment in all it’s glory.
It therefore makes perfect sense that when it comes to our own business, and the point at which we need to engage in sales or marketing, that we feel such huge resistance. As conscious business owners we absolutely don’t want to contribute to this dysfunctional system of selling people things that they don’t need, in ways that feel inherently dishonest. We are not prepared to make people feel the way that we so often feel when we’re being sold to.
So whilst I get the logic behind this thinking, there are two things to look at more closely here:
1. You are not selling things that people don’t need. (How do I know? Because it’s unlikely you would be in my audience, reading this post if you were). You are creating and sharing things that have the potential to impact and transform people’s lives for the better. The very fact that you have a resistance to selling simply proves this.
2. You don’t have to sell the mainstream way. There is a way that you can sell with integrity. There is a way that we can turn the traditional approach to sales on it’s head and do business differently.
Here are a few key ways we can do this:
We can focus on serving our people rather than selling to them. We can be in a mode of giving rather than a mode of getting. We can make people the priority rather than profits.
I want to give you a couple of specific examples of how this might look in your business.
- Rather than spend your time trying to market yourself and your business online, do everything you can to create and disseminate truly meaningful content instead. Share your best work for free.
- Rather than go into Facebook groups to promote your business and services, go into those groups to support and serve other people.
- Rather than spend hours and hours trying to make your web copy speak to the heart of your ideal client or creating the perfect offering, jump on calls with individual people and find out what they need and what you can do to help them. Then go do that.
- Rather than trying to perfectly articulate the benefits of your newest product or service in your marketing, mention it directly to those people in your audience who you think it might help and ask if they want to know more.
- Rather than spend your time trying to figure out how to better market and sell your products and service, ask yourself daily, what can I do today that would deeply serve my audience.
The mainstream way is to dress up your sales as service. Create a killer freebie opt-in so that people sign up for your newsletter, then seduce them with a nurture sequence of seemingly useful emails that ultimately culminates in a sale. In the mainstream way service is a strategy. Service is seen as a means to and end.
In the alternative approach that I advocate, service is the end. Our ultimate goal is to serve powerfully and sales then become a by-product of that.
For many people this might seem counter-intuitive. They might say something like “surely the point of a business is to make money?” well yes and no. We do need our businesses to succeed financially so that they are sustainable but it doesn’t have to be our primary focus.
Women like you and me are driven by a desire to serve. To make a difference and to have an impact. This is why selling feels so off to us and what many of us do is waste our precious resources trying to sell and failing miserably when we would do far better using that time and energy to serve.
When you show up and serve all day every day, people naturally want to know more about what you offer. In this way, you no longer feel like you have to chase people for the sale.
When you have a community of people who already know, like and trust you because you have been showing up consistently to share meaningful content and serve powerfully, you need only share what you are creating and people, who have been on the receiving end of your generosity and know the value of your work, can and will come to you wanting more.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting that you never need talk about your products and services. In actual fact most female business owners I meet need to do that far more than they currently do. What I am saying, however, is that you needn’t ever manipulate or convince people to buy. When you’ve already provided an amazing service to people, they already know the value of your work so in a way there is no need to sell as such. It becomes more about whether or not, the product or service is a fit.
When we do share details of our paid for offerings, what we want to aim for is something I call selling with transparency. Which essentially means being clear when you are sharing a paid offering versus when you are sharing free content and don’t muddy the water by using your free content as a thinly veiled sales pitch or bribe. Because guess what? We see that shit and we hate it and even though those strategies might get you sales in the short term, they will erode trust and loyalty from your audience in the long-term.
When we make being of service our north star, it is absolutely possible to sell and market what we do with integrity, and the best part, it won’t feel like you’re selling or marketing one bit, either to you or your audience.
I’d love to know if you can relate to what I’ve shared here. Let me know in the comments below what comes up for you as you read this post and if you know anyone who would benefit from reading it, then feel free to share it.
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