They say sales is just a transfer of confidence from the seller to the buyer. But what happens when the seller lacks confidence because they can’t get out of their own head? If you are someone who struggles to sell your services because it just feels wrong, I want to debunk some of the top sales mindset myths I hear from creative entrepreneurs.
Selling Means You’re Salesy
Lies, lies, and more lies… and lies on top of lies. No. I’m sorry, but this thinking is only accurate if you’re a 1980s car salesman (no offense, Norm). Let’s start by stripping this down to objective fact. Selling, by definition, is the exchange of something for money. In your case, services for money. Can you be salesy while you sell? Totally, but is selling in and of itself salesy? No.
If you want to know how to sell without being salesy, approach each interaction with your potential client’s best interest in mind. Sales is simply the art of listening to the needs of your prospective client and pairing them with the offer that will serve them best! The end. Do you love serving your clients well? It starts the second they inquire.
You Always Have to Be Closing
Friend, people love to buy and hate being sold to. So contrary to the A,B,C ideology made popular by the movie, Boiler Room, you do not need to “A – always, B – be, C- closing.” Seriously, what an outdated approach! You know what happens when you push someone into a sale?
They’re much more likely to cancel. And statistically, they’re much less enthusiastic about their investment. Best case scenario, you work with a cranky client. Worst case, you get bad reviews and a tarnished reputation. Say it with me… hard closing doesn’t serve anyone.
Now, is it good to ask for the sale? Absolutely. If someone came to visit, you wouldn’t stand in the doorway, blocking their path. You’d step to the side and invite them in. Sales works the same way. Don’t make potential clients bulldoze you to get inside. Invite them. If they decline, let them hang on the porch until they’re more comfortable, but don’t be afraid to invite them in again after you chat a bit more
If They Were Interested, I Wouldn’t Need to Follow Up
I’m sorry… what? Two major flaws with this thought process…
It assumes people don’t need time to warm up to an idea. Again, see porch analogy. At first, they may not want to be a burden, but overtime, may decide they’re enjoying the conversation and that your couch looks much comfier than your concrete porch. The problem? They may feel uncomfortable asking to come in. Inviting them again is really a service to them.
And secondly, it doesn’t account for life. People get busy. They have more on their plate than trying to make a decision about your services. It’s not like they wake up, read your website, skip work to pour through your past emails, neglect their kids to look up every blog you’ve ever written. That’s crazy. More likely, they’re swamped and even though they’re interested, they’ve simply forgotten to follow up with you. Don’t tell me this has never happened to you! Maybe in your case, it’s the appointment that’s been on your to-do list for 2 months.
There’s One Right Way to Sell
Story time… Back when I was getting my BBA in Entrepreneurship, I started a house painting business under the umbrella of a larger business (who handled the legal). Because this was a new type of business for me, I leaned on mentors to teach me so I could get the hang of it quickly!
Those mentors were incredible, but I quickly noticed their approach to sales did not feel like a good fit for me. They were hard-closing in each interaction. They focused heavily on building need (again, not a bad thing) and throwing out industry jargon.
My pitiful booking rate proved I was struggling to mimic them, so I decided to try things my way. I relied heavily on building a personal connection with the homeowners and getting them emotionally invested in how we could transform their home’s aesthetic! I had a superpower of getting them to envision possibilities. And when they weren’t ready to make the decision that day, I did my due diligence of getting out any objections so I could serve them better, but then I respected their need to think on it. Because of that, I often booked clients on follow up and my overall success rate tripled.
You might be mimicking an industry leader by following their process and using their templates wondering why it’s not working for you. Good news – you’re doing nothing wrong! What worked for her may not work for you.
As an example, I had a client who was using Katelyn James’ process with little success. While KJ is the bomb.com in her own right, these templates were not reflective of my client AT ALL. She is like a golden retriever in human form – so kind and welcoming. Her emails were the virtual equivalent of an exclusive club bouncer. Like you had to be good enough to get a consult with her.
This was not my client’s intent. She had simply been following a “proven” system. The problem? It was a horrible personality fit. So, don’t be afraid to experiment and find a style that feels natural to you. Your booking percentages will skyrocket when you are true to your personality. You’ll thrive when you serve your clients authentically.
Sales Mindset Myths Debunked
Hopefully by now you’re feeling a bit more confident standing in the truth that selling is an act of service. It’s step one in an incredible client experience and should be reflective of who you are. If you liked these tips, I encourage you to take my Sales Personality Quiz so you can get even more, customized tips for you and your selling style!