Here’s the problem…
You’re a business owner that has decided to put themselves out there. Out amongst the world, putting all of your strengths, talents, fears, desires, pitfalls and personality on display, just so you can escape the mundane and perceivably soul-draining life of a 9-5 existence. And the fear you feel as a result of that is unlike any other human experience you’ve ever had to bear witness to. For that, I say congratulations and well done. You’ve at least taken the first step towards your own version of success when so many wouldn’t even consider the possibility of so much as peeking in such a direction.
Why is it we generally prefer the safe life do you think? What is it that allows you and I to go after our dreams, as scary as they may be, whilst others seem so comfortable with the perpetually uncomfortable? I mean, I know the reason. It’s evolutionary, of course. We much prefer the safe and known as it equals a more predictable path to survival which, at the end of the day, is our core driver above all else. But even when we have reached the point now in our understanding of the brain and body that we logically know anything that holds us back is purely evolutionary, not practical, the large majority of our population still chooses the ‘safe’ option. Go figure.
I digress, for we’ve got more important things to focus on right now, and that’s you. Your current experience. The decision you’ve made, or may have even been making every day for years now, to go against the grain and share your passion and skills with the world, without the backing and security of an employer. You’re likely getting up most mornings wondering how on earth you’re going to make this work. And the days you do make it work, you go to sleep wondering how it ever possibly work just as well tomorrow. You’ve likely had countless people look at you strangely at one end of the encouragement scale and assure you with absolute certainty it’s not possible at the other – and you’ve probably even had days where you’ve wholeheartedly believed them. Yet still, you’ve continued to get up and keep going anyway. They’re right, you must be a little bit crazy. Good for you. But here’s the thing. There’s one particular fear you’re facing that seems to be a whole lot more daunting than the others. In fact, your greatest fear when it comes to running your own business is so obvious, it’s written all over your face. It’s a fear that dominates your perspective of business in the beginning, and may, of course, lessen with time, but it remains at the core of all business interaction and has evidently remained there for you, accessible at any time if you’re willing to pay enough attention to it…
And that is the experience of selling your services, selling yourself as a connection to them, and all that happens in between offering your talents to the world and actually receiving good money for them.
This fear represents itself in a number of ways. For some, it’s that distressing, squeamish, near-sickening experience of feeling as though they need to force or lump their service onto a potential buyer and hope it’s enough to ‘get them to buy’. For others, it’s convincing themselves that their buyer will simply come to them just as long as their ‘passionate enough’, believing their internal love for their services will be enough to both attract and convert new buyers – a business model that unfortunately falls short sooner rather than later. And then for a select few, they’ve astoundingly managed to convince themselves that they… don’t need… sales… to run a business? OK, I hate to be a part of the brigade that ruins dreams but that one actually makes them truly crazy. Or ignorant. Or both. Either way, they might as well start looking for a job immediately because their business sure as hell isn’t paying their bills for them in any more than 90 days from now.
That, as a business owner, is the first problem you face.
Overcoming the fear of selling, and then selling again and again and again. Whatever your problem, it likely can be traced back to some form of aversion to selling and marketing your services. Whether that’s because you’re scared, or have a skill set you currently believe isn’t good enough, or a mix of both, it can always be traced back to an aversion to selling.
The key to overcoming this problem? Two things:
- Education through training and development: Invest in your own learning and growth and stop putting it off as something that can be excused or ignored. Go to that live training and implement what you learn. Buy that book and read it. Purchase that online course and complete the whole damn thing. If you’re incapable, you need to There is no way around this, deal with it and start investing.
- Education through experience and failure: Get out there and make as many mistakes as you can! You are not required to be perfect from the start, but you are required to at least get your knees dirty out there in the marketplace. There is nothing like actually getting in the trenches and overcoming your own fears and barriers by putting yourself in positions where learning and growth are the only options. It’s time to come out of hiding. People need your thing, and they need it now. Jump in the deep end or don’t jump in at all.
Educate, educate, educate and then educate again. The answer to growing your business past the initial start-up stage is going to be a continuous game of learning how to solve the next problem in your business. To start off, that problem is sales. But the sooner you educate yourself, the sooner that problem will morph into something new and the process can repeat itself all over again, just on higher and higher levels.
Click out of this article right now, and go get educated.
Darcy J Smyth is the lead trainer and creator of the Tonal Persuasion Method for Sales, the methodology designed to ensure you are closing sales without the dreaded Hard Sell that turns so many buyers away in the modern business landscape.Tags: education entrepreneurship sales selling success