As entrepreneurs, we are innovators, thinkers, and doers but salespeople – most of us are not. In fact, not only do we feel unprepared to ask for the sale, most of us avoid it like the plague.
It can just feel soooo… uncomfortable, awkward even. But the truth is, if we spend all of our time only building, designing, and serving without charging, we become dependent, high-end volunteers.
The Courage to Ask for the Sale
Having the courage to see the value in what your business has to offer is the first step in setting a very important, basic, boundary with your consumers… that you are not free of charge. Trust me, it actually burns you if you charge little to nothing; if you don’t value what you offer why would others think any differently?
But you, you’re different, more courageous I just know it; if you’re not quite “there” yet in asking for the sale, you will be soon because you truly believe in the work you’re doing and see the impact it has on others. You are also someone who is true to themselves in the sense that you are being honest with not only “internal you”, but the people you’re engaging with.
There’s no need to lie about the value you bring to the table because it really is there for your target market; your job as an entrepreneur pitching and selling is to listen and observe your audience to assess if they are that target market or not. It’s ok if they’re not. Not every product and service is meant for every industry, individual, or business.
In honoring yourself and the client, you do what’s right depending on the details and story you hear from your conversation with them. I can’t even count how many times I have told potential clients that we were either not the right fit for what they were looking for or that they weren’t ready or in need of marketing services. Again, that’s ok. You don’t have to feel less than or desperate. Oh, trust me… in a sales pitch, be anything but desperate.
The Confidence to Not be Desperate
One of the most apparent non-verbal cues a person can lose a sale over is desperation.
When we’re desperate our body language changes; our tone and speaking speed increase to a far from the normal pace and we start offering discounts or get defensively pushy about our business. No one likes to feel pushed into anything and almost everyone picks up on the signs of all-out panic-level desperation…and we on the receiving end run in the other direction. As. Fast. As. We. Can.
But desperation isn’t just something we as humans cling to when selling our product or service, nope, we sometimes become desperate in selling ourselves. Think back to one of your early-on job interviews – did it go well? Did you get the job? And if you did, was it something you actually wanted? I still remember my first professional job interview after graduating college. Avery and I had gotten married early on in our college careers and had been working and studying full-steam ahead for three years until graduation. All I could think of at the time was the idea of being able to slow down a bit and even perhaps taking some time off just for myself.
Most people would recognize how lucky I was to have this great interview opportunity almost fall into my lap right after graduation. The only thing I felt unlucky about was the timing. Avery and I had planned a cruise as a delayed honeymoon (three whole years after the nuptials) right at the time of the interview. I had a decision to make. I wasn’t feeling desperate for the job even though I was very interested in it, I mean I had applied nonetheless. But I knew deep down that no matter what happened, everything would work out because I had a lot of passion and energy to bring to whatever company I eventually landed at.
I called them and asked them to schedule the interview after our return. They said yes. My nerves didn’t really elevate when it came time to sit down for the actual interview either. Why not? How? Because I wasn’t going in there feeling desperate. Because I had realized earlier on I, like everyone else, am at my best when my authentic self shines through; my personality and ideas invited me to not only answer their questions calmly but to ask them questions in return. When anxiety leaves the mix of emotions we connect with an almost anti-desperation serum called confidence.
Even if you’re just getting out of school with no “professional” experience to mention, you still enter the room with confidence in the abilities you learned, your dedication to become the best at what you do, and commitment to being honest and upfront if you need help.
And go in with the courage to say no if it doesn’t feel like the right fit for you. Niching down to who you like to work with or the specific type of work you do, actually helps you take more “yes” projects that you will not only enjoy but grow from. I know I have all the courage and confidence in you that you will find the same within yourself, if not already, very soon!