“What me? Scared of sales, are you kidding? Sales is what brings in the money, and my business needs money. Why would I be scared of sales when everything I am doing is to get more sales? I’ve created a product, a fantastic website and marketing strategy. See, I am actively trying to get more sales,” I insist.
“But you haven’t got any yet,” the voice in the back of my head replies.
“Yeah, but I am trying, I’m not scared.”
In late 2012 I had this conversation with myself. Those closest would spend the next few days ‘checking up’ on me to see if my, now deflated, mood had improved. This is my process of change; realization, sadness, back on track. It may not be productive but it is really effective.
I am here to tell you that you are scared of sales, indirectly, through your fear of rejection. You have attached yourself to your business as if it is a new-born baby. You now act as one entity, every move you make, the business makes. Rejection watches you, like a lion tracking its prey, waiting for the right moment to strike you down.
In research completed by Statistic Brain, out of the 11 industries, 2 of the 3 least successful were in retail and information. Both require a higher than average necessity to focus on selling.
Sales, by its very nature, involves a lot of rejection. In the beginning, it’s hard to even persuade your potential customer to listen you your pitch, let alone look at the product. Over millions of years, the prey has adapted to counter the threat of a predator. So, it is clear that you need to prepare for rejection, to overcome it.
Adapt to Avoid Rejection
1. Do Your Research.
You need to understand exactly how your customer thinks and how your product would help them. Are you solving a problem at all, or are you a luxury item? Ensuring that your product appeals to the customer in a way that screams ‘BUY ME’ is an important factor in sales.
You also need to research other competitors in the market and what sets you apart. You may be the cheapest, the highest quality or have another unique selling point (USP) that you can leverage in your pitch and marketing.
2. Give Them What They Want.
Now you know all about your customer you can give them what they want. Make it clear that your new product solves their problem.
You need to make the product easy to purchase. I once attended a talk by Nick Jenkins, founder of Moonpig, originally a personalized card company. He spent a large period of time,as his business developed, focussing on making it easy for customers to buy his personalized cards. Reducing the amount of clicks needed to get to the checkout and making every step in the purchase chain clear. This needs to be the same for you, whether selling in person or directing people to your website; make it easy for them to buy.
3. An Offer They Can’t Refuse.
Now you know all about your customer, competitors, your USP and have made it easy for the customers to purchase, you need to focus on creating an irresistible pitch. I mentioned above about solving a problem, which is usually referred to as the ‘pain’. A stronger pain appeal will lead to a stronger influence when your customer decides to part with their money or walk away.
Even if you are selling a luxury good you can still manufacture pain, for example, a high end fashion business could approach potential self-appreciating customers in the style of “dress like you’re worth”.
A good template to your pitch is to focus on the problem and then the product/solution before reeling the customer in with a suitable price.
Whether you are pitching down the phone, in person or on your website, you need to make it perfect. Practice in front of your family, friends, pets and teddies.
Think about the potential questions people may ask you and plug those holes in your pitch (without making it too long). You can even get your family and friends to ask you questions they feel are appropriate after your pitch.
Using these methods you can evolve to counter the threat of rejection, and perhaps embrace it. You will still get rejected, but your success rate will be higher. You have to have a thick skin to succeed in selling, and often it is those who are rejected most that are the most successful.
Chris Wright is a freelance writer, specializing in business, enterprise, self-improvement, fitness and health. You can find him at http://www.englishfreelancewriter.com, where he regularly updates his blog.