I really struggle to sell myself
Today I want to talk about a phrase that I often hear, either during my live Q&A sessions, or within my Facebook community…
“I really struggle when it comes to selling myself.”
Watch the video or scroll down to read more.
Every time I hear it, I just think: “Ouch, no wonder you’re finding it difficult!”
You see, to me the idea of needing to sell yourself, feels like such a lot of pressure. In fact, I would hate it if every time I needed to attract and enrol a new client, I had to go out there and “sell myself.”
There are a number of reasons why “selling yourself” feels so difficult, including:
1. You’re making it all about you.
Thinking you need to sell yourself makes you the central focus instead of the client. This triggers all kinds self-talk around, for example, “I need to be perfectly presented. Do I look okay? Am I saying the right things? Am I acting the right way? Will people like me?” It’s like being at school or starting a new job and having that pressure of wanting to to be liked. The harder you’re trying to be liked, and the harder you’re trying to sell yourself, the less likely it is that you are being your authentic self. In turn, people are actually less likely to warm to you.
2. It relies on your personal sense of self-worth.
The idea of selling yourself to get clients requires you to have a very strong sense of your own personal value and self-worth. I don’t know about you, but particularly in the early days of my business, I didn’t have a particularly high level of self-worth at all.
Based on my personal experience I know it’s totally possible to feel a bit rubbish, and not 100% value yourself as an individual, but yet still get clients and make a phenomenal difference to the lives of those clients. In my case, the more I worked with clients, and the more I saw them get results in their businesses, the more my self-worth and confidence grew naturally – but I didn’t need to “fix” my self-worth before I could get clients.
3. It makes it harder to get clients.
Of course, if a client is going to buy from you there does need to be a certain element of rapport and connection, but if you’re too focused on selling yourself and getting people to like you, the danger is that you end up with lots of new friends and people who think you’re a really great person, but actually not enough clients to show for it. Your client doesn’t always have to like you; they just need to be able to recognise that you can help them achieve the result that they want.
It helps to remember that they are not actually buying YOU.
Thinking you have to sell yourself can make business more painful and more difficult for you, and distract you from focusing on what the client does want to buy.
What is your client really buying?
When a client says “Yes, please” to working with you, there are things they’re saying yes to which are probably a lot less connected to you personally than you might realise.
The end result. The main reason that most people will buy from you is because of the end result – the transformation, the change, the difference – that they believe you can help them to achieve. This will be a lot less connected to how much they might like you or buy into you personally than you might think.
The big vision. Ideally you’ll have a shared vision of how great your client’s life/business/relationships/happiness could be as a result of you working together. They’re embarking on a journey towards that vision with you as their guide, and your clients will be buying this vision, whether your work together will get them all the way there or is just a stepping stone on one part of the journey.
Your process. Knowing that you have a clear process — sometimes called a signature system, or your unique proprietary method — gives your potential client a real sense of security, a sense that there is a plan at hand, and that there is a structure that has been designed to help them to get to their end result.
For example, when clients join me to do my Get More Clients Saying Yes! programme, there’s a clear structure to that course. We start with mindset. We then move on to ideal client and captivating introduction. We then look at the sales process. We look at knowing what you’re selling in terms of packaging and pricing. We look at attracting clients to you. We look at the sales conversation. We look at handling tricky concerns like “I can’t afford it” and “I need to think about it,” and we look at how to wrap up the details of this transaction so that the client doesn’t change their mind, or cancel, or not pay the invoice.
There’s no “Hey, why don’t you turn up every week for eight weeks, I’ll figure out what you need as we go along and let’s see how it goes” . Instead the message I’m giving is “Don’t worry there’s a plan. I’ve got experience of this and I’ve done it many times before and I know what works, and I’m going to take you through it so you get the same end results that other people have got, which is to get more clients into your business.”
Your clients are also buying your confidence, your sense of conviction that you really can help them, and your compassion. Again, these have got nothing to do with you because the locus of your intention sits within the client. When this locus is sitting with you, it’s very hard for you to be expanded, to reach out and connect with that client in the way that they need. To make your conversation flow and make getting clients more comfortable, you need to move that focus away from you and and onto the client.
What to focus on instead of “selling yourself”
1. Your ideal client.
By getting absolutely crystal clear on your ideal client and their pain, their problems, their desires, their emotions, and as much about them as you possibly can, you create an emotional connection, and a sense of really wanting to deeply serve. The more clear and specific you can get, the easier it is for you to emotionally connect in to the idea of this client, and to start coming from a place where it’s all about them, instead of all about you.
2. The value you bring.
Do the work to connect in to the actual value that you bring to your clients. This is very different from valuing yourself personally. It is about valuing the work that you can do for the clients, and the transformation that you’ll bring to their lives. Like I said earlier, you don’t have to have high personal self-worth the recognise the profound value you can bring to others.
3. Communicating that value.
When you can clearly communicate and articulate the value of the work you do, your client just “gets it” and understands how you can help them. You feel a lot more comfortable because you’re no longer struggling and scrabbling to find the right words, as you increasingly realise that it’s not really landing for the client. It also leaves space for you to focus on showing that conviction and compassion. People don’t always have to like their practitioner, they don’t always have to “buy” you as a person, but they do need to feel that you understand, that you’re listening, and that you care.
Within my Get More Clients Saying Yes! programme, I take people through a process to help them to deeply connect with the value they bring to their clients, so that they can feel very confident when talking about it, and very confident about their pricing. And you don’t need to have had paying clients to be able to connect deeply to the sense of difference and transformation your work can bring to somebody’s life.
Working on these three things: your ideal client, the value you bring to them, and how to communicate that value means you can let go of the need to sell yourself to and become much more authentic, comfortable, and in flow.
If you’d like to work more deeply on any of these areas, watch out for my Get More Clients Saying Yes! course, which is going to be released soon. I only run it once a year during October and November, and I’ll be sharing the details for the 2020 round within the next few weeks – so stay tuned!
What about you? Have you been feeling awkward about sales because it feels so uncomfortable to “sell yourself” Has this article changed the way you feel about that? You know I always love to hear from you so please share in the comments below.
And of course, I’d love you to share this if you know anybody else that you think would find this useful.
With Love & Gratitude,