Why is sales so difficult when you care?
I find I spend a lot of time immersed in the hearts and minds of my “ideal client” when I’m writing my blogs or preparing video content. It’s an ongoing reflection that allows me to continuously deepen my understanding of what my ideal client needs and what her problems are – that way, I can always be sure that I’m offering the value that “she” needs when I communicate with her.
Recently I was in this reflective process and it got me thinking…..
Why is sales so darned difficult for heart-centred business owners?
Because after all, if we really care about our clients and want the best for them then, of course, we do want them to make that decision to work with us.
But the very fact that we do care so much makes sales so much more difficult than it would be if we didn’t.
After all, it’s not just about learning a structure. It’s not about the “how to” of sales.
If it was as easy as that I wouldn’t even have a business! You would have all gone off and got yourself some good old traditional sales training a long time ago and be off merrily “closing sales”, “handling objections” and filling up your diaries – you wouldn’t even be reading this.
But for a heart-centred business owner, it’s SO not about the process.
It’s about all the other “stuff”
- Caring deeply about others and feeling drawn to want to help them – not only because you’re about to take money off them
- Fear of coming across as pushy because you only want what’s best for people and you’d be mortified if anyone thought you were trying to push them into anything
- Fear of rejection. You’re so sensitive you don’t know how you’d handle it if the client says no, or even whether you’d ever bounce back from it, so it feels safer not to even ask
- Being naturally introverted so that even just getting a conversation started with someone you don’t know feels difficult – never mind being the one who is supposed to lead it!
- Wanting to keep things flowing and organic in your business so that it feels good and authentic, then getting confused and frustrated when you don’t end up with enough clients
- Not valuing your work enough to charge what you are worth or have confident conversations with people about working with you.
And I could go on …. there’s plenty more!
So it’s really no wonder that sales is so difficult when you care about others.
But allowing all of this to get in the way means that you are not making a difference to as many people as you could. This isn’t good for your business, and it’s definitely not good for your clients.
So for a heart-centred business owner, a big part of the process of getting good at supporting your client and helping them to make the best decision for them is actually as much about working on your own “stuff” (yes, that’s a technical term) as it is about learning structures and processes.
So what can we do about this “stuff”?
Well in my experience we move through and shift some of these blocks in different ways.
It can happen instantly with just a realisation…
I remember the day, back in my corporate sales role, when I was still new to making “cold calls” and very nervous (my previous job had been “inbound” sales which meant the customer called us) and I used a post-it note to keep track of my calls. For every call where I got through to someone, I marked a line – even if they hung up on me or swore at me. After a few hours, I realised that I never even got to 10 lines without getting through to someone who would engage in conversation, agree to have a meeting, or actually buy from me. At that moment I gained a different understanding of rejection – each “no” was bringing me one step closer to a “yes” and I stopped being so afraid of it.
It can “drop in” when we’re not expecting it
I remember being on a VIP Strategy day with a client a number years ago when my fees were a lot lower than they are today. Partway through the day it suddenly struck me “My gosh, I’m giving her so much! She’s going to walk right out this door at the end of the day and go and grow a 6 figure business based on what I’ve given her. I’m not charging enough”. I actually felt embarrassed at how much I was sharing in relation to what I was charging and the value she was getting. I also felt I wasn’t being a good role model with my pricing. From that day I doubled my prices for 121 work. I wasn’t actively “working” on my pricing. It just happened!
Sometimes it’s a longer process – an ongoing journey
I’m a natural introvert and so there is always a huge resistance for me to anything that in any way involves “putting myself out there” and drawing attention to myself (not the greatest quality for business, uh?). Even writing articles like this is never an easy process. As for video – well, I forever tell myself I needed to do more… things like that don’t come ‘naturally’ to me.
Yet with all that said I do put out regular content (though these days I repurpose a lot), I give talks and interviews, I run webinars and hold live events and I always fill my programmes. So it’s not like I don’t get on and do what I need to do. This discomfort isn’t something I “worked on” and broke through in order to run my business. Instead, I accept it as part of my journey and I do what I need to do despite it. After all, I wouldn’t be able to reach and help many people if I didn’t – and where would be the fulfillment in that?
And sometimes we do the inner work
And every now and then, if something is holding me back too much I’ll get help. If I’m experiencing pain rather than discomfort, paralysis rather than procrastination and it’s actually stopping me from moving forward, I’ll invest time and money in working with an expert to help me shift those inner gremlins. And I’ve done this many many times since I started my business (you don’t really think I’d have got this far otherwise do you?)
So before I finish for today I’d love you to take a moment to look back through that list at the top of the page and identify:
What is the one thing that’s holding you back the most when it comes to you serving and helping more people through to having authentic sales conversations?
What one thing can you do today to start to shift it? This could be:
- Record and send out that video you’ve been thinking about making… (despite the discomfort)
- Pick up the phone to finally make that appointment to start working on some of your inner blocks to sales and business
- Reach out to follow up with a potential client to give them a gentle nudge to go ahead and work with you – just because you care
- Get in touch with your value by writing up a list of the 10 ways that someone’s life could change for the better as a result of working with you
- Learn a structure so that you can start to feel a greater sense of control around your sales conversations. You can get started with my free video training “The 7 Steps to Yes!”
Or maybe for you, it’s something else – do let me know!
Make sure you pop a note in the comments to let me know what it is that’s holding you back and what you are going to do about it – and then go do it!
With Love & Gratitude,
Very interesting to read your own sales related challenges and how you overcome them. I like the post-it note idea. At the moment I’m working on building some sort of a profile (people knowing I exist and what I am trying to do) so your selling from speaking training is really helpful. I’ve nearly finished the video training now and have the outline of a talk developing which I can then start to market. So I suppose my main difficulty is being confident enough in being ‘out there’ and known.
Your insights amaze me. Thanks for sharing then.
Thank you Bonnie. I’m so happy that you appreciate what I share. And thanks for taking the trouble to let me know – it means a lot x
I discovered I’m a ‘nurturer’ in business, this means, like your example of doubling your fees, I give away tons of knowledge and help to people without realising it until its too late. So, I’m powering down to package up this knowledge so the difference I make in womens lives receives the money exchange I deserve. Got this ‘aha’ moment that my net worth is related to my self worth. Along with your splendid course and generous sharing of your knowledge and the book Worthy – boost your self worth to grow your net worth. Just got a big yes from a client for continued work with me at a great price. Yippee.
Ooh the Nurturer. I like that description! I’m working on a new Authentic Sales Style Quiz and that would be the perfect name for one of the styles (current working name The Supporter). Great news on the client and for starting to charge what you’re worth and get the money exchange you deserve – for many of us it is very much a journey to connect with the value we bring.