Why is sales so difficult when you care?
I’ve been flying below the radar a bit just recently. In fact it’s been a whole month (blimey, how did that happen??) since I last wrote an article for the blog.
I wish I could say it was down to this glorious British summer and that I’ve been too busy basking by the pool at the local lido, or reading books under the trees in the park. But nothing so relaxing. Instead I got thrown off track first by moving home (which has been wonderful – more on that to follow) and then getting deep into a rebrand and new website project that’s taken longer than expected (don’t they always??). But we’re nearly there and I can’t wait to show it off to you in the next week or two!
This means that for the past few weeks I’ve been spending my days immersed in the hearts and minds of my “ideal client” while I write the website copy and design the website journey to meet her needs.
And it’s got me to 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” is it?
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, solid, 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 not about the process.
It’s about all the other “stuff”
- Caring deeply about others and feeling drawn to want to help them anyway – not only because you’ve just taken their money off them
- Feeling conflicted about whether it’s even OK to charge money for helping people – doesn’t that make you a “bad” person?
- 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, 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 the 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.Why sales is so difficult when you care about others. Click To Tweet
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) when 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 got to 10 lines without getting through to someone who would engage in conversation, agree to have a meeting or actually buy from me. In 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 clearly being on a VIP Strategy day with a client a few years ago when my fees were a lot lower than they are today. Part way 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. I’m not charging enough”. I actually felt embarrassment 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 anyway involves “putting myself out there” and drawing attention to myself (not the greatest quality for business, uh?). You’ll notice that don’t post much on social media and writing articles like this is never an easy process. And as for video – well, I’m forever telling myself I’m going to do more… keep on watching this space!
Yet with all that said I do put out regular articles. I do make video (though I could definitely do a lot more). 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. But 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 fulfilment 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 move 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 having authentic sales conversations?
What one thing can you to 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 – 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 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!