A few weeks ago, I hosted a workshop with a small group of business owners in Zurich to help them grow their business and become the go-to experts in their fields.
One of the topics we discussed was sales, especially sales goals.
During the morning, I had several people talk to me about sales and their discomfort with selling. I decided to show them a video from Joe Polish on why selling is not evil.
People loved it and it sparked some very insightful discussions during the break.
Limiting Beliefs That Cripple Sales Results
When I started my business, I had the belief that sales is somewhat evil. I believed that I was not good at selling and I felt like the door-to-door vacuum cleaner salesman when the topic of sales was raised.
Many people that I encounter have the limiting belief that sales is not something good. Maybe they don’t think sales is inherently evil but certainly not something good.
During the first few months in my business, these limiting beliefs were holding me back from making sales and generating the revenue that I desperately needed to pay my rent.
It took a lot of work to get over these conflicting thoughts and I want to share some of the mindset changes that helped me overcome them.
1. See the Value of Getting Paid
It would have felt most comfortable in the beginning to “sell” my services for free. After all, I wanted to help as many people as possible and charging money felt extremely uncomfortable.
Fortunately, I had to make money to survive so I was forced to charge at least something for my services.
However, it took me a while to realize why selling my services for free is actually a disservice to my clients. Let me explain why.
Have you ever signed up for a free event?
How many of those have you actually attended?
Let’s say you sign up for a full day workshop that is completely free of charge.
You wake up the morning before and the weather forecast for tomorrow predicts perfect blue sky and exceptionally warm weather for October. The summer has not offered that many sunny days until now and it may be your last chance to go on that hike you planned to do all summer long.
So you decide to not go to the workshop and spend your time hiking that day. You have a great time and no longer think about the workshop.
The only problem is that you have missed out on that one idea and one connection at the workshop that would have altered your life and business in a big way.
Because you have not been at the event, you don’t go on that ride of a lifetime.
Now, let’s change only one slight detail and say that you paid CHF 5000.- to attend that full day workshop. Do you still choose to go for the hike? Most probably not.
You go to the workshop no matter what the weather looks like. You even go if it rains cats and dogs.
Because you paid a significant sum out of your own pocket, you will arrive 30 minutes early to meet some more people and pay close attention to every detail that you learn at the workshop.
You work hard during the working sessions to create that plan and to outline your ideas. Therefore, you walk away with a set of very clear actions that you take and implement right after the workshop.
You also make some extremely important connections with the other people at the event.
This leads into huge progress in your business and changes the quality of your life and your family’s life dramatically. You get to go on a ride of a lifetime.
Once I realized that when people pay for something, they are much more likely to take action and therefore get better results, I immediately became confident charging more for my services.
2. What You Have to Offer Changes People’s Lives
A while ago, I wrote about an email I got from a client who stated in great detail how and why I had changed her life completely. This was eye opening.
Once you realize that what you offer is enormously valuable, it’s a whole lot easier to understand, that the more people buy what you offer, the more lives you change.
If you understand that, it becomes your obligation to sell more of what you have to offer. Because if you don’t, you cut people off the chance to change their lives.
So for ever single service and every single product that you offer, think about how it changes people’s lives.
I guarantee you, if you think hard enough and be smart about it, you will see that no matter what you sell, it does change people’s lives.
And if you absolutely don’t see how your product or services changes people’s lives, you have to come up with something else to offer because every service or product that is successful in the long run changes people’s lives to some extent.
3. Offer People What They Want
When I started blogging about what I knew and my opinion on things, I received an enormous amount of feedback. In the first 4 weeks, I had over 4000 people read my very first publications on my blog and people started commenting and emailing me with thank you notes.
That’s when I realized that I talk about something that people want.
If you have limiting beliefs about selling, it may be that you don’t have full clarity if people desperately want what you have to offer. Because if you offer people what they desperately want, you don’t need to hard-sell.
I always hated cold-calling. I never enjoyed calling up strangers to sell them something they don’t really want. However, when I got into selling insurances at the age of 16, selling real estate at the age of 19 and then selling consultants for projects until I started my own business, I was taught that this is the best way to sell.
I have always been a rebel and never liked to be told what to do. I was also always looking for ways to make work more fun and meaningful.
I found that giving people what they actually want instead of selling them whatever we want to sell, is a lot more fun and a lot more profitable at the same time.
So I learned that selling is far from evil if you create value in the world. I also learned that it’s necessary to overcome these limiting beliefs about selling to change as many people’s lives as possible.
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