You didn’t ask to sell, but you’re more than capable

What’s the single most difficult aspect you’ve experienced when trying to sell? Was it the time you spent finding and verifying the right people to reach out to? Was it their limited to nonexistent response or interest, either over the phone or through email? Was it a frustration with the selling tools (or lack thereof) at your disposal?

Chances are, the greatest challenge to selling hasn’t been any of these—it’s been your own mindset. A lot of business owners have been forced into positions they didn’t expect, requiring them to be both entrepreneur and full-time sales leader. These solopreneurs aren’t alone—even small- to medium-sized companies are put in similar positions, doubling up their employees’ responsibilities and forcing them to be more agile in an economy that can be both unsettling and full of new opportunity, depending on the day of the week.

While this added responsibility may be necessary, it often forces people out of their comfort zones. That can lead to a fair share of self-doubt, whether it’s regarding strategies for how to sell, how to differentiate your business from your competitors, or knowing your actual sales cycle. What’s worse, you could fall victim to impostor syndrome, and question your own abilities or the value of what you’re offering.

Unless your sales role is causing you physical pain, don’t give up. You’ve got some options on where to go from here.

  • Less is more. Don’t overthink your sales approach, whether you’re talking to a prospect or someone who’s ready to buy. Use language that’s straightforward and easy to understand.
  • Don’t push. Most people don’t want to feel talked into buying. They want to feel comfortable with learning more about your products and services. Limit how many questions you ask them, and how much information you provide.
  • Manage your time. Chances are, you’re not going to close in a day. Don’t get let down when it takes some time, and a few emails, to hear back from people before they’re ready to talk business.
  • Sell by not selling. When sales pitches go up, prospects’ ears shut down. Aim for a conversation; the selling will happen on its own.

So, take a deep breath. Look yourself in the mirror, and let yourself know that you don’t have to fake it till you make it—you’ve already got the skill set you need.


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