Selling stuff is a weird thing, most of us kinda feel like we need to do it, but unless you’re a natural salesperson, it feels a bit slimy if you do it wrong… and if you do it wrong again and again, then it’s probably one of the quickest ways for your self-esteem to go in the toilet.
Several years back I shared an office with someone who asked me to help with telesales during my quiet times, it was commission-only, well-paid if I signed people on, but I quickly discovered I am not the kind of person who can easily shrug off someone telling me to f*** off and slamming the phone down.
My relationship with selling is much better these days, I just don’t do it.
Not selling is probably one of the key decisions I made for me and my business and it fits in perfectly with my ongoing strategy of long-term over short-term.
There are different types of selling. If you use a cold approach and somehow manage to persuade someone to buy something from you that they weren’t ready for, there’s a chance they’re going to have buyers remorse afterwards and that’s not a good way to build relationships or a business.
You can approach people you know, which may work in some mutually beneficial situations but can be risky – and if you go in for a hard sell there’s a good chance you may kill that relationship altogether. I’ve seen it happen, no one wants to maintain a relationship with someone who only views them as a potential customer.
You can put generic sales posts up online and on social media, but if you don’t get it spot-on and you get no response then it can be extremely demoralising and can even put potential customers off.
There’s prospecting for new clients who fit your profile (or maybe they don’t), which feels a bit “old school” to me and a big waste of time.
Then there’s what I do, don’t sell at all.
I don’t put out sales messages, I don’t chase people up every five minutes who once showed interest, I don’t cold contact anyone with any intention of selling them anything. I market (a little) and I do good work (which gets referrals).
Then when people are ready, they let me know – I don’t pressure them, I don’t even really make any effort to close deals,… they just naturally happen when people are ready.
And it’s awesome! It feels like a much more natural way to interact with people, to build relationships and to start business organically than to try and force through a sale.
I do follow up with people occasionally but only those that have expressed an interest, and I leave it way longer than people tell me I should – usually before I have gotten around to following up with someone they have often already come back to me.
Because if you think about it, when you want to work with someone, doesn’t it feel better when you chose them and to start when you have decided you’re ready?
Not when someone is constantly harassing you and trying to close a deal with you, I’ve had this done to me and it’s made me cancel a few deals I had already agreed to in my mind.
Long-term always beats short-term, inbound beats outbound, and for me… if you’re good at what you do and market what you do right, then you’ll never need to sell another day in your life.
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