A big part of business is selling, even if you don’t have a product or a store. Succeeding in business means getting clients or customers to engage with your brand, service or idea, even if they aren’t buying products from you.
When you are trying to convince customers to sign on, join up or hand over any money, you are selling them something.
Furthermore, if you are in business, you need sales to survive. End of story.
But not everybody is a natural salesperson. And majority of clients I speak to hate selling. Especially when you are running your own business… talking about how great your stuff is compared to the next guy, just doesn’t feel right.
What generally happens when that icky feeling comes is that we:
- put up walls and our own self-beliefs come into play,
- make the buying experience harder for the customer,
- don’t follow up on leads,
- sabotage sales opportunities like nobody’s business,
- don’t tell anyone about our awesome stuff!!!
I know the deal, I’ve been there a thousand times myself.
So, today I want to share with you a few easy ways to sell when you don’t like selling!
1. Don’t think of it as selling, but as believing in the outcome
Your product might be yourself or your services, but you are still doing some form of selling. If you are running your own business, hopefully, you have some sort of passion for or belief in what your business offers. You can use this belief in your product or service as your selling point.
Don’t think of it as selling, but as telling people about something that you are passionate about. Try not think of the bottom line or the part where you ask them for money, but think of each sale as an opportunity to tell someone new about why you started your business, what you love about your brand or product, and why you are so awesome at what you do. The secret is to make your product speak to your customers in a relateable way.
No selling, just informing people all about one of your favourite subjects. Customers flow naturally from this space of passionate story telling.
And if they don’t love it, that’s okay too. Your product or business isn’t for everybody.
2. Find people you are comfortable selling to until you build confidence
When we are just starting out in business the very best place to start is with the people closest to us. This might seem a little scary, but if you can’t convince the people who love you and support you most of the qualities of your business, then who are you going to be able to sell to?
Try out your sales pitch on friends and family in the beginning and ask for constructive criticism (ask for gentle criticism if you think you might be a bit tender starting out).
I’ve even run service ideas past my kids because they are honest and ask the most obvious questions that often we forget to address in our sales pitch!
Social media is a fantastic way to reach out bit by bit. People that follow you or the groups you join offer a safe place of peers or interested customers to share your business with. Again, you are not approaching strangers or ‘cold-calling’ yet, so will hopefully still get gentle and positive feedback from these people.
Multi-level marketing opportunities start all of their selling networks with those people closest to them, and there is good reason for this. Confidence and practising the pitch is key.
3. Build your business on social media
Promoting your business or brand through social media platforms is a wonderful way to build an audience and engage with it, without actually trying to sell anything.
Social media is a great way to promote the philosophy behind your business rather than selling your products. This goes back to our first point about not selling, just informing people about why you believe in your business so much. When you do it on this level, posting regularly on social media can become quite fun.
The most successful businesses on social media don’t sell or promote their products directly but use the platform to connect with their audience, interest and intrigue them, make them laugh and solve problems for them. They do this to create a memorable and engaging brand that people naturally want to do business with.
4. Create Videos
It’s a well known fact that videos improve conversion rates and sales. So, when you have waded into the social media pool a little and managed not to drown, another couple of easy ways to sell are to share videos of yourself, your business story, your products, behind the scenes or info videos.
And if you aren’t a fan of getting in front of the camera (like me!), there’s always tools like Lumen5 that can turn your blog content into cool info videos. Go a step further and add a cartoon avatar that looks like you to a whiteboard video to promote your business.
Videos may sound a little daunting, but they are easier than selling directly to customers. And, it is still just another way to talk about something you believe in.
Another great aspect of video content is that as well as telling people why they need your product, you can talk them through using it once they have bought it. You could also create a welcome video for new customers. This type of content improves customer satisfaction, retention, and word of mouth.
Ideally, you should be making your product or service as easy and accessible for your audience as possible, which can include videos explaining how to assemble or use them, or video reviews from satisfied customers.
5. Get your product to sell itself
If you are one of those people that feels a little uncomfortable actively selling your products or business services to new people or approaching people cold, then work on making your product sell itself instead.
Blogging for your own website or on other sites is a clever way to put forward all of the features and benefits of your business. You will be putting all of the relevant information out there and making it easy for potential customers to find, but you don’t feel like you are shoving it down reluctant throats.
The best way to get your product to sell itself is to explain to people how it can solve their problem or make their life easier. Why do they need your product? How does it make the customer’s life better?
Invest in some of the following to give your offering the best chance at selling itself:
- great photos
- clever copy
- search engine optimisation
- solid branding
- professional packaging
- clear CTA
- optimised checkout process
6. Get other people to sell for you
A popular and easy way to sell online without you having to actively sell is by using the reach and influence of popular bloggers, social influencers, or affiliates. Its an excellent publicity tool and expands the reach of your brand.
You can also initiate the help of your existing customers as well by asking for reviews on your website or social media pages. Having a few five-star reviews on Google My Business or on your Facebook page is a nice way to give new customers confidence that you know what you are doing. Read more on how to encourage customer reviews.
Word of mouth is an easy way to sell as it shortens the buying cycle and dramatically increases conversion without you having to promote yourself all the time; other people are doing that for you.
And, if budget permits and you reallllly hate selling, hire a sales person.
7. Make SEO a critical part of your marketing strategy
Last but not least, make your business, your products or services, and yourself suuuuuuper easy to find online. You can do this in two ways: optimise your online presence and invest in search engine optimisation.
Optimise your online presence to ensure all aspects of your online profile are consistent, branded, and linked back to your business hub (be that your website, Facebook page, Etsy store, etc). This way no matter where people find you, they can easily find out more or buy from you.
Search engine optimisation will become your best friend if you hate selling face-to-face and/or dont have much in the way of an advertising budget. Optimise your website, social channels, blog content, business directory listings, and videos so that your message and business can be found under popular search terms. Creating optimised content (or product listings) helps your business rank for key search terms, expanding your organic reach, inviting more organic traffic, and basically bringing customers to you instead of you having to find them.
Want to learn more about how to get started with SEO? Browse these blogs or book in for a personalised SEO training session with me.
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Strategic Optimisation + Growth consultant for lean start-ups and change-making entrepreneurs enabling them to grow their business in a sustainable and profitable way. My super-powers are customer experience optimisation, SEO, and leveraging data insights for business growth. #fuelledbycoffee