How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Love Sales
I don’t like selling.
If selling means manipulating the conversation so you buy something you don’t want or need, then actually, I HATE selling.
But I’m learning that selling isn’t about manipulation. It’s not about closing or conversion or squeeze pages either.
People want to know what you’re up to. You need to tell them.
It seems that I’ve always had a newsletter of some type, but when we opened Orange Boot Bakery, all of a sudden I had a sales newsletter. Yuck!
I resisted “selling” in the newsletter. I’d send out a note to 1500 people who wanted to hear from us and tell all kinds of stories, about life at the bakery, or events happening in the neighbourhood. But I didn’t really talk much about our products.
Then one day, a newsletter subscriber told me why she subscribed to the newsletter. She loved the stories, but she really wanted to make sure she didn’t miss any of our specials. If we made a Mother’s Day basket, she wanted to get at least one, and likely more than one.
One the other hand, she didn’t want to drive all the way down to the bakery to see what was on special. She’d gladly make the special trip once she knew what to expect.
My lesson here is that you need to tell ‘The People’ what you’re making. Whether it’s a loaf of bread or a website design package or a lawn care contract, people want to know what you offer.
Sales is Helping People Decide
Now, I’m not exactly a fast learner. And even though I learned one lesson at the bakery, I still resisted selling my services, whether it was backyard bread, business coaching or even membership in the Right Company.
People would ask me with genuine interest and I’d be shy and vague. Yeah, I kinda bake from time to time. Sure, I’m pretty good at figuring out production systems. That kind of thing.
But then I learned a bigger lesson. I could either explain myself right up front or spend hours and hours dealing with confused or disappointed customers later. My reluctance to stand up and ‘sell’ my services caused more work for me and for my customers.
There’s nothing worse than having a customer buy something and then say “this isn’t what I expected.”
Much better to hear “Thanks, I understand what it is, but it’s not for me” before someone buys from you.
So say what you do and how to buy from you right up front and centre, whether it’s on your website, in your brochure of if you’re asked in person. Make it easy to understand and easy for the reader to decide.
Besides, it’s a lot more fun to work with people who understand you and say “Heck Yeah!”, than convince someone who’s confused and undecided.
PS - If you’re not buying what I’m selling in this post, then check out this video for an example of the ‘all things to all people’ approach. I’m kidding though. Please don’t copy this. “Figure out the puzzle of our lives?” Yeesh!
What do you think? Is your sales copy clear and complete? Do people know what you do and how to get it? Do you have a sales phobia too? Let’s talk about it in the comments!