Hey everyone, I hope you're having a great Christmas and holiday season! In the spirit of the new year just around the corner, there is one question that is IMPERATIVE to ask yourself:
Is there anything holding you back from making 2017 a phenomenal year in your business?
The fact is that most creatives have extensive training and/or experience perfecting their craft, their creative talent and skills. But few have any business background outside of what they’ve learned through starting their own gig. Of those who do get some training, it’s rarely ever in sales.
Whenever I talk about sales, my creative friends cringe. And, admittedly, I used to cringe too. I HATED talking on the phone, so even the thought of calling someone I didn't know would turn my stomach. In conversations, I regularly stumbled through words and struggled to articulate myself well. Selling someone anything made me want to run out of the room to sit back behind my computer, camera, and guitar because that's where I knew I was GOOD at what I did. That's where I was safe and sure of myself. Unfortunately, I never accomplished my income goals either.
I never found true financial or creative freedom because I was a slave to my fears.
When I was still in school, I used to tell people that I could do anything except sales. But what I didn’t know at the time is that sales is not just how you sell your portfolio and obtain clients - it’s also how you sell your value, build relationships, and turn those clients into repeat customers.
In other words, sales is integral to everything you do as a creative professional.
But there are some important myths about selling that tend to fan the flames of fear. These are what I’ve discovered to be the top three myths about selling:
1) Selling is manipulative.
No, manipulative selling is manipulative. One of the biggest reasons creative professionals are so afraid of truly selling the value of their craft is because society keeps hanging on to the myth that selling is equivalent to manipulation. Ugh. It leaves a bad taste in our mouths.
But the truth is, if you have a great product or service, you don’t need to manipulate anything in order to sell it. You just need to understand what you’re doing, how to manage your sales process, and how to make the sale. Your passion for a great product will do the rest.
2) Everybody hates salespeople.
Let’s be honest - we all just want to be liked. So the idea of being a salesperson makes us recoil, and we retreat back to our “fine” little caves where clients occasionally find us through a referral. But that’s because when we think of salesperson, we still think of the stereotypical obnoxious car salesman, or a dude from the 1950s going door to door with a weird machine that literally no one needs, trying to rip people off on something that is utterly useless.
The truth is everyone doesn’t hate salespeople. We all hate BAD salespeople. Manipulating and twisting the truth and making people feel uncomfortable are not the traits of a good salesperson, and it will never lead to long-term success.
3) Selling is all about the salesperson, not the customer.
Did you know that the lowest performing salespeople are the ones who talk too much? Research shows that to be the most effective, you need ask a variety of questions in order to truly understand your customers, their needs, their goals, their problems, and the implications of those problems. In sales, the more you make it about you, the less you actually sell.
If you can mentally get yourself to recognize these myths as lies, and rewire your brain toward the truth of what really great selling is, then you will already be miles ahead of your competition.
What is your perspective? What hurdles with selling have you had to overcome in order to be successful? What fears are you battling that are holding you back in your business?