Are you selling your soul for your business?
I hope so
I love marketing. It’s fun, creative and intriguing. It has immense power to touch lives. But I totally understand why it gets a bad rap. Tactics, persuasion, the act of selling makes us feel immensely uncomfortable.
Why is there such inherent discomfort in persuading people to buy?
This is, of course, not a black and white issue. The range of greys is pretty impressive. But there are some common core reasons that we need to understand in order to move beyond them and it is all about perspective.
Like it or not we second guess ourselves – Am I good enough? Can I really charge that? Will I deliver what I aim to deliver?
These questions are valuable but left to fester, they can paralyse a business. They need to be turned on their heads – What can I do to deliver value that reflects the price? What approaches and systems can I put in place to guarantee that I deliver my end of the bargain? And of course – being clear about exactly why you are the right person to do this.
As entrepreneurs we have to challenge our own thoughts and turn them to our advantage, because there are two sides to every story.
Unless you are an emotionless automaton, giving brings joy. Sharing makes us feel good and sharing our skills boosts our confidence. As humans, giving is important.
But there has to be balance – we must be open to receiving. Receiving customers and clients, praise, accepting being financially rewarded for the gifts we share with others is essential. For many running our own businesses, it’s a bit of a shock to the system to realise that we have a problem receiving money in exchange for what we sell.
It feels as though we are betraying our own values, losing our integrity and taking advantage of others to advance ourselves. It feels selfish.
It’s not logical, we know that. But it is there none the less. More concerning is that it is one of the biggest business saboteurs. It makes us hold back from standing behind what we truly believe about what we can achieve.
Why did you decide to create your own business? To share your skills? To create change? To solve a problem? What made you believe then that you were the right person to do this?
What you felt then is still true – you can and should believe that you deserve to receive for the quality of what you create. Selling is simply an exchange where customers pay you for what you create because they value it (probably more than you do!).
Fear of Rejection
For just about every single new business owner, there is an enormous problem – focusing on a specific customer. We are scared to exclude people from buying because we want anyone to be able to buy from us. Finding a specific niche and focusing on it scares the living daylights out of us.
We want to be available to everyone partly because we don’t want to hear “NO”. Dealing with no’s is one of the most uncomfortable aspects of being a human and in business we put ourselves in the path of “NO” every single day. Marketing to everyone is a defence mechanism against “NO” which ironically brings us right up against it far more frequently than is comfortable. “I can’t afford it”, “I need to think about it”, “I’m not ready” are the no’s you will hear when you are in fear of rejection. If you want to really deal with the fear of rejection, you need to turn this on its head.
No is a good thing. No means that person doesn’t really value what you offer, no means that you get a better understanding of what really matters about what you offer and how you can improve. No is taking you ever closer to people who will say ”are you kidding, of course it’s yes”. No is a kick up the proverbial to move forwards.
The Sleazy Sale
With your clever words and banter you are taking away people’s free will and immorally forcing them to part with their hard earned cash. You really suck as a human being.
That’s how we feel, but is it real?
Did you find out what their problem was and what they needed? Did you use your expertise to get to the root of their need and genuinely feel that this was the right choice? Did you give them the space to weigh up the pros and cons and make their own decision? Did you tell it like it is?
If you did all these things, then what happened was a positive thing. You created a spark of energy that will help them.
Selling is a matter of perspective. You aren’t clambering over others to advance yourself. The path you have walked is not strewn with wreckage – it is filled with energy and positivity. The path before you is shining brightly with optimism and value. The light that shines on this path is your soul.
Business becomes so logical, so system led that we forget about the spirit, the intent, the magic. We forget about selling with soul.
If the intent of your business is to bring joy, create change, create new opportunities then you are bringing light to the darkness, you are bringing transformations to life and you are creating energy that will change the lives of others and maybe even the world.
Energy and intent are the soul of your business, the energy that will flow through you and the people you work with. This is your quest. And this is where your soulful marketing journey begins.