Call it a mindset, or an attitude, but the word sales can strike fear in the hearts of many businesswomen. As a woman in business, you know that to start, grow and stay in business you must have a marketable product. You also realize that if no one is purchasing this product, your business will not be profitable.
Selling products at a profit makes complete business sense. Why then do so many enthusiastic entrepreneurial women falter when it comes to asking potential customers or clients for the sale?
Let’s take a look at belief systems. Your belief system regarding sales, selling and salespeople is tied closely to your perception of how others will react when asked to make a buying decision. Mental and emotional “truths” learned from childhood and adult experiences have formed negative and positive attitudes about selling and buying.
As part of our sales training process, we'll look at some beliefs and mental attitudes women in business may have about sales and selling:
1. Selling is very personal.
It’s more than the physical exchanging of a product for money; it is placing a value on your service or product. Emotionally, the service or product is an extension of yourself.
Ask yourself: Is the sale of my product closely tied to how positively or negatively I feel about myself as a person? If I don’t make the sale or someone rejects my product, does my self-esteem or self-confidence suffer? To paraphrase Donald Trump, “It isn’t personal, it’s just business.”
2. Women should never be pushy or aggressive.
As girls, many of us were taught to be relatively passive. In our adult minds, selling feels pushy and aggressive, and we may believe it is more important to be liked than to “push” a product or service on someone.
Ask yourself: What constitutes pushy? Is it pushy or aggressive to share a product or service that could potentially enhance lives, save time or change someone’s future for the better? How can you, as a successful business owner, reconcile selling your product or service with not being “pushy?”
3. Belief in your product, and yourself, is vital to business success.
Belief is about knowing, without a doubt, that what you are offering can make a positive difference. Belief is transmitted to potential clients and customers through sincere enthusiasm. Your attitude and belief about the importance of the product you are offering is reflected in how openly and excitedly you share the product.
Ask yourself: Do I truly believe my service or product is of benefit to others? Am I proud of what my business is offering? If the answer is yes, then why would you hesitate to share it with the world? Aren’t you doing a disservice to potential customers and clients if they don’t know about what you are offering?
4. Women have a difficult time bragging about themselves.
If a product or service is connected to something we provide personally, or something we’ve actually created ourselves, it may be difficult to talk about how great it is.
Ask yourself: If a friend’s expertise or talent created this product would I be more willing to ask others to buy? Am I reluctant to ask for the sale because I created it or because it involves my own expertise? Do I truly believe others will pay for my creativity and expertise?
5. I’d rather be liked than rich.
Women in business sometimes have difficulty balancing the need for being liked with the desire to achieve success. To some women entrepreneurs, success becomes an either/or situation.
Ask yourself: What are my personal values and beliefs about my right to make and enjoy money? Can I be a successful woman entrepreneur and still have the love of family and friends? Why wouldn’t my friends or family rejoice in my successes?
Selling is as much an emotional state as it is an act of exchanging value for products or services. Your positive or negative belief system regarding making money by selling your product or service is apt to determine the success or failure of your business. If you are hesitant to sell your service or product, it is time to discover why selling is a struggle. Something you are doing, thinking, or saying is preventing you from selling your product or service with unwavering belief.
Women are naturals at sales. We sell our ideas and beliefs daily to our families. As women entrepreneurs, we need to apply that same natural ability to promoting and selling our own products and services.
About the Author
Sharon Michaels is a business coach and the author of How to Give Yourself the Power to Succeed (EmPOWERing Publications, 1996). She produces and hosts the weekly radio show, Women Enjoying Success, interviewing and sharing the strategies of self-made successful women. Learn more at: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/Sharon-Michaels . Read Sharon’s blog,http://www.SharonMichaels.com/powertosucceed , check out her weekly Ezine, Unlimited Success for Women and visit her website at http://www.sharonmichaels.com