“Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it’s thinking of yourself less.”
Rather than focusing on negative perceptions around the fear of being rejected when in the selling process, ask yourself instead – if you were your customer, What’s in it for ME? Why would I want your product or service?
You mean it’s not about me?
I want you to write W.I.I.F.M. in big letters somewhere you can see this daily. Every time you are about to make a sales call, think W.I.I.F.M. remembering all the time that the ME is your customer and of course not yourself.
The benefits of delving deep into W.I.I.F.M. is that you will understand the concept that you ren’t really selling anything, you are creating an opportunity for people to buy what they want, what they need from you that wouldn’t be possible if you hadn’t presented your product.
How often have you had a situation where you have caught up with someone you have met and they have just spent money on a product or service that you offer but they didn’t think of coming to you because they weren’t clear on what you could offer? Even though you are positive you have told them about your product or service in the past.
One of the foremost mistakes I see made by entrepreneurs is they try to sell their product or service without any genuine understanding of what the clients’ needs might be. This is very obvious at networking events where people spend the entire time explaining what their product does rather than finding out what their contact might need. I see this time & time again when entrepreneurs present their social pitch. It is often a mouthful of words that are filled with jargon and offering lots of solutions to problems that the listener may not have any interest. In other words unmemorable, or possibly memorable for the wrong reasons.
The reason most people attend networking events is to build their database of contacts but plenty also expect to make a sale. If you are expecting to make a sale at the first contact with a pospect then you most likely will be isappointed. This is good news. It now means you can network, cold-call etc. without any fear of rejection because you are not trying to sell anything.
A rule of thumb to remember is a prospect will require either seven hours of contact or eleven touches at four locations before they will buy from you.
(Points of contact can be a business card, networking, a phone call, newsletter, email, your website, free offer, a speaking engagement, blog, twitter message, Facebook invite etc. Variety is good. Remember to be strategic)
Great! The pressures off. You are on your way to becoming confident in the selling process – because you aren’t selling.
One of my sales team, *April, was so terrified of cold-calling, she would find every excuse under the sun to avoid ever doing it. I was regularly disappointed that she wouldn’t take the necessary steps to grow her business. As a commission based sales person who was always struggling to make ends meet and afford to pay for any unplanned expenses, I knew she was missing out on a lot of opportunities by not cold-calling new business. A lot of extra income was available to her if only she had the confidence to cold-call. As her manager it was also crucial for our company that I encouraged her to grow her customer base. *April always had a very strong commitment to customer service. So when she truly understood the concept that she was letting prospective clients down by not supplying them; in this case it was first aid equipment; it was reasonably easy to get her to enthused to build her business by calling on new prospects. Just because she believed she provided better service and products than her competitors was not enough for her to have her confidently growing her business. When she transformed that belief into a core conviction, she became a cold-calling champion and grew her business in leaps and bounds.
She told me that without that training to change her mindset, she struggled with the concept that she was annoying people by contacting them and asking for business, rather than doing them a disservice by not doing so. She said she had struggled getting past that hurdle by herself. But once she did, she increased her income to a level where she could comfortably cover all unplanned expenses.
*April was like many other women in business I’ve coached who are often consumed with making plans and creating ideas rather than taking the action required to generate more real business. Busy being busy rather than doing. Time and time again, I’ve see this avoidance and ationalisation of activity. People are so reluctant to cold-call because they don’t know how that they fill their days up with busyness rather than choosing the actions necessary to generate business. By shifting the focus to what the customer needs and wants by pin pointing the W.I.I.F.M. will enable you to overcome the aversion to selling and putting yourself in front of prospects.
*Name changed to protect privacy”