By Josh Martin.
One of the hardest parts of working in sales or marketing for people is the concept of “selling” products or services to people. There is a bad taste in one’s mouth when selling is brought up as it can result in feeling that people are being used. The shame involved in the perception that the seller is “using” the buyer and “taking advantage” of the friendship is a real struggle. No one likes to feel used or objectified, rather we all want to be seen and treated as a human.
How can people overcome this barrier of “selling” a product or service to someone? Four words: Focus on the pain.
When you are focused on the pain, you will be able to communicate more clearly the proper balance of them having a problem and you having the solution. This is nothing to be ashamed about! Would you feel guilty for helping a person with their load of groceries when they’re walking to the house from their car? Of course not! Just because an exchange of currency exists doesn’t have to change the feelings associated with the services provided through the relationship.
Sales is all about a transfer of confidence. The best way to transfer confidence is to genuinely have it in the first place. It’s not only necessary to believe in the product or service you’re offering but also in your right to sell it in the first place!
When you are starting out, either with a new product or new market, the best place to start is with the people with whom you have a former relationship. By operating on the foundation already established, there will be less need to generate the trust or respect necessary to have any form of relationship. However, due to the former trust, which is good on one hand, there is a potential for hurt as well. Acknowledging the presence of this potential will not only allow you to navigate around it by setting clear expectations, but also make sure the ensuing relationship will be one of benefit for both. Find ways to demonstrate a care for and connection with the person.
The best way to safeguard against potential damage is to honor the person through honesty. To do this, be real in conversation, don’t push anyone into anything they’re not ready for, and be open and casual with conversation, but formal in negotiations and proceedings. Maintaining a personal yet professional relationship is tough to balance, but when done well will result in the best possible outcome for both parties.
In that place of honesty, focus on the pain. Find the problem and convince the prospective client that not only do you care about them, but you see the problem they have (even if they don’t), and you have a way to solve it. Believe in your product. Trust in your right to offer it. Focus on the pain. Remember you’re the “good person”. Happy closing!
Bio: Coming from a diverse background comprised of everything from service industry to cause-related and everything in between, Josh brings a personal and professional line of thinking to EasySocial. Recently hired to establish the brand in Seattle, WA, Josh is passionate about brand strategy, content marketing, and empowering small businesses through mutually beneficial relationships. A strong communicator both verbally and written, his role as a Digital Marketing Consultant allows him to foster meaningful connections in order to assist clients in meeting needs and goals. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.