Updated: Mar 3
If the thought of selling and persuading people to buy your products and services makes you want to hide in a cupboard then read on as there is hope!
Many business owners think of sales as sleazy, awkward, unethical, and annoying. Maybe you still think about that second-hand car salesman cliché, you remember the one that wears the blue polyester suit, talks too much whilst increasing the pressure on his poor unsuspecting customer.
If you dislike sales, you aren’t alone. But I’m afraid if you run your own business then it’s part of the job description. The good news is there is a way to sell with integrity and in a way that aligns with your values.
I’ve always enjoyed selling and I believe we can all sell in a way that feels great for us. We have a choice about how we sell and how we view it. For me selling is about working collaboratively with your client to find the best solution to their problem so selling is serving. It’s about taking a genuine interest in the person and helping them to solve a problem. Sound good? Let’s have a quick look at what this looks like is practice.
Here are my top tips for selling with integrity:
1. Listen well
Active listening builds rapport and can help you build great relationships. Put your client at the heart of your conversation. Be curious and ask questions. Learn about their problems and listen to how they feel and make sure you understand what they need.
Take a moment to recognise how your potential client is feeling and try and put yourself in their position. Showing a deeper understanding of their situation helps you build trust and create the foundations of a partnership. When you truly understand them and the problems they have, the process of sharing your knowledge and expertise will be of great value.
3. Be honest and transparent
Be open and honest about how your service can help your clients. Equally its important to be honest about the limitations of you service and to highlight where you can’t help even if it means walking away from a sale. Never overpromise what you can deliver and be cautious about what you guarantee. If you guarantee certain results you must deliver them. Sharing openly and honestly means you will build trust and ensure you only work with clients who you can truly help which will help your business to grow. Your future client will appreciate your honesty.
4. Be generous
If the time isn’t right for someone to work with you be patient and respectful of this, never push or pile the pressure. Continue to help and support them in any way you can. It can take 6-12 months after connecting with a prospect to want to work with you. Find ways to help them, for example could you share helpful content with them? Give generously and support your prospects in the best way you can and focus on.
5. Be yourself
You don’t need to change your personality and try to be someone else to sell. You don’t have to be loud, extrovert or bubbly, you just need to be yourself whatever that looks like. Of course we need to be passionate and enthusiastic about what we do and how we help but you present that in a way that’s true to who you are. Let your future customer get to know you and like you because that’s who they’re buying.
So, let’s declare the polyester suit man officially retired and let’s get out there and sell from the heart. Be your yourself. Be honest. Build brilliant relationships and serve your future clients well.
If you’d like more support with sales and marketing the starting point is often around what you're selling and to who. It starts with the decision around your specialism or niche, CLICK HERE to read more on this topic.