How to Stop Hating Sales & Attract More Customers
You want to know how you can stop hating sales and attract more customers? Because, deep down, you know that will mean more sales and more income. I’ve felt that too so I started to investigate how I could be a happier more confident salesperson. This is what I found…
To stop hating sales you need to see sales, sales people and the sales process in a new light. You need to break down and remove any negative ideas lingering in your mind and replace them with new empowering thoughts that see the good in sales.
Today, we’re going to start that process, so you can begin to be a better salesperson. But don’t worry I’m not going to turn you into a number-driven robot. You’ll be a new type of seller, 100% authentic to your values. Read on and see how it’s done.
If You’re Keen to Make More Sales, but are More Creative Than “Salesy”, You Need to Be a new Kind of Salesperson.
In the greetings and giftware industry, we’re incredibly lucky.
Our days are about giving beautiful things. Greeting cards that make people smile. A gift that brings joy to a loved one.
Designers, makers, publishers and retailers in our industry spend their days creating amazing things that spread happiness.
We’re incredibly lucky.
There is however another side to the coin.
While one side is undoubtedly about fun, joy & celebration on the other side is a secret struggle.
And it’s a struggle that kills amazing card & gift businesses every single day.
Sadly, I’ve witnessed this far too often. One of the most awful tasks I have to do running a website that promotes card & gift brands is to remove links to companies no longer in business.
Over the last 10+ years, I’ve removed hundreds of businesses from my website and it’s heartbreaking every single time.
You see, the problem is that many greetings and giftware businesses are struggling.
Struggling to get noticed, struggling to find customers and struggling to make the sales they need to survive.
And the most common culprit I’ve found behind these struggles… hating sales.
Why Do Some Businesses Sell Their Products Like Hot Cakes, While Others Struggle?
So why do some card and gift companies fail while others flourish?
It’s the obvious question, isn’t it? I’ve seen hundreds of small businesses fail and I’ve seen hundreds succeed – so what’s the difference?
On the surface, there are many reasons why card & gift businesses close. I even wrote an article on this very subject, ‘Why Card & Gift Businesses Close‘.
But I think the biggest reason, and one that is behind many other issues is a lack of sales.
Low sales impact income, cash flow, budgets for products, staff, marketing and so much more.
If you don’t have the sales, you don’t have the money you need to invest and stay in business.
When I look at sales, there seem to be 3 must-have ingredients.
- Knowledge – you need to know the systems and strategies of how you sell a product.
- Creativity – you need to be able to think of creative ways to adapt those strategies for your unique business.
- Mindset – you need the mindset to take action, whether it’s working on items 1 & 2 or just following through on your sales plan.
Card & gift companies need all 3 ingredients to get the sales they need to thrive so let’s take a look at each one.
#Ingredient 1 ~ Knowledge
Good news! Gaining knowledge is an easy fix.
If you need to improve your sales knowledge you could hire an expert, read a dozen sales books or take a course to learn what you need to know.
In fact, my Sales Boosting Toolkit training was designed for that exact purpose!
#Ingredient 2 ~ Creativity
Creativity is also pretty straightforward, especially for the card & gift industry.
Our industry is jam-packed with creativity.
Thinking creatively is also a muscle that improves the more you practice.
Try thinking creative thoughts for 10 minutes every day and you’ll soon find that ideas begin to form more easily in the mind the more you practice.
#Ingredient 3 ~ Mindset
The mindset ingredient is where things get tricky.
The more I listen to card & gift business owners talking about sales and selling, the more frequently I hear negative beliefs.
I hear designers, makers, publishers, sometimes even retailers say…
“I hate selling”
“It’s not about the money, I want to do what I love”
“I’m not a salesperson”
“I don’t want to be pushy”
“I can’t force people to buy from me”
“I couldn’t face bringing up money”
“I’d die of embarrassment if I had to ask someone to buy from me”
“It’s difficult for everyone now, so we can’t expect people to be spending lots”.
“I’m not making enough sales, but I’ve no clue why”
“I don’t really know anything about selling”
These ideas have hundreds of variations, maybe you have your own ideas that can add to the mix.
Negative Beliefs + Sales = Killer Combination
When it comes to sales and selling there’s an added level of complexity to negative beliefs.
A negative belief could be about the art of selling “I hate selling, it’s so pushy and that’s not me”
Or the belief could be about money (a key part of the sales process) “money is very tight for everyone at the moment”
The negative belief could even be about something, which seems irrelevant such as writing, speaking in public or making a phone call. But when you consider having to write a sales email or letter, pitching to buyers or calling a potential stockist these unrelated tasks are all part of the sales process.
The BIG Problem With Negative Thoughts
A few negative thoughts might not seem like a big deal, but the truth is they can be a HUGE hurdle to success.
The problem with negative thoughts is that they can develop into limiting beliefs.
Imagine you had this thought…
“I hate speaking on the phone, I always trip over my words and sound like an idiot”.
Straight up, that’s a negative thought.
But the more you repeat it, the deeper it gets into your mind, the greater the chance it will become a limiting belief.
If you’re convinced you’ll mess up on phone calls, telephoning a potential customer is going to be a bigger struggle for you than it would be for a person who loved talking on the phone.
The result of this limiting belief could be that you…
- make less calls
- take longer to make each call (pre-call confidence boost & post-call wind down)
- say something odd or incorrectly on the phone
- stop making calls.
What started as a negative thought in your brain has limited your ability to take action in the real world.
And when it comes to sales, there could easily be multiple negative beliefs working together.
You might not even be aware of it.
Many of our day to day tasks are completed on autopilot. You can wash dishes, take a shower, even drive your car without paying attention to every action and the thought behind it.
Investigating Your Limiting Beliefs
If you find yourself unable to complete a sales task or procrastinating every time the idea of selling arises there may be limiting beliefs hiding in your subconscious mind.
You may be struggling with sales ingredient 3 – mindset.
The good news is that just like gaining sales knowledge or practicing creativity, you can remove your limiting beliefs.
How to Improve Your Sales Mindset
Keeping the process simple, there are 3 steps to improving your sales mindset and removing limiting beliefs.
Discover your negative beliefs on sales/selling.
Decide if each belief is helping or hindering you.
Discard the old belief for a new positive belief.
To be completely honest with you, in practice, it won’t be that simple. (sorry)
Many limiting beliefs are baked into us as small children. First from our family and then as we get older our friends and experiences and society shape what we believe.
Unpacking your beliefs and rewiring your brain to remove limiting thoughts, isn’t easy. It does take time and effort. But it can be done.
Think about that for a minute?
How nice would it be, how much easier would working and life be if we had less negative thoughts, less limiting beliefs that stopped us making progress?
I’m convinced that with the right mindset sales would be so much easier for hundreds and thousands of small businesses.
This very idea has even made me determined to add a whole new section to my Sales Booster Toolkit training. A mini course (within the main course), which goes deeper on how to find and fix limiting beliefs with a variety of strategies.
It will also help creative businesses design a sales system that is authentic to their business and values.
In the next few weeks I’ll be creating the videos for that mini course, which will be called ‘Learn to Love Sales’.
My aim is simple, I want people to overcome their own mental hurdles. I want card & gift folks to design a new type of sales and customer service that is just as amazing as their greetings and giftware products.
Does that sound good to you?
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