When I started my business, one of things I had anxiety about was sales. How was I going to close deals without being sales-y?? I’ve never liked “sales” nor do I like sales tactics pushed upon me, so how would I become the salesperson I needed to be in order to grow my business?
I had major imposter syndrome surrounding this.
I knew I needed to make sales in order to survive. Yet I had apprehension around how successful I was going to be at it. I figured if I don’t like being a target in the crossfire of someone else’s sales agenda then how am I going to feel comfortable in a reversed role?
Strengths of mine have always been in communication, articulation, and listening to others. I’ve heard this all of my life. So why, then, was I nervous I couldn’t effectively sell my services??
After almost two years in business I’ve realized I had it all wrong.
I could be like the Wolf On Wall Street selling a pen to anyone, anywhere or….
Sales could come from creating authentic interactions with people, building a trusting relationship that inspires them to choose my business over another.
Sales don’t need to come from a fast-talking, have-all-the-answers situation. Although this was the construct I believed to be true.
A friend recently opened my eyes to the fact that “selling” can be done in both a masculine and feminine way. When she brought this to my attention, I had an epiphany. I realized my corporate background consisted of male mentors! Literally all of them.
My experience was skewed. I had learned from men how to “do sales” and their style didn’t resonate with me. I didn’t feel I was fluent in doing it their way, and in turn, I felt I wasn’t good at it.
In recent years, I’ve been exposed to high caliber, high earning female entrepreneurs that are making sales the FEMININE way.
Through my exposure to these ladies, I’ve learned to embrace selling by promoting my skill sets, expertise, and competence while in conversation with a perspective client. It’s not about landing a sale, it’s about listening and being in service to someone who needs help accomplishing a goal.
In these interactions, I am laying the foundation for inspiring comfort and confidence in my value as a worthy candidate in a client’s selection process. I know they are likely shopping other businesses, and understand they will choose the one that appeals most to their vision. That’s why I show them all of me, because as much as they want me to be a good fit for them, I want them to be a good fit for me too.
I’ve come to the conclusion that by doing this I AM selling. I’m just selling MY way. It’s a softer, more feminine way, but, nonetheless I am selling.
I sell without smoke and mirrors and without unnecessary persuasiveness. I don’t make unrealistic promises and am always transparent about how the process will go. I practice being authentically me so when someone chooses to work with me, they are choosing a partnership with me.
I now know my concerns about how I would do as a salesperson were rooted in the belief that I had to be a particular way. That way wasn’t wrong, it just wasn’t right for me.
The concept of masculine verses feminine selling techniques was not something I had considered before. I’ve come to learn it is the difference between the idea of “closing” – as in ending the conversation – verses OPENING, which is inviting more opportunity to come. It isn’t focusing on the end, but on the beginning. I am in it for the long run. I don’t want to close an opportunity, I want to open the path for more.
What this all comes down to is this: Selling can differ depending on who YOU are, and when applied authentically, your tactics can achieve similar or better results. Embrace the way that works for you. Your business deserves it and so do you.
This is my confession. And it feels good.
Click here to read Confessions of a Business Owner: Part 5.