Famously, actor Sally Field accepted her second Oscar for “Places in the Heart” by gushing in her acceptance speech, “You like me!” It seemed this two-time Oscar winner still felt insecure about her talent!
Working with artists for many years (and having my own art business for over two decades), it’s a common issue for many artists to feel intimidated about tooting their own horn – let alone asking for someone to buy from them. After all, they are not selling lemonade in front of their house – they are selling a piece of their creative spirit. Putting our “performance” out onto the big stage of life can be very scary moment.
However, I have begun to see that business owners of all kinds, in a variety of industries suffer a similar lack of confidence. For some, it’s about not being sure they are “good enough” and for others it’s an aversion to “bragging” or being a “salesperson”. Writing a blog post or creating an email feels self-indulgent or pushy. It doesn’t need to be either. I have a simple exercise to share that will give you a new perspective.
First, let’s look at the common barriers.
“I don’t have anything to say.”
When brainstorming with my clients and discussing the need to reach out to their clients and followers, many owners of small businesses have this fear. They think they have nothing of value to say. When we dig a little deeper, they also admit that they are afraid they will lose people’s interest or actually damage their reputation with their clients. The fear of failure becomes conflated with losing their entire customer base. They are afraid people won’t like them anymore.
I have this fear with every single blog post, but I know that it’s a fear that must be overcome for me to be effective in the long run. I believe – genuinely believe – that I have a responsibility to share. You do too.
If you have hints, tips, industry news, or anything you think your clients will enjoy, you owe it to your clients and customers to share.
“I’m just not good at selling myself.”
I see this across the board, too. In a chat with an entrepreneur the other day, she couldn’t explain her lack of marketing enthusiasm for her own start-up business. “I really sell the heck out of my current employer’s place of business. I can ask for emails, I can ask for the sale, I can rave about the greatness of his products and service; I really can’t stop cheer-leading for him. I want the whole world to know how great he is and what a great business he has.” In a quieter tone, she added, “I’m lousy at telling my own story.”
As a motivational speaker who has taught hundreds the principles of selling, I know there is one thing that gets in the way of tooting our horn (and asking for the sale): fear of rejection.
Understand and celebrate your value
Selling anything means you will also get plenty of “no’s”. Every item that gets sold on the planet gets it’s share of rejections. Most of the time, the “maker” has no relationship with the sale. When a car is sold at a dealership, the manufacturer has no direct relationship to the individual “no” votes.
But for a small business owner who has a business on Main Street or a virtual business on Dot Com Avenue, it’s a very personal experience. While it’s hard not to take “rejection” personally, it is what you must avoid at all costs. Don’t let an occasional “no” (or the fear of a “no”) keep you from moving forward or reaching out to your audience.
My Remedy – Fill in the blank!
The “no’s” can add up. Combat them with all the reasons why a “yes” is warranted, expected, and deserving. Whether you sell real estate, healthful foods at a farmer’s market, or colorful hats on Etsy, you are contributing to a person’s happiness each time you make a sale.
Believe in yourself. Recognize that you offer excellent value with every sale and get ready to make a list!
Answer this question:
People who do business with me get the following good things: __________________.
Fill in that blank as many times as you can. Fill it in at least 10 times. You should know of at least 10 reasons why someone is happy to do business with you.
Take every reason to heart and own those answers.
Clarify your value to yourself so you can clarify your message of value to others.
And then: share that in your marketing.
Sharing is caring. I do it in every blog I write and email I send. You can too.
You are not actually tooting your own horn (well, maybe a little…) by letting the world know you have a great service or product. You are letting them know they will have a rewarding outcome! You are great, right? They deserve great, right? Go ahead; fill in the blank!
People who do business with me get the following good things:
Over 50 years of experience in sales and marketing, a well-traveled road map to success, my devotion to solving their problems, my vast knowledge of email marketing, my logical side, my emotional side, my on-going research results, my insights into selling, my amazing writing skills, my years of teaching selling principles, my 20+ years owning a small business, my years in upper management at large retail firms, access to my award winning email consulting partnership with Constant Contact, and the number one most important “good thing”: I care deeply about seeing people increase their sales and grow their business.
This may read like a giant advertising, but it’s really an example of me caring about your outcome. I can humbly say: if you need My Golden Words to help form the right message after you have completed the exercise, then contact me. firstname.lastname@example.org
Or is there another issue, I am missing? Leave a comment below!