We’ve all been there. We’ve created a product or a service. Or perhaps it’s someone else’s product or service. We know it works but when it comes time to sell…the proverbial light switch fails to turn on.
I’ve been there multiple times. Heck, multiple times every year.
The First Time I Tried to Sell
I remember the first time I tried to sell anything online. It was 2003 and I was flat out broke. I was 24 years old, still living with my mom, and living off of $1 frozen pizzas and Hot Pockets (to this day I can’t stand those things).
In other words, I needed the money. The next check wasn’t about getting to the next level or achieving my dreams. It was the difference between eating and not eating. I’d just been fired by my dad (yes that happened) and I was too driven (some say stubborn) to go on unemployment.
But I knew I had a good service to offer. In fact, at that time, I was the only person I knew of offering it. My problem was convincing potential clients that they needed what I offered.
If you want to influence people, you have to understand them first.
If you want more sales, more followers, or more raving fans, you have to walk a mile (or ten) in their shoes.
Last year, I ran my first half marathon.
The first two people to take off from the starting line were two soldiers, dressed in full gear. I’m talking camouflage pants and coats, boots, and a nearly 100-pound backpack. For 13.1 miles!
As I passed them near the one-mile marker and then watched them cross the finish line long after me (I’m bragging that I beat two guys carrying the equivalent of my wife on their backs!), I realized something:
Life isn’t like Field of Dreams. Just because you build something it doesn’t mean anyone will use it.
Just because you open a business, create a killer product, offer top-notch consulting services at competitive prices, or incorporate yourself doesn’t mean that people will flock to give you money. The fact is that most businesses fail because of their marketing and sales.
“I believe in you.”
Those are four words that are not said enough by leaders. They are not said enough by parents, coaches, teachers, or team leaders.
Yet, those four words can bring out the very best in your team members, children, or students.
I believe in you. I am rooting for you. I know that you will accomplish this.
Belief in Action
In early 2006, I was a part of a four-person company. Naturally, I did nearly everything during my 16 hour days and my assistant did everything I didn’t do (mostly customer service and billing), but she did not do sales. That is until we absolutely needed her.