When Selling Isn't Your Jam: Field Notes from a Female Entrepreneur’s Anti-Selling Journey


Photo by Khwanchai Phanthong

Audio version

Ah, the unpredictable universe of sales – a realm I once tiptoed into with a mix of naivety and trepidation.  I used to shudder at the idea of the dreaded "hard sell," conjuring visions of a slick car salesperson trying to peddle unnecessary wares. My inner voice vehemently protested, "No, thank you!" That is until my savior arrived in the form of a brilliant coach who transformed my perspective.


Fast forward to today, armed with a treasure trove of strategies gleaned from sales books, roleplays, and eye-opening sessions with my SCORE mentor, I’ve become more comfortable with the idea of selling in my role as a business owner!  I’ve also developed a treasure trove of battle-tested tactics to share, sprinkled with a pinch of humor and a heap of insight.


Lesson 1: Understand Your Audience – It's Like Telepathy, but Legal!

Let’s start with the basics: understand your audience like you’re reading their minds. Delve into their thoughts, uncover their desires, fears, and wishes. Think of it as telepathy without the mystical crystal ball. Blend market research, customer feedback, and a dash of intuition – that’s your recipe for tailoring the perfect pitch.


Lesson 2: Build Relationships – Think of It as Networking, Not Just Navigating

Sales isn’t merely about transactions; it's about crafting genuine connections. Dive deep, empathize with their challenges, and offer heartfelt solutions. Be the steadfast confidante they turn to, not just another salesperson lurking in their inbox.


Lesson 3: Master the Elevator Pitch – Your 30-Second Marvel

Create an elevator pitch that’s as sharp as a ninja's sword. Be clear, confident, and, most importantly, captivating. Your pitch should leave them hanging, yearning for more, just like the cliffhanger of a binge-worthy Netflix series.


Lesson 4: Dive into the Digital Wave – Ride It Like a Pro Surfer

In this digital age, your online presence is your superhero cape. Build that professional website, dominate the search engines, and conquer social media. Engage, educate, and entertain – become the Beyoncé of your industry.


Lesson 5: Listen Like Your Business Depends on It – Because It Absolutely Does!

Active listening is your secret weapon. Tune in, ask the right questions, and show genuine interest. It's akin to dating – people adore it when you genuinely listen. Plus, you’ll unearth golden nuggets of information that can shape your pitch into pure gold.


Lesson 6: Benefits, Not Features – Sell the Sizzle, Not Just the Steak

Forget the jargon and technical specs; focus on how your product or service enhances their lives. Sell the dream, not just the product. It's akin to selling a car – you're not just selling a vehicle; you're offering the freedom to explore the open road, the wind in their hair, and adventures waiting to be discovered.


Lesson 7: Embrace Continuous Learning – Because We're All Ever-Evolving

Sales is a perpetual journey, not a static destination. Stay updated, invest in your skills, and keep learning. Think of yourself as a sales Jedi, constantly refining your lightsaber skills to vanquish any sales challenges.


So, my fellow entrepreneurs, fear not the labyrinth of sales. Armed with empathy, relationship-building finesse, a compelling pitch, digital wizardry, attentive ears, a focus on benefits, and an unquenchable thirst for knowledge, you're not just ready – you’re destined to conquer the sales arena. Step out there, dazzle your customers, and let your business thrive like never before!


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