Are you dysfunctional about money? Does this impact your sales?
We are all dysfunctional about money, this dysfunction leads to a mindset issue around sales. That’s a big statement, but over the past 18 months, I have tested this out and time and again, we do not want to talk about it. And yes, it’s mainly women! Why? Well, I do have a theory, are you ready?
It’s the way we are brought up. If it’s discussed around a dinner table, if our parents or carer’s talked about it, included us in the financial talk (in an age appropriate way) and discussed with us how they budgeted we tend to feel more confident about it. I think the generations are changing and the impact of guys like the Barefoot Investor in opening up the dialogue and discussing finances at an earlier age will do wonders for our children, their thought process around money and how they respond to it. I want to teach my daughters that it’s okay to discuss money (again, in an age appropriate way).
I grew up I in a traditional nuclear family. We never spoke about money, I never knew anything about money (and yes, of course it grew on trees!), the financials were not discussed, in fact, it was something that was whispered about and it didn’t set me up for success. I was not good at dealing with it, talking about it and I wanted to ignore and avoid it… until I realised that understanding it and owning it meant that it didn’t scare me anymore and I felt more in control of it.
So, I started having conversations with women (specifically) about money. I asked them how their business was performing financially, I asked them if they felt like they were getting paid what they were worth (no was normally the answer), I asked them if what they were getting paid was in line with how hard they were working (no, again), I asked them if they were comfortable talking about money (yep, you guessed it!).. I asked them if they should think about putting their prices up (some have not touched their pricing in 7 years!)
Sales is not a dirty word
I believe that this dysfunction about money, then blocks our mindset and stops us from asking for and ultimately making sales. It stops us from picking up the phone and building relationships. Let me be really clear here, I would NEVER suggest that you pick up the phone and make a cold call – that gives me the shivers! I do believe though, that you need to pick up the phone often to build relationships with people who want and need the value you provide.
Here are four reasons people don’t do sales:
- Fear of rejection gives people paralysis to not even ask the question of a prospective client/customer.
- They feel “icky” about it
- They don’t know clearly enough who they are targeting
- They lack the discipline or don’t have the systems in place to track all the activity
Take Megan for example. Megan came to me because she was not seeing results in her business, when we discussed sales and how she goes about sales, she told me that she refuses to do sales, she believes people will work with her if they want to, but how do they know about her, well according to Megan, she has a cool new website which will drive the sales in.
Like many other women in business sales is not her thing and as a result she is struggling. She is coming from a place of fear.
Meet Ally. If you ask Ally if she has a problem with sales, she will say yes, if you reframe the question and ask her if she likes building relationships, her answer is yes! See the difference? It’s all about relationships.
I am sure you have heard this before; people buy from those they;
KNOW, LIKE, and TRUST
I would suggest that we reframe our minds and makes sales a game. I am sure you have heard “sales is a numbers game” and I am here to tell you, it can actually be fun! Bear with me if you are not there yet!
The more people who you meet, who may need your service in the future, the more people know about you, the more chance you have of a percentage of those people liking you and the more chance you have of those people trusting you with their hard earned dollar. Here is a real life example.. You would probably need to get to “know” 100 people and maybe only 50 would “like” you (and you them!) and from that 50, maybe only 20 would trust you enough with their hard-earned cash. So, the more people you meet, the better of you are right?
Know – if you don’t pick up the phone and if you do not get out and meet people, how do they get to know you? Yes, you could argue that they “know” you through Instagram or they “know” you through Facebook or Linked in but do they really know you? You need to show up in places where your target market is hanging out and provide value to them. I need to say this again; you have to be getting out and about to meet people, not once but over and over again. Do you invest time in friendships? It’s the same thing here!
Like – I am sure that sales are about liking the person you are dealing with. How many of us have chosen to go with a particular service, product or offering, partly because we like the person (sometimes FULLY because we like the person) If they like you and you like them (because it’s not one way), you can see that there is a mutual connection, you “click” with them and you genuinely like each other, you are well on your way.
Trust – You can know someone, and you can like someone, but that doesn’t mean you trust them – does it? I know a lot of people (as I am sure you do), I like a lot of people, but do I trust that they will do what they say they will? In small business, you need to be trustworthy, keep your word and ensure you follow through, this is how you earn your credibility (that’s a whole new blog for another day).
So, as you go about your day, think about where you are investing your time, can I suggest that you reframe your mindset and replace the word “sales” with relationship building. At the end of the day everyone who runs a business needs to do sales, it’s just how we go about it that differs isn’t it?
Pick up the phone, build relationships and connections with potential clients so that when they are ready to engage in your service, you are at the front of their mind as someone they want to work with. Provide value where you can, even if it doesn’t lead to a sale, you will feel better, they will feel like you have added value and who knows what might happen from there. I always find it good to have a number in my head (my personal number is 5 phone calls a day – this could be to current clients, prospective clients or people just interested in my service). If you are starting from scratch, why not try 1 phone call a day (if you work part time, only on the days that you are working), start there and see how you go!
I come across too many business owners that tell me their business is struggling and that they need help with more sales. I work with them around shifting their mindset and confidence and helping them to get comfortable with sales in their own way.
If you would like some help too, please reach out.