How to Overcome Your Fear of Selling to Buyers
Your website is up + SS18 samples are finished!
Awesome, now it’s time to start selling. I know you’re probably thinking, can’t I just pay someone to do it for me? Sure, if you have an extra (40k-100K lying around).
But the thing is, no one can sell your product better than you.
Think about it. You spent months designing, sourcing fabric and producing it, but the thought of approaching a buyer really freaks you out.
The good news is that we get it and you’re not alone.
Some people are fearful of saying the wrong thing, forgetting something, or simply getting judged.
Did you know only 27% of salespeople feel that they’ve fully mastered the fundamentals of sales? (source- Krauthammer, a training and consulting company).
So, it’s not shocking if you feel a bit uneasy about selling.
With the proper research, mindset, and practice you will overcome the fear of selling in no time.
So grab a pen and a piece of paper and get ready to take some notes on how to rid the fear of selling.
Selling can be challenging especially when you do not know anything about the buyer or their business.
The more you know about the person you are trying to sell to and their reason behind purchasing, the easier it will be to connect and have a meaningful conversation.
Since fear is only a state of mind, it is only as powerful as its representation in your head.
To help kiss your fear goodbye, the first thing you must do is gain confidence before approaching a buyer.
Action: Answer the following questions to assure you are approaching the right person with the right product from your collection.
- What’s the name of the buyer or final decision maker?
- Name three other brands carried in their store?
- What issues might the store be experiencing or what issues can you predict they might have in the future?
- How can your brand solve their problem(s) and/or add value?
The reason for answering these questions prior to visiting the store is because it prepares you to ultimately close the sale faster.
Now, let's say you're new to this whole selling thing and have no clue on how to find out the name of the buyer.
Not to worry, just hop onto LinkedIn and search by name. Once you find who you are looking for, pay close attention to their work history, mutual connections and common interests. Such information is essential because when you approach a store you’ll know exactly who to ask for and know if you two already have something in common
Gem: Bringing up similarities when first meeting a buyer is a great way to break the ice and start a conversation.
Before contacting a buyer, it's always a good idea to be fully prepared. When you know what you are talking about, the more confident you feel and the more comfortable the buyer feels speaking with you. Instead of them seeing you as another person who’s trying to sell to them, they will instead view you as an industry expert.
To perform well in sales, one’s perception about the actual term “sales” needs to be changed. Instead of thinking of sales as negatively, try to think of it as one creative person helping another.
For example, If you had a cure for an incurable disease would you be fearful and hold back from telling others?
The answer is probably a resounding NO because it will benefit many and save lives.
Although you are not physically saving lives if you refrain from selling your brand it’s possible that an opportunity to help a buyer purchase items they don’t have or need could be missed.
To alleviate the fear of selling at this very moment jot down:
- The reason you started the brand
- The mission of the brand
- Three ways your brand will benefit the store you will sell into.
By writing down the above points you are shifting your mind to remind you why you started the brand in the first place.
This will then help give you the confidence you need to approach a buyer with a solution rather than selling.
The truth is, no one likes to be sold to. Rather, people like to engage and buy from others when they feel as if they are getting a return on their investment.
So, next time you are speaking with a buyer remember the infamous quote by Zig Ziglar, "Stop selling. Start helping."
PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE
Since most of us have a natural fear of selling; it’s important to practice repeatedly because it will help you become more comfortable asking for an order.
The truth is you’ll never get comfortable in sales if you don’t start putting yourself in uncomfortable situations. Meaning, if you procrastinate on cold calling, visiting stores or simply following up then it’ll be nearly impossible to defeat the fear of selling.
If you only get one thing from this blog post let it be this: the only way to get over your fear of sales is to start selling.
Now, let’s switch gears for a minute and say you’ve taken some of the above advice and began selling but buyers for some reason are still turning you down left and right. Now you are even more fearful approaching other stores because you want to avoid being rejected.
So, what could you be doing wrong? The answer is, not asking questions.
There are several reasons the buyer isn’t buying but the main reason might be that you are not understanding what the buyer actually needs.
The way to discover this is by asking questions.
- Ask if they have any questions about your brand or inquire as to what would make your brand worth the investment to them. Simply put, don’t just let the conversation end after introducing yourself.
- Learn how to keep the conversation going and you’ll either make a sale or learn some interesting insights to improve what you’re selling.
Asking the right questions will uncover the real needs of the buyer which will then help you sort which products from your collection will benefit them most.
The secret is to not worry about closing the sale instead just get the buyer to the next step.