LinkedIn Marketing Strategy Blog
Is This One Mindset Stifling Your Business Growth?
Most business owners struggle with a certain destructive mindset.
And it’s a vital component to any business growth plan – regardless of who you are, where you are, or what industry you’re in.
I know because I’ve struggled with it myself in the past.
You love what you do, you know it has value, and you want the world (or at least your market) to know about it. But at the same time, this particular mindset makes you hesitate and kills the momentum of your growth.
And the worst part is… you probably know you’re doing it and you know it’s not god for your business, but still you keep on doing it.
So what is this mindset that trips so many business owners up consistently?
The stigma of SELLING.
Why “Selling” Makes You Cringe
Now, don’t get me wrong. I know that as a business owner, you understand that you need to sell to grow your business – but at the same time, there’s an underlying conflict. Sometimes it’s a conscious thing, and sometimes it’s unconscious, but either way, it impedes your business growth.
When you run your own business, your prospects and your clients are your world. They’re your lifeline. And because you’re smart enough to understand that, you become very service oriented – which is a good thing. It’s a great thing, actually.
But because of that, the tendency is to shy away from any kind of real sales discussion because you don’t want to ruin the relationship. You don’t want them to be offended, or think you’re high-pressure.
I understand why you feel that way. Somewhere along the line, we’ve all been imprinted with this idea that selling is pushy, manipulative, and dishonest. But at the same time, you need to sell to survive.
And there’s the old catch 22.
Having the goal of growing your business while being averse to selling is a lot like having a goal of being a world champion MMA fighter who’s fundamentally opposed to violence.
The two thing just can’t go together. At least not successfully.
Here’s the mindset shift you need to embrace: Selling in and of itself isn’t sleazy, pushy, or dishonest. Those things are a result of intent, not the result of selling. In fact, I’d argue (loudly) that selling is an empathetic act.
It’s something you do FOR someone – not something you do TO someone.
Introduction to Ethical Persuasion
There’s a difference between persuasion and manipulation. Manipulation includes all those negative, stereotypical things you’ve heard about selling. It’s about deceiving people into thinking they need something they don’t need.
Persuasion, on the other hand, has to do with getting someone to do something that will sincerely benefit them.
Would you hesitate to persuade your child to take medicine that could break their 103 degree fever?
Would you think twice about persuading an elderly person you love who lives alone and frequently falls to either get rid of the split-level home, or move somewhere where they can get some help?
Of course you wouldn’t. Not when someone you care deeply about is in danger or in a bad situation.
People often don’t immediately see what’s good for them. That’s why we need ethical persuasion. When you ethically persuade, you present your solution in an attractive and honest way, relate it to their situation, and let them come to the right conclusion on their own… which they will if your argument is coming from an honest and sincere place.
Doing What’s Best for Them
Selling drives the world’s good deeds.
Nonprofits, missions, and churches all sell. It’s not about being greedy. It’s about raising funds to do the things your organization wants to do to better the world. And if you think because you’re a (fill in the blank) that you don’t make an impact on the world, think again.
No matter what you do, you make the world a better place for someone. You take away a hassle, provide peace of mind, feed people, teach people, and impact their lives in ways you haven’t even thought of.
Let me ask you a tough question…
What would you think of someone who had the opportunity to do good things for others but chose not to?
Maybe you’d call them lazy or self-centered. Those are pretty ugly words, right? The point is, that when you have a solution that could benefit your clients, but you choose not to persuade them to take a look at it, are you really being service minded? Are you really doing what’s best for them?
If your customer’s best interest is really your goal, you need to start looking at selling and persuasion as your vehicle to provide genuinely helpful solutions to people who sincerely need them and collecting a fair fee for doing it. And when you approach it that way, the buyer will be happy you did.
Picture yourself on the side of a desolate highway at 2am with a flat tire. Your cell phone is dead, and there’s no help in sight. But after a few minutes, a tow truck happens to see you and pulls over to help.
Do you think, “Oh, here we go! This guy’s going to screw me over!”
Or do you think, “Thank God! I’d have been screwed WITHOUT this guy!”
I promise you that somewhere, someone is suffering right now thinking, “I wish I knew how I could fix this problem.” And the person who could help them isn’t there. Maybe because they don’t want to come off as salesy.
They’re Waiting for Your Help
Your people are out there. But if you wait for the to trip across your offer on their own or to understand why they need it without your help, then you’re in for a long wait.
They need a skill that you can teach, but they have no clue they need it – and even if they did, they wouldn’t know how to acquire it.
They need advice that only you can give to overcome a business-killing mistake that you’ve coached hundreds of people to overcome, but they have no idea who you are.
They need a product you sell to make their life easier, but they don’t know it exists because you haven’t shown it to them. So in reality, providing solutions (selling) is your responsibility.
Make sure you don’t drop the ball when people are depending on you.
Do you feel weird about selling? Is it hurting your business growth?
What part of the sales process is most uncomfortable for you?
Tell me about it in the comments.