by Tom Ruwitch
I work with a lot of coaches, consultants and thought leaders who hate to sell.
They tell me they feel uneasy, even sleazy, when they sell.
They especially hate to tap into prospects’ worries, fears and frustrations when selling.
One of my clients told me, “I don’t do that. That’s fear-based marketing. That’s manipulative.”
I hear that often, and I empathize. I struggled with this perception, too.
Here are two important ideas that helped me overcome the struggle and sell with greater confidence.
First: Most of us intend to serve our clients, to help them, to render benefits, to deliver value. If that’s not our intent, we shouldn’t be in business.
If you deliver a valuable product or service, you are NOT being manipulative. You are persuading prospects to act in their best interest.
Second: If you want to get prospective clients’ attention, you must meet them where they are. And in many cases — perhaps, in most cases — prospective clients are dealing with problems, frustrations and fears.
When you cite their problems, you meet prospects where they are so you can lead them to a better place.
You don’t mislead them. You don’t create non-existent problems. You don’t exaggerate and pour fuel on the fire.
Prospects know their struggles. They know what they’re feeling. And if you tap into those feelings, they like and trust you more because you show you understand what they’re going through. They welcome you in.
So don’t be afraid to cite their worries, fears and frustrations. Meet prospective clients where they are. You acknowledge. You empathize. You take them by the hand, and you lead them.
If you’re a Pied Piper, leading them to drown, that’s manipulation. That’s evil.
But that’s not your intent. You’re leading them to a better place. That’s a gift.
Here’s the rub. People get it when I describe the difference between unethical manipulation and ethical persuasion. But they get hung up on the critical point: If you deliver a valuable product or service….
So many coaches, consultants and other thought leaders deliver valuable products or services, but when it comes to marketing and sales, they don’t believe in themselves. They suffer from self-doubt. They suffer from imposter syndrome.
When it’s time to sell their products and services, doubt makes them question, “Am I the valuable service provider leading clients to the promised land, or am I the manipulative Pied Piper leading the entranced where they don’t need to go?”
They may not even ask the question consciously. Self-doubt and imposter syndrome nag many subconsciously.
The answer? Exercise your mindset. Invest time, energy and (if necessary) money to recognize and overcome resistance.
We invest so much to master the latest and greatest sales tools and tactics. Those tools and tactics get us nowhere if we’re stuck in emotional resistance, if we don’t believe in ourselves and what we sell.
So find a coach. Read a book. Enroll in a program that will give you the tools and techniques you need to exercise your mindset, to believe in the gifts you offer.
You’ll sell more, and you’ll feel better about yourself as you do.
Tom Ruwitch is Founder and CEO of Story Power Marketing. Coaches, consultants, and other thought leaders choose Story Power to attract more leads, keep them engaged and interested, and inspire them to act. More at StoryPowerMarketing.com.