One of the things I do on a regular basis that many people do not want to do is approaching business owners to present them with an opportunity to purchase products and services from me. Approaching business owners can be nerve wracking for people for several reasons.
Here’s 12 Reasons People Avoid Direct Sales With Business Owners
- People lack confidence in their own communications skills
- People lack confidence in their appearance
- People lack confidence in their business brand
- People lack confidence in their product(s) and/or service(s)
- People are afraid of strangers (or people they don’t know)
- People are afraid of strange places (or places they don’t know)
- People are afraid of rejection
- People are afraid of failure
- People are anxious and/or defeated before they approach others, because they are anticipating failure
- People suffer from having an inferiority complex
- People suffer from magnifying the sale(s) opportunity, making it bigger & more meaningful than it really is
- People suffer from not knowning or ignoring the numbers & statistics related to their direct sales opportunity(ies)
So… here’s part of the ‘secret’ to my success. The twelve reasons listed above describe briefly why some people avoid approaching business owners & why I choose to approach business owners. I am the opposite of the people I described above. And that’s by choice.
I have a sufficient level of confidence in my communications skills, appearance, business brand, products & services. That level of confidence comes from experience. At some point, we are all beginners when it comes to sales. That’s the point though… everyone in sales BEGAN at some point to take action & communicate with other people. Over time, most people learn from mistakes, and develop improved methods of doing things. For me, having a solid level of confidence & ability to communicate value to others is a prerequisite for me to sell anything. For example, if I wouldn’t buy my product, or if I couldn’t teach you about my product, then I usually won’t try to sell it.
I’m not afraid of approaching strangers in places that I’ve never been before to initiate conversation. Again, I’d say that this boldness come both from God (the Holy Spirit) and experience. I always pray before I enter an unknown place to talk to previously unknown people, and I let the LORD lead me. If I do get a bad feeling about something, then I don’t go, but otherwise experiencing new places & meeting new people can be fun. Some of the best business connections are the ones you don’t expect.
I’m not afraid of rejection or failure, because I expect both will occur sometimes. That’s a part of life that successful people cannot & usually do not avoid. If you live your life trying to avoid either rejection or failure, you will exhaust yourself with trying to please everybody & frustrate yourself with fear by not taking the measured risks needed to live the life you envision or dream of. Expect to be rejected sometimes & accepted sometimes. Expect to fail sometimes & to succeed sometimes. Expect to learn, grow, & move forward no matter what happens, and you’ll enjoy your life much more. If 1 or 2 people out of 10 prospects purchases my products of services, I’m happy. Why? Because I don’t care about the 8 or 9 people’s decision not to buy from me. I only care about the decisions people made to become my customer. My customers & clients get my focused attention. The people who didn’t want or need what I was selling are fine with me too. I don’t take it to heart. My aim is not to be perfect and convince everybody to like me. My aim is to acquire customers and clients so that I can earn more income. Expecting everybody to buy from you is like expecting to hit a home run every time you swing a bat on the baseball diamond, or make a touch down on every punt return on the football field, or swish every jump shot every game on the basketball court, or knock every pin down & bowl a 300 every time you roll a bowling ball down the lane, etc. I think you get it. Just like in sports, you should improve with practice over time, but nobody on earth is perfect. Certainly not in sales.
I do not approach anyone anticipating failure, because I believe & know from experience that I can & will succeed if I take action. That doesn’t mean I’ll succeed every time, and I don’t expect that every prospect will become my customer or client. I do however expect that some prospects will become customers or clients. The only thing I anticipate is that I will communicate with someone when I enter a business. I don’t know ahead of time whether or not a sales opportunity will present itself. I just know that if it does, I will take action. I cannot control what happens, so I don’t think too much about what may or may not happen when I approach a business owner. The only thing I can control is how I communicate, so that is what I think about–communicating effectively.
Also, I don’t have to suffer from any form of inferiority complex, because I do not believe anyone in this world is more valuable, more important, above, or better than me. Neither do I suffer from a superiority complex. I believe all men & women were created equal. Period. Some people think themselves above or beneath others. I think that’s foolishness. Thinking good things leads to good results more often than thinking bad things does. So what I call ‘stinkin thinkin’ has no part in my business ventures.
For many people ‘getting the sale’ is a daunting endeavor. In their minds, many people make the sale too big, too meaningful for them. As a result, they often try too hard to sell, rather than just serving the customer. I try to keep in mind that some people want what I’m selling, some people don’t want what I’m selling, and other people don’t care one way or another. Plus, the true objective of a sale should always be to provide somebody with something that they want and/or need. When you can demonstrate to a prospect that what you have is exactly what they want or need, the prospect will gladly pay you for your product or service. That’s called a sale. If you’re trying too hard, you’re likely either not communicating the value of your offer to the prospect effectively or you’re not concerned at all about the wants and/or needs of your prospect. The latter means you’re either desperate or greedy, and usually those characteristics work against you in sales. A sale is an exchange of value, and every sale can be celebrated. However, not making a sale does NOT make you a failure. If you’re whole business venture depends on you ‘closing the deal’ the first time you approach a prospective customer, then your endeavor is a gamble; not a real business.
That leads me to the last bit of insight. Numbers. Having an accurate & realistic expectation of your direct sales efforts is often a result of knowing some very important numbers. I think numbers tell a much more detailed story in business than words do sometimes. What numbers? Well, how many units of what you are selling have sold to date (both in your area & in other areas)? Is that number increasing month to month or decreasing? How many businesses in your area already purchased what you are offering? How many businesses in your area desperately need or want what you are selling, but have yet to purchase? How much (price) does your product or service sell for? How much does your product or service cost you? How many businesses locally have the money readily available to purchase your products or services? How many businesses out of 10 or 50 or 100 or 1000 are ready to purchase your products or services right now? How many are interested right now, not ready to buy yet, but might purchase later? These kind of questions demand real numbers, and those numbers tell ‘the story’ about your target market. Finding your target market is extremely important for increasing sales conversions, turning prospects into customers. And, until you find your target market, you shouldn’t expect a high percentage of your prospects to immediately become customers no matter how high quality your sales item is or how excited you may be to sell it to them. The numbers are key. And often, salespeople are not able to determine those numbers until after they’ve approached many business owners (prospects) already.
Take action, and see what happens! You might have great success beyond your wildest dreams. Don’t take action, and see what happens! You might regret your missed opportunities and always wonder if, “you would’ve, could’ve, should’ve..,” as the saying goes.
I think approaching business owners is smart, because I’ve seen it work for others & it’s working for me.