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On An Owner’s Fear of Selling

I’m not a natural salesperson and it’s hurting my ability to grow my business. Even though I believe in the value of my product, I just can’t bring myself to go out there and pitch it to potential customers. Sometimes, I feel paralyzed or embarrassed when trying to convince someone to buy from me. How do I overcome this and learn how to sell?

All business owners reflect one or more of these 3 general types:  technicians, creators, and sellers.  The technicians are in business to do what they’ve been trained to do and (hopefully) love to do.  Like the butcher, the baker, and the candlestick maker – these owners practice their craft.  Creators focus on building out their unique vision.  They’re driven to make a better mousetrap.  Finally, sellers are those who exhibit the talent that you think you lack.  They can be persuasive, enthusiastic, and even relentless when speaking to buyers, no matter what product they’re pitching.

The question is not, how do you become a seller?  Rather, ask how you can design your sales model so that you don’t have to directly “sell” your product or service to anyone.  Often, owners confuse business strategy with sales strategy.  Sales is neither strategic, nor dependent on special abilities.  In practice, selling (or better still, buying) is conducted through an operational process designed for the specific product you make and the for the way a customer purchases it.  It has very little to do with one-on-one interactions or personal style.  By determining why your ideal customers would purchase your product, and by understanding how they make their buying decisions – you can design a process that enables them to choose your product without having to be pitched.  There are too many people who will tell a business owner that her most important job is to sell.  That leads to a lot of pain and wasted time.  The most important job as an owner is to make your product easy to buy.