When I started as a Small Business Coach in February 2004, I entered into a world that was rewarding and frustrating all at the same time. I decided to launch my own business for a very specific reason. I love sales and I wanted to help other people love it too! Now, before you say, “Steve, please… NOBODY LOVES SALES!!!” just keep reading and let me tell you what I mean.
If you are a small business owner, I can almost guarantee that you didn’t start your business because you wanted to spend your day selling. You likely started your business because you found a product or service that you fell in love with and you wanted to share it with the rest of the world. You loved this product so much that you knew it would be a no-brainer for your friends and family. “All I have to do is tell them about it and they will love it… because they love me!” This is what is commonly referred to as your warm market which is the group of people whom you can go to anytime and they will trust your word and accept your recommendations simply because of your relationship with them. Like I said, a “no-brainer!”
Sales is a process and when you are selling a product of your own design or, worse yet, if you are selling yourself as the product, that process is even more difficult. The people who love you are the hardest to sell BECAUSE they love you. When you walk into the retail store and that over-zealous sales person dashes over to you and enthusiastically says, “can I help you find something?” It’s easy for you to say, “No, I’m just looking” because you don’t know them. Your warm market cannot say “no” to you because they don’t want to let you down! So, instead of being honest, they just say nothing. Once you realize that you need be a salesperson all the fun goes out the window!
Finding new customers can be frustrating and tiresome. Being rejected is no fun and being rejected on purpose is simply ludicrous. Daily rejection makes you forget about the passion and drive that you had on launch day! As a Business Coach I love helping entrepreneurs rekindle that passion that they felt at the beginning of their business. As an entrepreneur you must do everything you can to stay in touch with your passion! How do you reignite your passion and begin to love selling? STOP SELLING!
That’s right! When you start thinking about selling you turn it into a mechanical chore. You start analyzing your markets, refining your pitch and overthinking your routine. You develop a robot-like demeanor and you stop having fun. If you’re not having fun, you’re doomed!
To work your way out of a sales slump you must focus on the fundamentals. Think about that product that revolutionized your world and start talking about it. Tell people about it without expecting to make a sale. You must reconnect with your passion and remember why YOU fell in love with the product. Passion is contagious and when the people you are talking to see your passion, they will clamber for your product.
The chamber’s mission is to promote business, commerce and tourism in Grant County. We can help you grow your business because we realize that as your business gets stronger our community gets stronger. Stop by and see us anytime! Your success is our mission and we are here to help you!
—Steve Chavira, Silver City-Grant County Chamber of Commerce director