WHAT IF SELLING MAKES YOU FEEL SLEAZY?
In my last post we covered some of the self work that is necessary to set the foundation for a successful business. Sometimes there are more obstacles in the way that we need to tackle. If selling feels gross, then you need to work on your authentic voice. It is the worst feeling in the world when you love to create, but feel like you’ve been punched in the gut when it comes down to selling your wares. How many times have you tried to mimic what other salespeople do in their businesses, and feel gross and slimy afterwards? It's because it doesn't feel authentic. There are a lot of necessary things in business that will feel uncomfortable, but if your method of selling makes you feel like an imposter - you will avoid it at all costs. Your business will be dead before it even gets started. What if I told you that it’s possible to stay true to yourself and not compromise your ethics to be successful in business?
OVERCOMING THE SALES OBSTACLE BY BEING AUTHENTIC
The key is to find your authentic sales voice. That little voice inside you that can inform and persuade customers and most importantly - can encourage your customers to know, like and trust you. This is how you build customer confidence and loyalty. Once you nail down your authentic sales voice, you'll attract customers who will sing your praises and tell all of their family and friends about how amazing you are.
An easy way to find your authentic sales voice is to use storytelling instead of a typical pitch. Try to make your sales style more conversational and take your customer on a journey. Maybe tell them about why you created this product. Is it a hobby that has been passed down for generations in your family? How did you decide to create this item? What special touches have you added that reflect the things that are important to you? Why are those touches important to you? When you sell conversationally with storytelling you have a greater chance of your customer feeling like they can relate to you. If they can relate to you, they are more likely to purchase from you.
When you're trying to develop your own authentic sales voice, remember that this is your chance to let your personality shine. Your authentic sales voice is like a fingerprint for your brand. Done correctly, it should set the tone for every piece of communication across your brand, including in your product descriptions. While we're talking about being authentic, how many of us have used the excuse that we don't have enough time to run a business?
STOP TELLING YOURSELF YOU DON'T HAVE TIME
Another common obstacle when starting a business is feeling like you’re too busy to accomplish everything. Seriously, how much time do you waste scrolling through your favorite social media every day. I’ve blown hours per day mindlessly scrolling, swiping and double tapping my brain cells away - all while I could've been making progress in my business. We all do this. Put your phone on airplane mode if you have to, and get it done.
Checklists and sticky notes have saved me more times than I can count, and with all of the available apps out there - there is no excuse to not have a “to-do” list at our fingertips. That doesn’t mean you have to become a robot and be tied to your list 24/7, but it makes business 100 times more efficient if you know you can go to your list when you have some free time, and see what task you can scratch off next.
OVERCOMING THE TIME CRUNCH
Go ahead a jot down some times during the day that you have 5-10 minutes of down time. A successful business will require more time commitment than 5-10 minutes per day, but this is a great way to get started and knock some of the smaller tasks off your list.
I became a WAHM when my daughter was born and she was a tornado from the moment she could scoot across the floor. I even took her with me to a ridiculously long business meeting when she was about 6 months old. (Hello, childcare is like paying a second mortgage sometimes!) Is it easy to juggle a new business with little ones at home? Absolutely not. BUT, it is possible. I even have an awesome schedule template HERE to help you find some time to make it happen.
I spent many years as a work at home mom when my kids were small, and I’ve developed a business on the side while I was working outside the home as well. The secret is finding those little moments when you can squeeze in some work. Have you ever had a brilliant idea hit you while you’re in the shower? That is where all of my great ideas are born. Maybe it’s the white noise from the shower, or the few minutes of peace you can sneak in before a toddler realizes you’re in the shower without them. Sometimes it’s 5-10 minutes of quiet when your little one goes down for a nap.
TOOLS OF THE TRADE
If there is some place or time during your day when inspiration regularly strikes you, keep a notepad close by for those moments. Mommy brain is a real thing, and as soon as the little ones need you, your inspiration could quickly be forgotten. I used to get frustrated because I'd plan on working on one project during the day and hoped to work on it nonstop, but that just wasn’t realistic with a toddler at home. I had to learn to break my work into easily accomplished tasks. That way I still felt like I'd completed work even though I would have to start and stop several times throughout the day.
Now that my kids are older and in school full time, I have more time to myself during the day. I've discovered that I do my best work while I sit in the school parking lot waiting to pick up my kids. All that matters is that you look for those moments and squeeze them in whenever they pop up. Sometimes a great idea will come to mind right as they walk to the car and open the door.
USE WHAT'S AVAILABLE
My secret weapon when I’m out of the house is the notes app on my phone. I quickly jot down enough info so I’ll be able to remember what I was thinking when I revisit the list later. There is a running list on my phone now that has so many random entries - anyone else would look at it and think I’ve lost my mind. It’s how I keep myself from forgetting the good stuff! I still keep a stack of sticky notes next to the bed, because many times after the kids are asleep I find that an idea pops into my head. If it isn’t written down before I fall asleep myself, it will be lost forever. It’s not always easy to work from home. Interruptions and distractions pop up all the time.
Here are some quick and easy tips that work for me, maybe they will work for you too:
- Bring work with you to the school pick-up line. You can use google docs to jot down thoughts. Google Drive is my best friend because you have access everywhere. I also use the memo tool on my phone to record voice memos to type up later. Sometimes it’s easier to pop in a pair of earbuds and narrate a blog post rather than writing it. I don’t know why it feels easier, but there is less of a block for me when I’m talking through it instead of sitting at a computer pecking away at the keys.
- Ebooks. If you’re researching something or trying to develop a new skill and have it electronically on your device that is another great thing to do when you’re waiting to pick up kids at school or even just waiting anywhere. We spend lots of time waiting in various places, so why not get something done that can benefit your business?
- Pay attention to the quiet parts of your day (there may not be a lot of them, but I’m sure you have at least one). Those are good moments to work on tasks that are important and need your full attention. Whether it’s in the morning before everyone wakes up, or at night after everyone goes to bed, find those little moments and put them to good use.
- Organization. Setting up your computer files from the start will save you so much grief later. I have killed more than my fair share of computers and trying to remember where I kept important things to recover was a real disaster. Give your computer folders detailed names, and file things away in appropriate categories. You don’t need to have 20 folders on your desktop! I have two main folders for business, one for tools and software that I use, and one for personal photos. Each main folder has specific subfolders that are named appropriately and completely organized.
- Back up everything! I back up my computer files in two different cloud locations and then back up everything onto an external hard drive as well. Saving once is not enough! All it takes is one device to crash and all of your hard work will be lost.
So now that we’ve tackled the obstacle of feeling sleazy when you sell, and the time crunch to get things done during the day, I have a free PDF to help you hone in on your Authentic Self. You can grab it HERE, it's opt-in free! See you in the next post!