You’ve started a business. Congratulations! If you want that business to be around this time next year, then it’s important to understand that your work has just begun. Starting now, you’re going to have to sell yourself. Simply selling a service will never be enough.
It’s time to take a fresh look at how you can be a powerful saleswoman, by forging the strongest possible connections—by selling yourself to those people who care about what you have to offer. If you only sell a service, you’re probably looking at a collection of one-time transactions. If, however, you sell the idea of you, what you stand for, the difference you’re making…then you’re more likely to build a loyal following.
Your business cannot exist in a vacuum. It’s going to need loyal customers, deep-rooted support and reasons to keep them coming back.
Are you ready to be irresistible? And take that magnetism to the farthest corners of your community, your country or the globe?
Let’s get started.
You may have heard that people don’t buy from corporations; they buy from people. This is why an accomplished salesperson can work anywhere, selling just about anything. She knows how to connect with people, emotively and with empathy.
And since you are running a small business, making the majority of decisions on your own, you are your business. Your values are your business’s values. When you make lasting connections with the people in your target market, you can be sure they’ll see you in your business operations.When you make lasting connections with the people in your target market, you can be sure they’ll see you in your business operations. Click To Tweet
Here’s how you can sell yourself (and your business).
Be Clear About Your Target Market
So you’ve got to sell yourself. You know that. But to whom are you selling yourself?
Believe it or not, this matters. Many small business owners overlook this crucial element. You’ve got to know the pain points, know the emotions that are going to cause action, know what their common objections will be. Know what they want and need, and then you can use what you know—and who you are—to make deep, meaningful, person-to-person connections.
Embody Your Product or Service
It can be easy to forget that you’re not selling a product. You’re selling you, and when people buy into you, they will buy the product as a result.
Be well-versed in the benefits of what you’re selling; but more than that, be the product that you’re selling. Sell you.Be well-versed in the benefits of what you’re selling; but more than that, be the product that you’re selling. Sell you. Click To Tweet
Be Clear on the Problem You’re Solving
Part of really knowing your target market is knowing the pain they’re in, and what the problem is causing that pain. Let them know you understand the difficulties the problem is causing—that you empathise with their situation.
Then, present your unique solution.
This solution should be one that illustrates a better way of life…a way of life without the problem and without the pain.
Package Your Services
You’ve heard the real estate mantra Location, Location, Location. You may have also heard from culinary professionals that it’s all about the presentation. Two companies can sell identical services, but one will be more successful because it packages its services in a way that highlights what its ideal customer values.
Determine what’s most important to your target market. Then package your services in tiers that climb from the smallest amount of that value to the highest…with that value always being the prominent factor.
For instance, if you know they value a professional appearance, create a basic fashion service that offers the design of two outfits (one for business and one for pleasure)…all the way up to a package that provides an entire custom career wardrobe.
When you understand what they need—and demonstrate that through choices like the packaging of services—then you’re selling you and everything that comes along with you.
Appeal to Their Emotions
Consumers do not make decisions with their heads; they make decisions with their hearts. And when you summon up an emotion that’s important to them…well, you’ve got them in your corner.
Take the American Subaru ad campaigns, for instance. They appeal to dog lovers by telling stories of a canine family. What do dogs have to do with Subarus? Nothing, really. But the car manufacturer is tapping into an emotion that will be memorable for its specific audience—an emotion they will remember and attribute to Subaru.Consumers do not make decisions with their heads; they make decisions with their hearts. Click To Tweet
When you appeal to your target market’s emotions, they will fall for you…and therefore, everything you’re selling.
And an interesting side note: The Subaru commercials starring dogs do not air here in Australia, which probably means marketing studies have shown different results regarding what’s important to consumers in each region. In Australia, the emotive factors seem to be adventure and family.
Use Social Proof
When you’re hungry and looking for a place to eat, are you more likely to stop at a café where the parking lot is full? Or one where only one or two cars are parked?
I suppose the long answer would have to do with how much time you have to wait and what time of day it is…however, the short answer is that most of us will dine at the restaurant where the largest number of cars are parked.
This is one form of social proof. A lot of people are there, so it must be good. Create a following, and people will want to buy into you.
Providing testimonials from your customers, promoting word-of-mouth advertising, and amassing lots of followers on your social media accounts…are just a few more ways you can provide social proof to boost your profile.Create a following, and people will want to buy into you. Click To Tweet
Create a Strong Brand
When you’re selling a service (or yourself, really), there’s no tangible product for people to look at, or test. They won’t be able to hold it in their hands or watch a video of others using the product.
And so, they will turn to other factors for decision-making. They will make conclusions based on how your personal brand makes them feel. They will determine whether or not they trust you, using the messages your brand is sending. They will look to the reputation you’ve built and their perceptions based on the words, actions and visuals your brand uses.
They will decide if they can connect with you on a deeper level, and they’ll use your personal brand to gather the information for making that decision. A strong brand that truly represents your values will ensure that you make the right kinds of connections. And in doing so, you will sell yourself and your business—which is the secret to success!
Are You Ready to Sell Yourself?
If you’ve been focussed solely on selling your service, you’ve been missing out on all that could be. It’s time to start forging long-lasting, loyal business relationships that will weather all kinds of storms. It’s time to start selling YOU.
Have you struggled to sell yourself? Or are you a pro with some super selling tips and tricks? I’d love to hear from you – make sure you share your thoughts and wisdom in the comments below!
More on the topics of selling and business success:
- Secrets to Selling – this workshop covers everything you need to know to successfully sell online and offline
- Why You Need to be Spying on Your Competitors to Achieve Business Success
- The Top 10 Mindset Qualities You Need to Embrace to be Successful in Business
- The 10 Most Important Tactics that will Set Your Business up for Success
Marnie LeFevre is the Founder of Fempire. She is also a #1 bestselling author and marketing expert who has made it her mission to support women to achieve the success they deserve and to lead with confidence. She believes women can achieve anything with the right support and a sisterhood to back them up.