On or off the internet, you are always selling something to someone. Maybe you’re selling your parents on why they should pay for your college Or you’re selling your spouse on why they should let you take that trip with your friends. Or you’re selling your boss on what a great employee you are, and how you should get a big raise starting now.
We even sell little things, like getting our kids to go to bed, getting the newspaper carrier to deliver our paper where the sprinklers won’t get it wet, and selling the new cashier on bagging our cans at the bottom of the bag instead of on top of the bread.
“But these types of selling are different,” we tell ourselves. This isn’t selling someone on something they don’t need or want (it might be) This isn’t taking advantage of someone (depends on the point of view) or ripping them off (I hope not).
We’ve learned to equate day to day selling of our friends and relatives on agreeing to our point of view or requests as something other than selling. And we’ve also been conditioned to think that other kind of selling – the one where you take money in exchange for something – is sleazy, slimy and something no good person should ever do to someone else.
You and I know people don’t like to be sold but they love to buy. And people are afraid, really afraid, of being taken advantage of by a scam. Yet our job as online marketers is to sell something. Maybe we’re selling ideas, products, services or whatever. But we are most definitely selling. Even if all you do is blog, you are still selling your visitors on reading your stuff and your advertisers on buying ads from you. Even social media mavens without a business are selling others on ‘liking’ their posts so they can get the momentary thrill of feeling, “They Like Me!”
How are we supposed to go against years – decades – of being brainwashed to think there is something painfully sleazy about selling? How do we get up in the morning eager to sell something to someone?
The answer is so simple, and yet so profound, that I’m going to bet you already heard it but forgot it…
Never, ever, ever sell anything you don’t believe in, aren’t excited about or goes against your moral compass. And never, ever make claims that aren’t 100% authentically true.
When you create a product or service with the intention of helping people, you will never feel bad about selling what you have. You will be able to speak of the value and importance of your product without an ounce of shame.
When you are being totally true to your goal of helping others, it will never even occur to you that you are somehow being a pushy salesperson. Rather, you’ll be able to passionately talk and write about how great your product or service truly is.
In fact; and here’s the amazing part: if you do this right, you won’t even feel like you are selling at all. And this gets even better. Remember when we said that people hate to be sold to, but they love to buy?
When you’re passionately honest about helping others with your product or service, the person being sold to won’t feel like they’re being sold to. That’s because when you’re offering them the thing they want – or more specifically, the benefit they seek – they’re not being sold. Instead, they’re buying.
Everyone thinks that advertising doesn’t work on them. “I don’t fall for that malarkey,” they’ll say. But in reality, when someone responds to advertising, they’re not making the connection that they’re being sold to. They were looking for that thing (that benefit) and then they make a rational, educated decision to buy it after reading or hearing about the benefits and features.
So the simplest way to not feel like a slime-ball sales person is to only sell things you believe in to people who actually want what you’re selling.
Don’t sell hamburgers to vegans. And don’t sell hamburgers if you are a vegan. If you’re a vegan, then offer the best vegan burgers possible to vegans, and you will never feel like you are selling a day in your life.