Why is selling so difficult?

I spend a lot of the time on the phone every day interviewing people for articles I write. So why is it so difficult to pick up the phone and make a sales call?

I’m not talking about cold calls, which only the most fearless or foolish enjoy. I mean calls to very qualified leads.

I met with a new business adviser last week who practically ordered me to get on the phone. Rather than bitch about the recession or blame all the time this blog and my book is consuming, why don’t I simply call my top prospects?

Let me point out that I am not a shy person. I love to talk. Too much, some would say.

Still, I want people to come to me and beg me to work for them.

I know that referrals are the best marketing. But I also realize that sometimes they are not enough.

Something about sales has never sat well with me. Although I’ve put in my time writing marketing copy, I much prefer content that educates, enlightens and entertains.

That’s why I’m thrilled with the growth of content marketing. No creating needs or exploiting weaknesses. Even the Dalai Lama would approve.

What amazed me were the results I’ve achieved from my first few calls. The first insisted God was answering her prayers. We’ve met, I’ve prepared a proposal and we’re raring to go. The second said my timing couldn’t have been better and we’re going to talk more next week. The third asked me to send more information about my “great” idea.

Despite this, I am still procrastinating. Suddenly I am finding too much billable work and volunteer commitments. I am even paying taxes, the one task I procrastinate on more than sales.

Why does this happen? Was I scarred as a child when I didn’t sell as many fundraising chocolate bars as my rival? Was I a wicked used car salesman in a past life? I don’t know.

Will selling get easier? I hope so.

After all, I can delegate the financial and tech stuff I dread. But I can’t delegate myself. That’s what I’m selling.

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3 Responses

  1. Great post, Barb. RIght on. I love it when we share and comisserate on this experience.

    And, you’re right about it all — it works. I just sold over 100 copies of my new ebook in the first 24 hours. On pace for the next 100 within the next 24. Unreal. It’s taken four months of steady work on the blog, but that’s paying off with reader loyalty and this great response to my offer.

    I share this in the spirit of helping to validate your points, and wish everyone great success of their own. Now… back to work!

  2. Any plans to post on your book advice, Larry? I’d love to hear how you’ve done it. I’m trying to combine some of my posts and other writing into a book called Write Like You Talk–Only Better. I need to learn a lot more about marketing a book.

  3. Dale Carnegie once said, “I’m a really lousy salesman so I have to make it really easy for people to buy”.

    That’s the job of all of us as small business owners, we have to ask ourselves, “how can I help this person” and then make it really easy for them to buy.

    All the best in supporting your clients. Judi

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