How to Sell When You Hate To Sell

If you run a business it means you have a solution to a problem that you are offering to a specific group of people (ie: prospects and hopefully…customers) for a price.

If you give your solution away for free, you don’t have a business. You have a different type of organization, like a charity or nonprofit.

Businesses provide value by solving problems in exchange for money.

The challenge that we face as business owners is this. The vast majority of consumers are predisposed to say “NO” when it comes to buying decisions. Doesn’t matter what it is. Most people become so used to LIVING with their problem that they’re closed to SOLVING their problem.

It’s like the person who decides they’d rather limp through life rather than getting that knee surgery or going to their Physical Therapist.

Now here’s the hard truth. If you truly can solve a problem for someone, I believe you have a moral obligation to do everything in your power to help them. That includes helping them overcome their instinct to limp along.

The way we help people fight against this instinct is called marketing.

Marketing is the effort we make to help our prospects see the pain they’re in and help them see that there’s a better way.

But there’s a problem. A BIG one.

Somewhere along the way, “marketing” got redefined as “tricking people into doing or buying something they would ultimately regret.”

There’s no denying that using tactics rooted in psychology and understanding human behavior are tools we marketers use. And there have certainly been plenty of people who have taken advantage or their customers by promising solutions and not delivering on their promise.

What happens though is businesses completely avoid marketing because they don’t want to be associated with the people who have abused them in the past.

So they end up creating a vanilla version of marketing I call “Me Marketing.” Me Marketing talks about how great the company is or how great the product is. And they think that if they can just make an airtight logical argument for their solution, customers will line up.

But we don’t make buying decisions based on logic.

Most of the time it’s all about how we (consumers) feel. Our emotions. We have to picture ourselves in the future using the product and no longer having to deal with the problem.

That’s why “Me Marketing” does a huge disservice to your prospect. You end up helping fewer people and your sales stay low. Which could impact the lifespan of your business.

Our job is to help people overcome their objections and their predisposition to say “NO” by any legal means necessary. Again, if we truly can solve a real problem, why wouldn’t we do that?

This is why I believe marketing is the most important function inside any business. In fact, my mentor often says “marketing isn’t everything, it’s the only thing.”

So bringing this back to the title of this post. My goal here is to reframe what marketing is…what selling is. If you think it’s just tricking people, first I understand why you might think that. Second, I would invite you to reconsider for the reasons above. 

I’m curious to know what you think about this. Agree? Disagree? Let me know below… And thanks as always for reading!

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Chris Mason