A fundamental reason why professionals are uncomfortable with selling is that asking for business feels embarrassing. It can feel needy, pushy, and greedy. There is the risk of rejection.
A way to overcome your discomfort is to have a comfortable reason for reaching out to your targets. Instead of asking for business, you can offer something in one of the five categories of value in advance:
- Education: Conduct a complimentary seminar. Send an article that you have written.
- Entertainment: Invite someone to lunch or dinner. Invite people to participate in activities you enjoy.
- Introductions: Look at your target list and identify the individuals who would benefit form meeting each other.
- Leadership: Volunteer for an assignment in your target’s organization. You may have targets who would appreciate your being of service to causes they support.
- Inspiration: We define inspiration as the ability to instill self-confidence. People crave inspiration in their lives. The more you can inspire your targets, the more they will appreciate you and welcome your efforts to communicate with them.
By giving value in advance, you are not directly asking for business and therefore less likely to feel needy, pushy, or greedy. Conversely, you will feel proud to reach out to your targets when you genuinely believe in the value you offer. When your targets perceive your offer as valuable, they are more likely to be receptive, and so the risk of rejection is minimized.
For more marketing tips, check out our book Selling in Your Comfort Zone.