Hey, creative. Does doing sales make you feel yucky, sleazy, gross, like a used car salesman, right? I know that’s true for most people generally when they, if they have to sell something. Um, but certainly for creatives, and I know that you struggle with this, but I’m here to tell you that sales doesn’t have to be that way. I’ve been doing sales in my businesses for 25 years, and yet there have been times when I’m, I’ve sold something or been trying to sell something, an idea or a service or something, and felt gross and felt yucky. I hate that feeling, but I’ve also, the majority of the time, it’s been great. Uh, not just for me. It’s been great for the people who bought from me. They thank they’ve, you know, they’ll hug me and thank me for selling them this. It can, it can be like that where, where both people on the transaction walk away fulfilled and happy with each other and grateful.

Isn’t that how it should be? You know, isn’t that how you want it to be? It can be like that. And I’ll talk a lot about sales in this podcast cuz one, I like doing it. Two, it’s, I know it’s a big obstacle for lots and lots of creative business folks, but I’ll start here. In my years and years, I guess quarter of century now, of, of, um, gee whiz of doing sales. I’ve boiled it down to three main reasons why. If you feel gross, if you feel sleazy, yucky in when you’re in a sales situation, it’s usually one of these three reasons. Good news is every one of these three reasons is fixable, changeable. So you can have those good, positive, fulfilling sales interactions. First reason I uh, usually see, and the most fundamental is you don’t believe in what you’re selling. You don’t believe in the value of your product or service. You not what other people think about it. You don’t think it’s good enough to charge money for or to charge a certain amount of money for.

There is, uh, a great book. It’s a really, really deep book. It’s called Implicit Rhetoric that talks about this phenomenon, implicit inside rhetoric, persuasion, inside persuasion. The first person you have to sell is you. You have to believe in what you’re selling. Now think of it like this. Have you ever had a, a favorite re a restaurant or a, a new movie or a vacation spot or a book, something that you’ve encountered that you just loved and you have this really good friend person, you know, who you know would love this book, vacation Restaurant movie. And you go to this person say, oh my gosh, you have got to read this book. You have to go to this vacation spot. You have to eat at this road, have to, and the person says, nah, I don’t know. You go, no, no, no, no, I know you and I know you’re gonna love this.

And you keep after them until they do. And what happens when they do? They go, oh my God, I’m so glad you made me go to that movie. Read that book. Okay? It’s because you believe in what you’re selling and you know it’s gonna be good for that person. Isn’t that a different feeling than trying to sell something that you don’t believe in? Okay? That’s the, that’s the number one reason is you don’t believe in the value of your own work. There are lots of reasons why you might feel that way, and I, I’m not a psychologist or a therapist and I can’t honestly help you out of that so much except maybe do your best to listen to other people around you, like outside your family, right? Cuz your mom and dad and grandma are gonna tell you that everything you do is great, but if people are telling you there’s value in your work, maybe listen to them.

If you really don’t think your work is that valuable, maybe real talk, you need to get better, maybe you need to practice a skill, improve your technique till you’re more confident in your work, okay? That’s reason number one, you don’t believe in it. That’s between you and you. Once you solve that and you know that, okay, I’m onto something, I have something really valuable that I’m confident selling. The second reason I usually find that people are, uh, not connecting and not making good, like wholesome, fulfilling sales. You feel gross is because you’re after the wrong market. You’re after the wrong kind of person. Call it a, uh, buyer persona, target market. Uh, avatar is another one of my, my customer avatar is, okay, you’re, you are trying to sell something that you believe in, but it’s to people who it, it is not a good fit for them.

So you’re constantly trying to convince them. I hear this a lot from creatives. They go, I have to explain my process cuz they don’t understand why I’m charging so much and how much I have to, if you are already having that conversation, you are already talking to the wrong audience person. Guaranteed that <laugh> you’re convincing, you are explaining is not gonna get you there, not gonna get, if they don’t already see the value in your work, inherently you’re talking to the wrong person. Now, most artists, um, most humans, we start with the people that are nearest to us. So the, the customers in our town or around us or people that I can meet with face-to-face and you get frustrated cuz you, nobody is buying from me. Nobody wants what I want. Well, here’s a great thing about that is you don’t have to sell to anybody in your town, <laugh> or around you.

You have the entire internet out there. You have the entire globe of people can find you and you can find them and your customer may be out there, you just haven’t met them yet. And so if you keep banging your head against these customers that are not gonna buy and it’s frustrating and makes you feel gross, well maybe you just have the wrong people. Go find different people and experiment and find some, okay? So first problem is you don’t believe in you, you don’t think you’re worth that or your work is worth that. Second one is you have the wrong customer. And the third one is you might have the right customer, but they’re on the wrong step of the sales funnel. You ever heard of the sales funnel? I’ll do a whole episode on the sales funnel. It’s, uh, there’s lots of versions of it, but basically humans go through four steps before we buy anything, before we take any action.

Not just buy, but take any action. Four steps, awareness, interest, desire, and action. Here’s the thing though, is you can have somebody who would buy from you, but if, if they are on the awareness step, like they just heard, they just learned about you, they just, they haven’t, they don’t know much about you. They need to explore a little bit more. They’re interested, you know, but they’re, and you’re asking them to buy right now, well then now it does feel pushy. They’re not ready, they haven’t gone through the sales funnel, they haven’t gone through the process. So be more patient with them, Mamie, give them a little bit more information, bring them down to interest. And the more they read and the more they look and the more they see your work and the more they talk to you, they get, they start, desire starts.

Now it’s time to move them to action. So those three reasons I find make people feel really gross and sleazy in a sales interaction. But all of those are adjustable. Either maybe go to a therapist and talk about this with your work. If you don’t believe in you or get better, get your skills to where you’re more confident. That’s number one. You don’t believe in you. Two is you have the wrong customer altogether. Go find different people and start experimenting with different customer, uh, avatars or personas. Third is you have the right customers, but they’re on the wrong spot of the sales funnel. If you adjust any one of those three things, you might be surprised and lock in and find the people who want your stuff and they come stand in line to come buy from you. I hope that happens for you. I have to say it’s happened. I, I, I’ve experienced that and it’s an, it’s such an, a wonderful experience and so much better for everybody involved, okay? So don’t give up, keep plugging away at this. You can do sales. You just need the right situation, the right people, and the right belief in you. You can do it. I love you.