You’re selling your service, but who is buying?
In a world of side hustles becoming main hustles, we’re all trying to carve out a space for ourselves in this world; luckily there’s room if you’re willing to work for it, but one struggle a lot of people face is how they’re supposed to sell themselves.
I’ve never forget a class I took in University on ‘Professional Selling Skills’ and the message I’ll never forget was that selling yourself isn’t ever about you, it’s about selling a solution to a clients problem.
When is the last time you walked into a store and without asking about what you were looking for, someone started trying to sell you random things. A lawnmower, a pair of shoes that weren’t your size.. that’s likely never happened because sales associates are trained to ask about you, the customer, in order to help you find something you’d be willing to spend your money on.
Now let’s reverse that scenario and talk about how to identify opportunities to provide a solution that may lead to a sale.
- Predicting something before it happens
A good salesperson always has their finger on the pulse of their industry and a great salesman will use that information to set themselves up for a potential sale. If a holiday is coming up, be ready 3 months in advance with a tailored campaign that is going to boost brand awareness and drive sales. Do you have the inside scoop that a new collection or product is about to drop? Pitching the Marketing Manager and telling them how you’d love to spin it not only shows initiative, it shows that you’re paying attention.
- Keep it personal
The same way a salesperson wouldn’t try to sell you shoes that aren’t your size, why you are you trying to sell something without knowing if it’s a good fit for a company? A little research goes a long way and raises your chances of closing a deal when you’re specific about what products you want to highlight in which scenario and why. It’s like a game of Clue; put them all together and you have a very personalized pitch.
- Be flexible
When I’m cold pitching, I always like to sign off my pitches in an open-ended way, something like, “I’m really looking forward to working with ___ on this campaign, alternatively if you’d prefer to focus on another product or collection, I’m open to modifying the deliverables,” so they know that they have the freedom to steer the campaign into a different direction if their marketing needs are focused on something else.
- Be persistant
If you don’t get a reply to your amazing pitch, follow up after 3 business days. No reply after that? Give it 2-3 months then pitch them with another tailored idea. If you aren’t at the top of their inbox, someone else is.
- Add value
This is your time to think outside of the box and think of how you can spice up your services. As a marketing pro, I’ll include reviews on third-party sites, extra commercial images or an Instagram Story segment of my using a product, etc. to differentiate my campaign from the rest.
If selling yourself doesn’t come easily to you, you aren’t the only one. Try practicing becoming a version of yourself who embodies the characteristics you lack naturally until you become more comfortable embodying someone who gets shit done. Another useful tool is this 4-step guide to manifesting success that helps keep me on track when I need to get back into a grinding mindset.