If the idea of selling something seems terrifying, you’re not alone. Many entrepreneurs and business owners starting out feeling the same way.
- “I don’t want to annoy people.”
- “Will my readers think I’m only after money?”
- “Why would anyone want to buy from me?”
Even some of our most successful Zero to Launch graduates used to be scared to sell. They had all of the above hang-ups — and more.
Today I want to introduce to you 7 graduates who overcame their fear of selling and now have 6-figure businesses.
What were they afraid of?
- “Everyone will think I only want their money”
- “I felt like I was being greedy”
- “I felt afraid of bothering people”
- “I was scared to death”
- “My sales reeked of desperation”
- “Will my method work for others?”
- “I thought I was asking for too much”
Each of them had an “aha” moment that made them shift their mindset about selling. As a result, they have hordes of fans who are happy to pay them.
“Everyone will think I only want their money”
Danny Margulies’ first experience with selling was working at a car dealership. No surprise, it left a bad taste in his mouth.
“In those days, selling meant squeezing as much money as possible out of each person who walked through the door.”
This made him believe selling was sleazy, and he continued to feel that way when he started his online business, Freelance to Win.
So the first time he sent a sales email, he expected the worst: “Everyone will think I’m trying to make money off them, and they won’t believe a single word I say.”
Feeling like a sleazy salesman, he decided, “I guess I’ll just click send and get my well-deserved failure over with.”
However, this pitch to his email list was different than the ones he hawked at car buyers. This time he was selling a product he created and believed in, so his message was genuine. It wasn’t filled with hype and scarcity tactics.
Hours later when orders starting trickling in, Danny realized his readers saw value in what he was offering.
But the real kicker came a few weeks later.
“Almost no one asked for a refund. And many of them sent me ‘thank you’ emails. It was a major paradigm shift for me.”
Danny’s course helped people earn more than they paid for it.
Over time, this happened again and again. And it completely changed Danny’s beliefs about selling. He realized that if you’re honest and genuine, people will pick up on it and be more likely to make a purchase.
“I felt like I was being greedy”
“I used to be afraid of selling because I was so used to helping people for free. That’s how much I love what I do! It felt like if I attached a monetary value to my help, my intentions weren’t as pure and I was being greedy.”
She realized that if she ever wanted to work long-term with anyone, charging for her services was critical. Still, she was terrified people would unsubscribe when she started sending sales emails.
Luckily, the opposite happened.
“People were excited to work with me. They also felt more connected with me because my emails spoke to their burning desires, fears, and needs.”
With testimonials like this, it’s clear Selena’s fears were nothing to be scared of.
This made her see that it’s all about helping people.
“When I’m selling, I realize it’s not about me taking money away from people. Rather, I’m offering a service or product that will get them closer to their dreams.”
“I felt afraid of bothering people”
Sarah Jones remembers her first sales call. She was working at a phone and DSL service store right out of college.
“I picked up the phone and froze. I could hardly get any words out of my mouth. I panicked. It was mortifying! I just kept thinking of the person on the other line thinking, ‘What the hell is going on, and who is this woman?’ I felt super on-the-spot and afraid of bothering people.”
But Sarah used that job as a chance for growth. She learned the value of going above and beyond for people.
“I would tell customers that if they have ANY problems, come right back and tell me, so I could fix it. I told them I would call customer service and wait on hold for them. I wanted them to know I was there for them if they signed up through me.”
She was so true to her word that there were times when her coworkers collected all the commissions because she was on hold with a customer.
In a few months, though, Sarah became one of the top salespeople at her company. All because she cared for her customers.
“Being true to my word and going above and beyond is invigorating. That’s what made me great at sales then. And it’s the backbone of my emails, sales pages, products, and small sales team with my business, Introverted Alpha, now.”
Plus this dedication has created fans who love working with her.
Sarah’s clients appreciate that she goes above and beyond and never feel bothered.
“I was scared to death”
Graham Cochrane used to be gun shy about sales after his experience selling advertising for a local radio station.
“I felt it was impossible to convince local businesses to give me money to put an ad on the radio for them. I was scared to death of calling people up, walking into their stores, and scouring the phone book and Google listings for new prospects. It was a nightmare.”
Things got better when he launched The Recording Revolution and began selling his own products online. But it still wasn’t easy.
“When I first started selling, it wasn’t quite as scary because I was at least selling something I believed in. But I still felt like I was bothering people.”
Then, after a few sales, Graham’s perspective changed.
Graham’s fears disappeared when he learned his products make an impact on customers’ lives.
“All it took was seeing people buy my products and tell me that they made a huge impact in their lives. From then on, I knew that I had something that helped people. Why wouldn’t I offer it to my list?”
“If they don’t want it, that’s OK. But I at least have to offer it.”
“My sales reeked of desperation”
Naveen Dittakavi, a software consultant turned online business owner, compares selling to dating.
“Selling is a lot like talking to girls. The first few years of doing it, I would get nervous and my palms would sweat. I felt like I was putting myself out there. My attitude at the time for both business and dating reeked of desperation. And I was often rejected in both.”
Then Naveen reframed his view.
“I recognized that my services would let clients achieve their goals. So I made it my duty to help them. This snowballed in a consultancy that generates multi-six figures and has deep, 10-plus-year relationships with clients.”
He brings this same attitude to his latest online business, Next Vacay.
“I know my service helps people see more of the world. And I reduce a lot of the frustrations they have when planning their next vacation. So I feel that it’s my job to help as many people as possible, and I have no problems promoting Next Vacay.”
People love Next Vacay. Why not promote it?
“Will my method work for others?”
“I was scared of putting my own weight-loss results out there. I thought that people would think I was bragging. I even questioned, ‘Will my method work for others?’”
But this all changed after a year of working with clients.
“They had incredible results. Women who had been stuck for 3 years or more were losing weight quickly. They were wearing clothing they had wanted to fit into, and they said they had more energy than ever. After that, I felt like I had a responsibility to tell people what’s possible.”
Nagina’s method has been a gift to others.
What helped calm her nerves about selling?
“The best thing that help me get over my fear of selling was, ironically, selling. And doing it consistently.”
“I thought I was asking for too much”
“I thought I was asking for too much. I thought people would balk at me.”
But once she made the announcement, Felicia discovered that her fears were blown out of proportion.
“All of the things I was scared of DID happen. People unsubscribed and they balked at my rates. But that didn’t affect my business. Many still bought from me and loved my products and coaching.”
And that’s the thing about fears. Most of them are stories we tell ourselves.
Once you get out and start selling, you realize it’s not as bad as you’re making it out to be.
A sales pitch is nothing more than a friendly conversation. A rejection isn’t the end of the world.
And you’ll hear “yes” more than you think you will.