Selling is generally exchanging something for money while another definition attached to it is persuading someone to do or agree with you. So we’re all essentially selling in one way or another. But why do people dislike being sold? Perhaps that’s because there’s one more meaning, or a rather dishonourable attached to selling; cheating or deceiving.
Think about the last time you bought something of significant value. It can be a laptop, a car or even a house. You walk into the store or showroom. A salesperson approached you. You had the intention to make a purchase but were you looking to be sold to? Ask yourself the following questions:
- Did the salesperson ask you what you were looking for or interested in or tell you the features they wanted you to know?
- Was the salesperson genuinely interested in what you want?
- Did the salesperson show you the option available within your price range or try to persuade you to go for something more expensive?
- Did you walk out a happy customer or did you suffer from buyer’s remorse after your purchase?
The final question is an indication of whether you were in control of your purchase decision or you were steered towards what the salesperson wanted for you. It feels like they’re imposing what they think or believe to the best for you while it’s really about their own interests. I’m not saying being sold to is usually a bad thing. There were times when I was sold to and still I was a happy customer because the salesperson genuinely care more about what I wanted. But this is a topic for another day.
So now that we have put ourselves in the consumer’s shoes, we really don’t want to “sell” to family, friends, acquaintances or even total strangers. Whether you’re a business owner or freelancer, you need to reframe the idea of selling to sharing. People feel instant connection when you share. The word sharing is associated closely with contributing or giving. Also, salespeople may sell you something you don’t need or may not be beneficial to you but when it comes to sharing, you don’t share craps to your family and friends. You only share because it’s good and you think it may benefits them, then leave them to decide if they want it.
In the era of social media, even large corporations are transforming their sales and marketing practices into more personalized approaches where they begin to share information rather than pushing advertising messages down your throats. So there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be utilizing the social media to your advantage when you’re running a business.
Sharing What You Do with Your Family and Friends
If you’re a business owner or an entrepreneur, you must know that your products or services are good or else why would you be in this business? So, begin sharing with anyone who might be interested in what your products or services can offer. If they truly have the purchase intention, you can recommend options. A little persuasion won’t do any harm but don’t push it too hard.
Some people may find it easier to share it with strangers rather than family and friends. Now, the question is, why wouldn’t you share about your products and services to your friends if you know that it can be a solution to their problems? If a regular salesperson out there are earning commissions out of your friends by providing good services, I bet you can do an even better job because you know what your friends want best and your services will definitely be more personalized compared to the strangers out there.
Helping Others to Make Informed Purchase Decision
Information is important for us to make good purchasing decisions. We’re already doing that anyway. We inform our friends about the new deals at certain online stores, great movies they should watch, or delicious food they may enjoy at a newly opened restaurant. We’re recommending products or services of other companies to our family and friends based on our positive consumption experiences. The only difference is that those other companies don’t pay us. Why don’t we share and recommend our own products or services?
You’d be surprise at how supportive some of your relatives and friends can be. I know I have paid higher for the same products to my friend who’s selling them compared to purchasing it at the store. I’ve also stopped buying certain products from the stores even though it’s more convenient simply because my friends are selling them. I would rather support my friends’ livelihood than to give my money to large corporations.
Talk about your products or services on Facebook or Twitter and let them be the judge. I’m sure they’ll contact you if they need your products or services. Don’t sit there and thinking of how to sell, just begin by sharing!