Hidden Contradictions that Block Sales & Limit Growth
I recently had a conversation with a small business owner.
She wanted to know where she could network to promote her products. She was a creative and had made them herself. I tried to elicit from her the unique features and benefits of her products plus the target audience she had made them for. With this knowledge, I could have suggested places to engage with such an audience who had the needs she might have mentioned. However, it soon became clear that she had not thought of any of this. She said she simply loved what she made, hoped to share it with family and friends, did not plan on making much money and felt that she was an introvert and therefore not ready to go about meeting people and talking about her business. I assured her that if all she wanted was to share her products with family and friends and was not interested in making money, then she did not need to go out networking. She could just keep the networking and the sales within the family.
And with this, our conversation ended.
I could tell that my response was not what she had wanted to hear. Seeing herself as an introvert and not being ready to go out and meet people, she just wanted the names of some online communities where she could share a link and get the sales. Like magic. No additional effort on her part. It was mildly alarming to me that she had no unique features or benefits to make her products appealing and she had no specific kind of customer to appeal to. Yet, she expected sales. Does this sound familiar?
This was a case of the outer actions showing the true state of the inner mind:
What we see on the outside:
I do not show up prepared to receive business – I have no target audience, no special features, no special benefits and I struggle to present my business.
What really goes on inside:
I do not feel ready to go out and engage in the marketplace. I want to but something inside just holds me back.
Notice the self-contradiction:
Where can I network to make more sales? vs I don't really want to make sales.
This unresolved contradiction results in feelings of frustration. And no sales.
The truth, that she was not telling herself, is that she really did want sales (or she would not have asked the question to begin with).
However, she had inner inhibitions that she had not yet admitted to or she was not yet aware of, that need to be removed, before she could develop the confidence to present her business persuasively.
So, in the meantime, she hid behind the pretence that she was not really interested in selling. She gave the excuse that she was an introvert. She said she did not really want to make money. She told herself these stories to try to explain the contradiction and resolve the frustration. But these stories are not the truth. And so, she was not set free.
How do I know all this? Two reasons:
1. I was in this same position myself, several years ago. I wanted growth but I held back from getting out there and doing the things I needed to do to promote my business. I got help to uncover what exactly was holding me back, took steps to overcome it and have not felt inhibited ever since. I was suddenly free inside to take the steps I needed to take on the outside. And my business began to grow.
2. After this liberation, I began working with others who had the same problem.
I helped these people to apply the solutions that worked for me and they achieved the same results: they uncovered what was holding them back, overcame it and became free to do the things they needed to do to promote their businesses.
I remember one particular lady who had inhibitions around talking about her services. Deep down inside, she did not feel good about making money from a service that she set up to help people. She felt it should be given away for free. However, she did not know that this was at the root of her challenges until we began talking about it.
We spent some time talking about the need for her service to self-sustain, which it could only do through sales (and if her business died out through lack of sales, who would serve her clients?);
We talked about what I call the principle of fair returns: the worker is worthy of his/her hire – it is fair to be rewarded for your labours and unfair when you are not;
We talked about what I call the principle of fair exchange – to continue to find joy in her labours she needed to exchange her services for something at the very least fair and equal in value. Without this fair exchange, she would eventually burn out and possibly become bitter. Which would do neither herself, nor her customers any good.
We uncovered a whole lot more that this lady had never thought about before.
She began to see the exchange of money for her services in a new, more positive light. She began to drop her old thinking and take on a more empowering perspective.
After a while, with her inhibitions now uprooted, she was able to venture forward and work out a plan to share her business. She was prepared to work through her professed introversion and learn a new way to present her business that took the spotlight off herself and placed it somewhere more advantageous. And she began to make sales.
Does all this resonate with you?
Do you want, deep down inside, to be able to confidently talk about your business and move it forward? Yet you feel something holding you back, so that you sabotage your own efforts? I have been there before.
Your solution is most likely not a new website, a new networking group, some new business cards or a new tagline.
You quite likely need help to discover these inhibitions, take steps to overcome them, then chart the path forward, towards what you really want. Just as I once did and just as my clients now do.
I would like to offer you this help.
I invite you to find out more about how I have supported similar clients, the results they have obtained, plus how I could support you too.
Click here to find out more.
If you have further questions and would like to discuss these with me,
please click here to contact me.
I look forward to hearing from you soon and to supporting you forwards and upwards.