Confessions of a copywriter who hates selling
A few weeks ago, I sent a love note to my newsletter list (what’s that? You didn’t get it? Umm, sign up here and prepare to be love bombed!) and the subject was “Interior decorating.”
Except it wasn’t about pillows and window coverings and the just-right vase at the just-right angle on the just-right bookcase next to the just-right-just-for-show colorful books.
It was all about changing your mindset and the way you look at things.
In this particular instance, I was waxing poetic about sales.
Sales is cringeworthy, right? It’s gross. It’s deplorable. Some might even say it makes them physically ill. (Anyone who’s retched into a waste basket before a consult call would agree. Not that I’ve done that or anything. No, really, I totally haven’t. I’m just a sweaty-ass mess.)
And for someone who writes copy for a living and for someone who has a service focused on sales pages, you’d think I looove me some sales.
I love sales in which things I want to buy are reduced in price. Sales that involve asking people to buy my stuff?
I do not love.
I’ve taken sales training. I’ve gotten personally trained by a pretty well-known sales coach. I’ve read books about sales.
But, man! It’s still hard for me.
If you’re like me and selling isn’t high on your “things that bring me joy” list, I thought it would be fun-ish to share a little more about how I’m working to reframe selling so I’ll actually do it.
Help a brother (or sister) out
In one of the aforementioned sales trainings, the idea that selling is helping was floated.
I don’t know about you, but helping feels better than selling.
I mean, that’s why most of us do what we do, right? We want to help people. We want to make a difference. We want to change the freakin’ world.
When we think about selling, our minds probably don’t jump to answering questions for people and directing them to helpful resources (that might just be a blog post we wrote or a service we offer).
It’s more likely we think about that one time (okay, there’s totally been more than one time) we had a really, really wretched sales experience. Two immediately spring to mind for me: a business coach who hounded me and insisted I could afford her five-figure coaching package and that car salesman who actually yelled at me for showing up at the dealership after I bought a new car from him…
Neither one of these people was being particularly helpful, even though they were trying to sell something to me (or had sold something to me).
But…imagine how much better the experience would have been if they had genuinely approached selling from a place of wanting to help, of wanting to find the right answer for me.
That’s how I choose to look at sales – as helping people and doing everything I can to lead them to an informed, good-for-them, win-win for everybody.
I’m still a work in progress. I still don’t sell as often as I should or could. But just reframing it from selling to helping makes a huge difference in me actually wanting to sell.
Let’s not keep secrets
If you take a peek at my Instagram, aside from my bio, you’d probably have no idea I’m a business owner.
You’d probably think I’m a food blogger or someone who uses social media for accountability on my clean eating journey.
And that’s a no-no, you know?
I’m keeping my business and how I can help people a secret. And how does that help anyone? It certainly doesn’t help me. It certainly doesn’t help the people I’m trying to help.
Think of it like this: You have this amazing superpower. (Mine is being invisible, I think, a la the Invisibility Cloak, so I can disappear whenever I want and just be alone. Ahhhh, that’s good. I used to think it was reading minds, but that seems like a rabbit hole I don’t wanna stumble down, you know?) Why on earth would you want to keep it secret from the people who would benefit most from it?
Obviously, in this example, Ron and Hermione totes benefit from the Invisibility Cloak, so they know alllll about it.
And your peeps benefit from knowing you can help them make life-changing changes to their lives. (You will, of course, not describe it in such terms. Right? Promise me you won’t!)
So don’t be afraid to shout those bennies from the top of that tower Dumbledore fell (or was pushed) from or, I guess if you’re still stepping into your superpower, whisper it from the shadows of Diagon Alley. (Who knew this was turning into a Harry Potter theme?)
You’re further along than you think
You know I do a lot of reading. I like books and words and book worms and books about words…not necessarily books about worms though.
So what I’m about to tell you will come as no surprise: I was reading something a while back (no idea what it was so don’t ask). I’m pretty sure it was about imposter syndrome or something equally mindset-y like that.
Anyway, the idea was so many of us have this “who am I” thing going on. We don’t feel like we’re smart enough, good enough, successful enough, whatever enough to help people. We feel like we have to be a member of Mensa, have to have achieved some random definition of “good enough” (that the Internet tells us is worthy of being deemed good enough), and be sleeping in a bed topped with a comforter stuffed with hundred dollar bills. Cozy.
But we don’t realize that none of that really matters.
What matters is that we know something we can teach others. That we’re a little bit ahead of our clients on the learning curve. That we can share the knowledge we’ve gained.
I sometimes forget that, even though we’re all writing and reading all day long, some people don’t like it. Some people hate it. Some people would rather burn their money comforters than spend even a second worrying about writing.
And here’s little ol’ me.
I’m further along simply because I like to write. I don’t have to be a published author (even though I technically am…don’t go looking on Amazon, you won’t find me there), I don’t have to have a bestselling author title splashed under my name everywhere I go, and I don’t have to make excuses for that.
All I have to do is recognize that I’m a little bit ahead of my clients on this writing thing. So why not tell other people what I know how to do and offer them the opportunity to make their lives just a little bit easier?
Feels like a win-win.
If you just read all that and you’re all, “What’s the point, man?” it’s this: You don’t have to think of selling as traditional door-to-door, can-I-sell-you-a-vacuum selling. Or let-me-guilt-you-into-spending-20-grand-on-a-car-you-can’t-afford selling.
And you certainly don’t have to have all your shit together to make a difference. When you change your thoughts about selling and realize you’re doing yourself and your clients a disservice by not offering to help them, it’s life-changing. (I mean, sort of. I just wanted to close the loop on that life-changing joke.)
Even though I’m not so fabulous at selling myself, I’m pretty damn good at selling other people. Think of me as your trusted advisor who will make you shine without stealing your sunshine. (I like the shadows. I think I’d hang out in Diagon Alley a lot.) Which is where Sales Page Second Look comes in. I do all the nitty-gritty behind the scenes work so you look like a no-shit professional and you’ll never be ashamed to share your offer again. Let’s take a look, shall we?