Selling Vs. Serving

When I ask my clients what they don’t enjoy doing in their business, very often the answer is “selling.” When I ask them what they don’t feel they’re very good at, I usually get the same answer, “selling.”

Many of us seem to have a built-in aversion to selling. Perhaps it’s because of what we believe selling must be like in order to be effective. We may have visions of the used car salesman swooping down upon us as soon as we walk onto the car lot. We don’t like feeling pressured or manipulated into buying something. And that’s what we think selling has to be like to be effective.

If we bring this mindset into our business it’s no wonder we don’t like selling and we’re not very good at it. But the bottom-line is, if we don’t sell, we don’t have a business because we won’t have any clients. So how do we get over this aversion to selling and learn to embrace it so we can help the clients we know we are here to help?

By creating a whole new mindset when it comes to selling.

Let me paint a picture for you. Let’s say you just went to a great restaurant, or you saw a movie that you absolutely loved. There’s a pretty good chance you’re going to pick up the phone and call your best friend and tell them they absolutely have to go eat at that restaurant, or see that movie. You WANT to share something that you believe will help them, or that they will enjoy, or benefit from.

Now let’s take this same idea and put it to work in your business.

If you’re in business offering a product a service, I’m willing to bet you’re doing so because you believe it can really help people. And, if you’ve been in business for awhile, I’m also willing to bet that you have some very satisfied clients who you have helped. Clients who would be worse off if they hadn’t worked with you, or purchased your product. (By the way, if you don’t feel this way about your product or service, you need to get into a new business).

So if you believe you can really help people, yet you’re afraid to go out and tell people about what you have to offer, you are withholding an opportunity from them. You’re not giving them a chance to “go to that great restaurant” or “see that wonderful movie.”

As a service professional, you are here to serve people.

When you offer your services to potential clients, you are giving them an opportunity to benefit from your services. I don’t like to even call it “sellng.” When I meet someone who is in pain because they’re unhappy in their job, or they don’t have the time with their family that they really want because their job doesn’t allow it, or who is struggling to get clients and make their business successful, I can’t wait to share with them how I can help them. I can’t wait to help them see the light at the end of the tunnel and offer to take their hand and help them find their way. Because I know if I get the opportunity to do that, their life will be changed in so many positive ways. I know I can help them.

So I don’t even look at what I am doing as selling. I choose to look at it as serving.

And if I offer someone help and they choose not to take it, I know it’s not a reflection of what I have to offer. It simply means it’s not the right path for them at that moment. I know my job is to help them see what’s possible, and to show them a way to get there, but in the end, it’s up to them whether or not they choose to take that path.

If you are squeamish about selling and your business is anemic as a result, I encourage you to change your mindset from a selling mindset to a serving mindset. Get out there every day and find people you can serve and offer to help them. That’s how you build a business and make a difference in the world.

About Debbie

Debbie worked in marketing for 32 years and ran a successful coaching and consulting business for 19. Now she helps people find greater happiness and success by learning how to Follow Inspiration.

2 comments on “Selling Vs. Serving

  1. Excellent article, Debbie, that makes a clear distinction between selling and serving. Love the point “you are giving them an opportunity to benefit from your services.” Very often when I share information on the opportunity to teach skin care, the response I get is “I don’t like to sell. I don’t want to make people feel obligated.” It so important to have a ‘servant’s heart’ – you are there to provide a valuable service that can enrich another person. I love what I do and also look at it as serving. Thank you.

  2. You are so true about having a servanthood perspective in your own business, I know I haven’t been looking at it that way lately, but you made me think about my circumstances as a first time business owner. I may make my own product, at first it was just a plain hobby, but now more customers are always asking me if I have a website and at the time I didn’t. Now, that I do one thing I need to do is generate traffic to my website, some services offer alot of money and as a new business owner I cannot afford that yet. Good report though, thanks!

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