Where does courage fit in sales and selling? To succeed in business, you need to be innovative, creative, and open to change. All of these areas need courage.
Asking for what you need to succeed, overcoming challenges, making sales and winning clients requires that you dig deep.
I often refer to the fabulous quote by Theodore Roosevelt when I talk about courage.
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because this is no effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.” ~ Theodore Roosevelt
Courage is all about overcoming your fears and challenges. In sales, that fear often presents itself the minute you need to ‘sell’ yourself or your products and services. However, every business owner must understand that sales are all about visibility and why people buy from you. Learning to have courage in sales and selling is an important skill to develop.
I recently created a brand new talk that featured the fantastic Disney Pixar film, Ratatouille.
In this fun film, we meet the great chef, Auguste Gusteau, who runs his 5-star restaurant with a philosophy that everyone can cook. The story revolves around a bad review from Anton Ego, a food critic, which leads to the removal of one of Gusteau’s stars, and the subsequent death of the master chef from a broken heart.
The sous-chef takes over the restaurant, but his values and ideas aren’t aligned, and the restaurant starts to fail. Enter Alfredo Linguini, who is hired by the current owner even though it’s thought Linguini will never make anything of himself despite being the heir to the restaurant and Gusteau’s long lost son.
As Linguini spills the soup and attempts to recreate it with random ingredients, Remy the rat drops into the restaurant’s kitchen from the skylight to fix Linguini’s mistake. Remy might be a rat, but he’s also a genius chef! Why? Because he has no fear and lots of curiosity. He believes in himself.
The partnership between Remy and Linguini builds, and they create fabulous dishes for the restaurant, including the finest ratatouille on the planet. Will food critic Anton Ego like the new dishes? You’ll have to watch the film to find out…
However, the moral of the story is perfectly reflected in our sales strategy. It’s something Gusteau also says in the film, “What I say is true, anyone can cook…but only the fearless can be great!”
How to be fearless
Life skills are sales skills, which means anyone has the skills to sell, but are you fearless enough to take action? Let’s talk about three of the life skills that make up the foundation of a great salesperson.
Mindset – the set of beliefs that shape you, influence you, and create your thoughts, feelings, and behaviours. Think of it as a sat nav for your life and business. Yes, you’ll be guided down the right road to where you need to be, but occasionally you’ll be taken down a wrong turn. These wrong turns can manifest as self-doubt in your mind.
How can you ensure you’re fit for travel?
There is no final destination when it comes to your mindset. You are a work in progress, and your thoughts and beliefs will throw challenges at you regularly. However, creating a regular mindset exercise routine and adopting a daily practice can strengthen your mindset.
Think about your experiences, stories, values, and strengths. What are you grateful for?
I recently walked Hadrian’s Wall, 84 miles across the country from Newcastle to Bowness-on-Solway over six days. What a journey! We encountered many ups and downs, and I’m not only talking about the physical kind.
My mindset was tested to the limit over those six days. With a huge blood blister at the end of day two and a pulled thigh muscle, my mind began the unhelpful chatter of ‘you won’t finish this walk’, but I knew I needed to dig deep.
I kept going despite the pain, exhaustion, and deep sadness at times, thinking I might fail. I believed in myself. I walked with a group of people, and by my side, all the way was my wonderful school friend, Lynn. She was my strength, my mindset companion, and her support was phenomenal and inspiring.
Together we kept going.
Encountering ups and downs is part of running a business, but if you can master your mindset, you’ll reap the benefits of your hard work and determination.
Resilience – this is the process of adapting in the face of trauma, stress, and adversity.
There are so many challenges you will face as a business owner, but remember:
- It’s okay that your products or services aren’t the right fit for everyone.
- It’s okay that the staff you hired haven’t worked out.
- It’s okay if yoursupply chain has been compromised.
- It’s okay to face challenges.
- It’s okay to work smarter.
- It’s okay that you’ve had to adapt to a new business landscape.
The pandemic hit many businesses hard. I lost £25k out of a small business, and as a solopreneur, it hurt. There were tears, tantrums, and plenty of fears for the future. Would I lose my business?
It was my son who reminded me I was made of different stuff and would get through this. When your child tells you to pull your socks up, you have no choice but to prove him right! My business moved online. I became resilient. I owned my vulnerability.
As Brené Brown tells us in her fabulous TED talk Listening to Shame, “vulnerability is our most accurate measurement of courage… It is the birthplace of innovation, creativity, and change.”
Your UHP® – Your Unique Human Proposition® is more important than your unique selling point. Your UHP® gives your business value and sets you apart from others because it focuses on your greatest asset – YOU!
How do you be YOU authentically within your business?
- Wear the colours you love
- Use language that your audience understands and expects from you
- Live by your values
Everyone has experienced that moment when you get a ‘feeling’ about someone you meet for the first time. Sometimes it’s an automatic connection that begins to build a long-lasting relationship, and occasionally it’s your gut screaming at you to move away. Trust it.
So BE FEARLESS!
Combining mindset, resilience, and your UHP® will help you build the courage to sell yourself and your business. Ask yourself the following questions regularly to keep yourself in check.
- Do you have the right mindset for your business?
- Have you built the resilience to grow?
- Do you understand your Unique Human Proposition®?
I created my own saying influenced by the great Gusteau.
“What I say is anyone can sell…but only the fearless can be great!’
Why not build your courage to sell in a safe space within my Facebook Group The Sales Hub? We have a ‘Feel the Fear’ Sales Challenge coming up where you’ll get daily lessons to help you fall in love with sales and build your courage. Register HERE
Want to find out more? Schedule a virtual cuppa with me, and we can chat about the membership or my other coaching services.