Ever walked into a room feeling incredibly unqualified and intimidated to be there? Freelancers might be finding themselves “walking” into virtual rooms like this every day. How do small studios and independent creatives reel in big, big clients without a major league manager to land deals for them? Well the first step is that they grapple with their imposter syndrome.
No time to waste, here’s our roundup of expert advice for overcoming imposter syndrome and getting big time confident about what you are selling.
The term “Imposter Syndrome” has some serious implications. We’re not here to diagnose you with a disorder…. But while you probably don’t have full-blown imposter syndrome, you could still be selling yourself short on your accomplishments. Here are some common fears that people experience in selling situations:
- Feeling like a fraud
- Feeling like you don’t actually deserve to be in the room
- Feeling unprepared to answer questions
- Feeling on the defensive
- Feeling afraid to talk about money or ask for more money
Expert advice for overcoming inferiority and fear in sales situations
Ash Armbridge, fearless founder of The Middle Finger Project, has TONS of articles on this topic. She clawed her way up from the trailer park to owning her own business and living the good life in Costa Rica as a self-made woman. Basically, she knows what she’s talking about..
Ash says that “all fear comes from not knowing.” You’re afraid of the unknown, of the question they might ask that you don’t have an answer to, or the unknown reaction they will have to your pricing…. So if the fear comes from not knowing, then the antidote to that fear must be knowing. And according to Ash, knowing comes from studying.
“We love to think that the things we’re afraid of are actually scary, because it gives us an excuse when we don’t follow through.
It was too hard. Too complicated. Too confusing. Too __________.
But the truth is, most of the time we just aren’t making the effort.”
Everything you could ever want to know is right inside Barnes and Noble. So is it the thing you’re really afraid of, or is it the work?”
The moral of the story is that knowing your shit is the answer to being confident in selling. Knowing your worth, knowing your product offering, knowing what your time and money are worth. It all comes down to being prepared.
Here are some tips to get prepared for a sales meeting:
- Learn about your potential client and their needs
- Know what kinds of current projects they have going on
- Come ready with a proposal for how you can support their efforts
- LISTEN to what they need, this way you can adjust your offerings to meet their needs
- Respond with your strengths (you know what you’re good at)
- Don’t give away too much for free, but do propose tangible ideas and solutions
- Brag about yourself a little
- Have examples (with numbers!) of previous successes
- Ask lots of questions
Pro tip: You can save the money for a later date. If you’re crippled with fear about naming your price on the spot, then have an awesome conversation about everything the potential client would like to achieve and tell them you’ll put together a proposal. Get them excited about what you have to offer and do the money part later.
What about getting turned down?
Anthony Iannarino, a sales blogger and international speaker, has this to say about rejection:
"Your request is being rejected, but you are not personally being rejected.
If you are dating someone for years, and you believe that your relationship is going to continue, and the person you love refuses your marriage proposal, you have been rejected. It’s personal. "
But if you get turned down after a sales pitch…
"The no you hear isn’t personal. It is simply feedback. Because they didn’t hear a strong enough value proposition, they are refusing your offer."
Try to determine why you didn’t land the deal. This will help you grow and change your approach to sales in the future.
Creative Community Director at Snapfluence.
There is often a pen stuck in my hair.