Are you missing out on business because you’re afraid of coming across to your audience as too salesy?
This fear is the downfall for many new business owners, especially solo business owners and creative entrepreneurs. You master your craft or become an expert in what you’re teaching, then balk at the idea of asking your audience to pay for it.
“Your fear of being too salesy is not only hurting your business and holding you back, it is hurting your potential customers, because it means they’re not able to get the solution you provide,” says Mariah Coz, an online marketing expert who helps clients launch and sell online courses.
In an episode of The Mariah Coz Show, Mariah talks about how to overcome your fear of feeling “salesy” and create a sales funnel that sells for you on autopilot.
To get past your fear of selling, let go of these limiting beliefs about sales that too many small business owners hold onto.
Too many new entrepreneurs are afraid to promote their business. You’ve built a strong network and even a loyal audience — but when it comes time to sell, you’re afraid of coming off as “salesy.”
Mariah sees it differently.
“I don't like the word salesy,” Mariah says. “I don't think there's anything wrong with selling. Selling is serving.”
She makes the obvious point we all need to remember sometimes: Selling is the only way to teach people about what you offer.
That doesn’t mean being pushy. It means educating people about your offer and letting them know it’s available for them to buy if they want — and, by the way, you believe it’s the perfect solution to XYZ problem they’ve been having.
“You're not forcing anyone to buy anything,” Mariah clarifies. “You're just saying, here's all the info you need to make a decision.”
Sure, some people in your audience might respond with annoyance. But that’s not on you; that’s a result of their expectation of getting everything for free. To keep your audience from feeling hoodwinked, set proper expectations, for example:
Don’t worry that people who value your expertise are going to be angry at you for charging money for your work.
Are you worried about promoting new prospects too early in your relationship with them?
Mariah has actually found from testing and talking with other business owners that a huge majority of people who buy from you do it within the first week or so of being in your audience.
This isn’t a cold outreach. These prospects are reading your blog, signing up for your email list, opting into offers like a webinar or white paper. They’re buying into your brand, so they’re well warmed up for whatever you have to offer.
“There are so many people who need this [solution] right now, today, and they don’t want to wait to get the solution they need,” Mariah says.
When you promote your business through content marketing, people find you because they’re looking for a solution now. If you build a proper funnel that addresses their problem, they’ll be primed to buy from you pretty quickly.
Wait to make your sales pitch, and you could miss your window.
“They don’t want to wait. They want the solution now,” Mariah says. “So it's really important that you give them what they need when they need it.”
Do you feel like you have the only engaged audience in the world that’s not willing to buy anything?
“Your audience doesn't not like being sold to,” Mariah says. “It's possible that your audience has only experienced unenjoyable ways of being sold to.”
Maybe you’re in a space where you’re reaching an audience who’s been burned a lot in the past by pushy sales people. Or maybe you’re trying sales tactics yourself that you didn’t feel good about, and your audience is reflecting your hesitancy.
If you don’t believe in what you’re selling, your audience won’t like being sold to. You’ll hold back, you’ll subconsciously believe no one should buy, and your audience will sense that.
But if you stand behind your offer 1,000% and know it’s the right solution for them, they’ll appreciate the information and the chance to make a decision that could improve their lives.
“Your audience is begging you to make it easy for them to buy from you,” Mariah says.
Don’t make a timid pitch, and don’t bury your CTA at the bottom of blog posts, sales pages or emails. Make it clear what you’re selling and how to buy — your audience will thank you.
Mariah’s No. 1 advice for online entrepreneurs? Automate your sales funnel with evergreen content. Stop limited launches and individual outreach, and set up a funnel that sells your offers for you.
Turning your sales funnel evergreen, Mariah says, is “how you provide massive value to infinite amounts of people at scale.”
She recommends evergreen content like a recorded webinar followed by an email series.
You could also lean on SEO to attract inbound leads, with automated email funnels based on the topics that attracted the leads. Or a video series, Messenger chatbot, text subscription — get creative with content that addresses your customer’s need and engages them in an automated conversation that’ll lead to your sales pitch.
Worried no one will buy if you’re not making that pitch live?
The truth is that you can reach a lot more people by going evergreen. Create a product you can sell on autopilot, and you create the best, most convenient scenario for you and your customers:
“The magic of what you do is not in the fact that you do it live,” says Mariah. “It’s in your energy, and we can encapsulate the best of you… in an automated format.”
The key thing you need to get comfortable with selling? Confidence.
But that’s not confidence in your ability to sell — it’s confidence in the effectiveness of what you’re selling.
“Any fear of sales or selling you have melts away and becomes completely a non-issue when you know how powerful your [product] is,” Mariah says.
When you know the results you’re touting are real and can truly solve real problems for your customers, marketing becomes easy. It’s just a conversation about the problems they experience and how you can help.
“Suddenly you’re not selling,” Mariah says. “You’re just there to help people.”
A fear of selling at its core comes from believing people won’t love your offer. To overcome that, you have to see the results it gets for people and be in love with how amazing it is.
If you ever question this, Mariah recommends looking through comments, feedback and testimonials from your customers. Remember the impact your business has had on them. That way, when you’re selling, you’re just sharing real results — no pie-in-the-sky promises.
Your sales pitch — whether you make it one-on-one, in a live webinar, on your sales page or through an email funnel — is about making sure the people who need your offer can get it as easily as possible.
Offer valuable evergreen content as part of your sales funnel, and everyone who’s not ready to buy can still get value from you and love your brand.
“Your audience loves you,” Mariah points out. “They want more from you. You have to give it to them.”