• Joanna Rawbone

Is selling a dirty word?

I was chatting with a fellow introvert today about how they find selling difficult, especially if it’s their ‘thing’ they’re trying to sell. Now I know this can be a problem for many introverts and I used to be one of them. I found it particularly challenging when I moved into my niche, as for the first time I was laying myself open to criticism and even ridicule, even though I knew there was a need. Let me put my cards on the table here. I’m not a professional salesperson, nor do I plan to become one. What I am is passionate about what I do because I have evidence about how it helps people. And as per the Marianne Williamson passage my “playing small does not serve the world”. Time to play bigger!

Over the last decade I’ve developed my own approach to sales which begins with reframing ‘selling’. Traditionally, selling is product focused whereas marketing is need and solution focused. So, what I’m really doing is marketing myself and how what I do meets my clients’ needs and addresses their problems or pain points. Now if this sounds like semantics to you, maybe it is but guess what? Semantics matter sometimes! My updated belief is that I’m not selling because I’m not pushing a product. I am marketing myself to my potential clients who are in need of my services.

For those of you who are sceptical, consider the experience of David R Hamilton PhD, who spent 4 years in the pharmaceutical industry, developing drugs for cardiovascular disease and cancer. He was inspired by the placebo effect during drug trials and now educates people in how they can harness their mind and emotions to improve their health. He refers to how “expectation or belief fiddles around with our brain chemistry”. Now I’m not talking about physical health here but, to some extent I am talking about mental health and self-worth.

Unlike some sales programmes for introverts that I’ve reviewed over time, the strategies that we co-create with you are not about pushing you to be more extraverted; they are about identifying your unique strengths as an introvert and playing to them in how you connect with your potential clients. This means you maintain integrity and authenticity whilst showcasing your gifts to those who need them.

I am no longer playing small and I invite you to play bigger and Flourish too!

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