How To Sell Without Being Salesy16 min read

Reading Time: 11 minutes

Selling is one of the many skills in business that most of us struggle with

But, if we want to be good at it, tips aren’t enough

I find that our struggle with sales often begins with our belief system about what selling is about

So, for us to get better at sales, we need to loose certain beliefs about it in the first place

These are some beliefs we must start to hold about the act of selling if we want to grow in this area

Selling is a skill and not a talent

You know how people often say “selling is not my thing “

For years in business, I told people that selling just wasn’t my area of strength but my partner’s

When I started to work on my belief in this area, a lot of things changed

If you are reading this, it means this is an area in your life and business you want to be better in

My question to you then is, when was the last time you read a book or listened to a podcast on sales ?

Have you ever invested your money in a course or book that is solely designed to teach you how to be a great sales person?

The answer most likely is “No”

So, if you haven’t been doing this , how do you intend to get better at it?

Selling is a skill just like riding a bike or playing the piano

We only get better by learning and practicing

Selling is helping

When we put prices on our products and services, we aren’t trying to scam people or take their money

You may be one of those who feels “ but if I am trying to help people, why am I putting money on it”

You are because, you can’t bring the help you want to bring to this world if you are broke

And, if you go broke completely and cannot help those people, you have very well managed to rip them of that opportunity

We can’t save the world if we are broke

This is how I think whenever the thoughts like “ shouldn’t this be free “ hits me

Also, do understand that people are willing to pay for that help

What then makes this bad is if you are taking all the money from them but, you aren’t creating value that matches that

For everything I charge for


One thing that drives me half the time is VALUE

How much value am I giving the people who enroll in my course

I always want people to take my course and go “ wow, this is value packed”

I want them to always feel that they underpaid for these things even though most of them are above N5,000

When we focus on value and on the pain we want to help people alleviate, that mindset disappears

When I don’t sell because of fear, I am being selfish

Understand that there are people in this world who need that thing you have to offer and, when we decide not to sell it simply because, we are afraid , we do them in-justice

We must always keep showoing up regardless of how we feel

Or else, someone will suffer

“if I don’t sell, I cannot achieve my goals and become who I want to become”

This is a powerful one for me

Who we want to become and the levels we want to impact is very much influenced by how much we have in the bank

This isn’t materialistic thinking, this is the truth

I don’t look at my life and go “ I don’t want to be rich , I just want to be comfortable”

I don’t want comfort , I want wealth

I want to be able to make impacts on a level that beats my imagination

If I sell a billion dollar company someday , that wouldn’t be half bad

If I build multiple successful companies, it would t be half bad at all

But, I cannot do any of these without selling

Everyone you admire and respect is selling something

That is how they eat , grow and help

Books ,courses , events , dreams , homes , brand

They are always selling

I create premium products of high quality

Premium products of high quality shows the value we want to offer the world

This is for people who often feel like they are selling a bit too high

Get comfortable with the level of value you are bringing to the table

When you look at the value, I want you to shudder

This is one of the things that makes me comfortable selling because deep down, I know I am bringing real value to the person/ people who pay for my premium products and services

Things that can help you practice these Mindsets better

Read books on selling frequently : This has helped me a great deal when it comes to being comfortable with sales and selling

Actually sell : this is often the hardest part but, actually selling is the surest way we get better

Read, learn , practice

Now, to get into the topic of the article which is ways to sell without being salesy or spammy

Apply Flywheel Marketing

In this article by one of the top managers at Ahrefs, he shows how he graduated from paid advertising and marketing to a method that tripled their sales in no time

What they did is simple

They created a ton of value in their articles and videos and then, through those articles and videos, they would mention their brand , show examples of results achieved with their brand and talk about the brand

Now, anyone reading and gaining value will not come to those points where they talk about their products and be like “ they are selling me”

Why?

Because the company has built their trust in giving that level of value

The person really feels like “ Wow, I have found my solution”

In the words of Garyvee, it is “ give away immense level of value upfront”

You can apply this by creating blog posts and articles like the ones I share on my instagram handle

These articles like this one should be treated towards the challenges and pain points of your target audience and helping them solve it

If you don’t know their pain points, ask them

Use instagram stories polls to find out

Call some of your existing customers and ask

Send DMs but , be active in finding this out as knowing will help you create content that will sell for you

Use Reviews

Reviews when well used basically sell the business

People are way more willing to buy when they see others have used your products or services and loved it

Attaching reviews to landing pages , social media handles blog posts along side great copy sells faster than just talking about the product or service

Highlight the benefits of the products or service not the features

When we start listing features like , If I were writing a copy and I just use these things below

  • Use your phone to watch
  • Use little internet
  • Practise easily

I am putting the target customer in a place where all they are thinking is the product or service as an external tool and they start comparing with similar ones which has better features

But, when I focus on benefits and start listing things likely

  • Create videos as much as you want for 10 times less
  • Save money so, instead of paying 10k for one video, you pay 10k and you can create a skill many as you like
  • Practise on your mobile phone , anywhere anytime
  • Forever access so, courses are there any time you want them

The conversation changes because , I am answering the customers most important question

What is in it for me?

Listing features only talks about your products, listing benefits talks about the customers gain

Focus on client problems

If you haven’t already, outline all the challenges your target audience is facing in regards to your industry

And then, when writing your copy, ensure to highlight those challenges

When talking to the client on the phone, make sure to highlight those challenges and even ask the potential client to explain a bit the issue

This gets them emotionally riled up

And then, you start pointing out how you can help them

When someone tells our pain points, we feel like they get us, like they understand what we are about

If they know our problem so well, it means that they know how to solve it

We trust them and are willing to try with them

Teach don’t sell

When we teach, we open peoples eyes to things they didn’t know existed

This is why content marketing is so effective when it comes to building trust and organic sales

If you go through my content and think I am not selling , you are sorely mistaken 🙂

A lot of selling is happening

I am selling my self , I am selling my products and services and I am selling my business

I am doing that but it doesn’t feel that way does it ?

It feels like I am just teaching so much

People often talk about how much value I have given them and when they watch my videos, they are blown 🙂

But, at the end of the day, I am selling myself to these people

I am selling myself to you

When we teach, we lead peoole to an “Aha” moment

This is how social media helps our business because , it gives us a direct channel to build trust and sell ourselves first before we ask for anything

A perfect example of a brand that does this so well is MoneyAfrica

They are a company that sells subscriptions and courses on finance but, they teach a ton

They teach how to manage your money, invest , manage stock , all of it

Another individual that applies this well is Tomie Balogun

Even though she is into finance and investments, she teaches about investing instead of just saying “ hire me” 🙂

Wine Library, Garyvee’s family’s company applies this method even till today

Check them out on Instagram and you will find a lot of videos with someone teaching on wine

Why do you think companies like Jobberman and Hotels.ng pay people to write for their blogs?

Teach people and watch them come alive willing to give you their money

Sell the results not the products

Earlier on, I talked about outlining the benefits versus the features

When we sell the results, we are not just selling the benefits , we are selling what our target customers want out of that product or service

For example, my target audience who have 9-5s want to have skills that make them stand out in front of employees

When creating an advert, this is something I can demonstrate by asking

“ Imagine you were an employer and two people send in their resume . One has the basic skills you need and the other has those plus , they can create animated videos “

Let’s say this job is that of a “social media manager”,

who would you rather hire ?

What I am doing here is selling them the result they want

If you are in fashion, end results would be “walking into a room for an interview and looking so good, they are excited to hear you cause they know you represent them well”

If you are in food , the end result could be

“ eating good food even when your pocket isn’t big”

The point is , capitalizing on the end result that people are hoping they achieve through your products and services will draw people in and mot send “salesy vibes”

Space out your pitch

No one likes someone who shows up everyday in their mail box with “Buy from me” always

I have one in my mail box that I am going to unsubscribe from

It is so annoying

You can send in sales emails twice a week but , sending one in everyday feels like spam and barely ever gets any results

Understand why your audience buys and leverage it

There are different reasons why people buy

  • To reduce pain
  • To gain pleasure
  • To increase their status

What is the reason people buy from you?

People buy from me to reduce pain and increase pleasure

When marketing my products or services, I make sure to highlight these areas of pain I will be alleviating and pleasure I will be giving

Use the Zuora method

Zuora is a company that created one of the best pitches VCs have seen in a long time

They began first by highlighting the problem at hand , the pain points and the height at which that is an issue people aren’t looking to solve

Then, they pointed out what other people have been doing to solve the problem

They highlighted the strong and weak areas of these solutions

Finally, they introduced their solution

They showed how they solve this giant problem and , how they do it better than others

The Zuora method answers the questions

  • Why should I care about this?
  • Aren’t there others cheaper than you?
  • Why should I trust you?

Read this article to see the Zuora method in effect

Of course, they got what they were looking for and sold the people they were pitching to

Use your competition’s strength


This mean so highlighting their strengths in comparison to yours

In his book “Selling To Win”, Richard Denny advises to start by listing the awesome things about your competition

These things your target audience may already know and be considering

Then, list out the things you do better plus those things that you do do that they don’t do

Companies do this in comparison videos and posts

By doing this, your target customer sees very clearly what makes you a better bet

Even when they go to your competition and hear the things that make them awesome, they won’t be so wooed because they have already heard it

They will most likely ask for those things you have and when it is clear the competition doesn’t have it

Who do you think they will come back to

Don’t go too fast for the sale

This is one I have failed a couple of times because I want to hasten the sales process

When people send us a message asking for our product and services and making inquiries, that isn’t the time to start selling

That is the time to ask questions

Get to really understand the pain point of your target customer and what they are trying to achieve

Asking the right questions immediately makes the potential client feel like you know your craft and makes them more open for when you name a price

Recently, I wanted to hire a graphic designer for a very detailed catalogue at my 9-5, yes I have one 🙂

Anyways, I spoke to two clients

One of them knew what questions to ask , the other didn’t

After speaking to the one who started off asking all the right questions, I could feel myself going “ this one knows their work well “🙂

When they dropped 25k for their price point and requested 17k upfront payment, I paid up with no complaint

Asking the right questions helps a ton

Believe in what you are selling

I read a quote that says “ if you aren’t sorry for the people who don’t buy your products and services, you shouldn’t be selling them”

I smiled so hard

When we believe in something, we sell it with vigour and excitement

Have you ever met a GOT fan talking to someone who hasn’t seen game of thrones?

Their energy trying to convince the other to watch it is exactly how we should be seeking our products and services

I am a GOT fan and you don’t want me to hear you haven’t seen it 😀

My teaching will set in

People can feel when you truly believe in what you are selling versus when you don’t

Avoid Sounding Like A Robot

Sometimes we will attend sales training and masterclass

In these trainings or books, we will be taught scripts to use in different circumstances

The worst thing to do is then use those scripts word for word with your potential clients while sounding like a machine

It feels ingenuine and removes the human conversation from that sales conversation

Instead, use those scripts as guidelines but not a word for word sample

This is why I love the script Maya Elious provides in one of her courses that I took on making money off social media

The script is given as guidelines than word for word

Use the script to create something that feels more natural to you but sends the message contained in the script

Plan before Pitching Or Going Into A Sales Meeting

Before you get on the phone with that potential client, have a plan

Thesame with business meetings

Have a plan and prepare yourself before going into conversations

You will be calimer , remember the key things to apply and have a smoother experience

Be Honest

It is always refreshing when people ask me questions that could loose me a sale and I answer them honestly

They always seem eager to work with me

Honesty is very well appreciated when people know you could lie for the sale but choose not to

Keep In touch

I can’t count how many times a call to check in on a client who wasn’t doing well , mentioned they lost their job or had a new kid led to more sales for me

When potential clients mention these things in passing and you follow up, you don’t ask them for a sale or anything

They feel special and seen and do not even realize you are aiming to draw them in

These clients go on to become ambassadors for your brand

They will buy and they will refer others as well

Use Storytelling

This is one of the most common sales tips in today’s world because it works well

Especially on social media

People will connect more with your business when they understand why you do what you do

They will also connect more with your products and services when you use story telling to relay their importance

For example , instead of simply asking people to pay for a product or service, telling people of a time when you needed that product or service and couldn’t find it and that being why you created it gives people a deeper understanding of its importance

It then , tells people why they should buy it

This article will provide more detail on story telling

What scares you the most about selling ?

Mine was rejection

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