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Do You ‘Hate Selling’? That’s a Big Conversion Problem

by | January 31st, 2022

If you ‘hate selling’, your conversions will never be as high as they should be. Because the underlying cause of this mindset critically undermines your ability to communicate value.

I hear this phrase a lot and often find myself coaching clients on their sales mindset. Because, left unaddressed, this mindset leads to:

  1. An aversion to reaching out to new audiences
  2. Half-hearted pitches throughout the marketing funnel
  3. Over-reliance on a single asset (usually the sales page)
  4. Underwhelming conversion rates

But this isn’t another ‘imposter syndrome’ blog post. (There are plenty of those already and they’re usually unhelpful.)

Instead, this post will help you:

  • Understand the 3 underlying causes of ‘hating selling’
  • Reframe your thinking in each of these 3 problem areas
  • Put an actual ongoing system in place to keep this issue at bay
woman hiding with her hands covering her face

The 3 Common Causes of Your ‘I Hate Selling’ Mindset

Sure, it’s imposter syndrome. But what’s under the hood?

Issue #1: Healthy fault-finding in an iterative product

As an expert, you’re constantly learning. You’re constantly developing your ideas and frameworks. Your methods evolve over time.

That means your product is an iteration. Never finished, always improving.

You know that’s healthy. You know that’s how expertise works.

But unfortunately it means that you’re always acutely aware of the flaws in this iteration of your product. Because by the time you’ve finished this version, you’ve already thought of 10 different ways to improve it.

What does that mean for your sales mindset?

It means you always feel like your product is sub-par compared to its next iteration. And good people don’t want to sell sub-par products.

Others might label this perfectionism. But I think that’s reductive and unhelpful. It implies that this problem comes from a place of ego. But that’s not what I see in my clients. Quite the opposite, in fact—it’s usually rooted in a deep desire to maximise how much they’re helping others.

“This version definitely needs to be changed. I see that now. Once I’ve made those changes, I’ll be happy to pitch it a lot harder.”

The important reframe here is to understand the following:

  1. Your audience need help, but they won’t feel comfortable buying help from you if they can feel your hesitance about this iteration
  2. The next iteration won’t remove you from you this cycle (unless you intend to stop learning and improving your product at all)
  3. If you keep waiting to feel completely comfortable that your product is completely right, you’ll never get to actually selling it
  4. The biggest act of service you can offer is to set aside your personal discomfort and recognise that ANY iteration of your product is infinitely more likely to lead to success than if your audience were to piece this together themselves

Issue #2: Being detached from customer outcomes

Coaching and services are wonderful.

You get to work closely with your customer and actually watch first-hand as they achieve their desired outcome.

  • You see the delight as they experience lightbulb moments
  • Their moments of sudden clarity now that things make sense
  • The pride and excitement as they describe their progress
  • The deep gratitude they express for what you’ve helped them achieve

So when it comes to selling to your next customer, the huge value of your service is much more front of mind.

But when it’s a course? You may not ever speak with your customer directly.

Which means you don’t get to see them achieve the core outcome. So unless you have a solid feedback system in place, your total experience of this customer relationship… can be seeing their money hit your bank account and looking at reports that say they watched a few of the videos.

That can feel pretty gross.

And it’s easy to see how this detachment from the outcome can make you much less enthusiastic when selling. Pair it with the next issue and it’s absolutely inevitable that you’ll ‘hate selling’.

Issue #3: Misunderstanding your metrics

If your reports showed that only a quarter of your enrolled students were completing your course… what would you think?

  • Students obviously aren’t getting value from it?
  • They’re dissatisfied with the purchase?
  • The content isn’t helping them reach their goals?

But if your completion rate is around 25%… you’re sitting at double the average completion rate for online courses (15%).

That’s a big sign of a truly valuable product.

But it’s extremely difficult to sell with enthusiasm when you know that more than three quarters of your customers don’t even fully use the product. Again, it feels gross. So to get past that ick, you need to rethink what your engagement stats actually tell you.

Here are the reframes:

  1. Some students just wanted help with one thing. Once they had that breakthrough, they didn’t need the other lessons.
    They’re still delighted with the outcome.
  2. Some students know they’ll need the rest of your course at some point, but not right now. They’ll come back later.
    They’re still delighted to have it in their back pocket.
  3. Most students learn by doing. They’ll watch a few lessons then put it into practice. Then they’ll come back for next steps when they’re ready.
    They’re still delighted with the guidance so far.

Course engagement rates tell you nothing about whether a student achieved a particular outcome. So you mustn’t let these stats influence your sales approach. But that’s easier said than done, especially if you’re detached from the actual outcome your students are experiencing.

So…

'Passion led us here' written on the pavement

How Do You Actually Fix an ‘I Hate Selling’ Mindset?

The secret lies in fixing issue #2…
You need to reattach yourself to the outcome.

You need an actual system that puts your real students in front of you consistently, so they can tell you how your course has impacted them.

Not a feedback form.
Not a testimonial request.
Not a Trustpilot review.

Get on a video call with one of your new students at least once a month and ask them the following questions in conversation:

  • What was going on for you before you enrolled?
  • What were you struggling with exactly?
  • How hard was that to deal with?
  • What made you decide to finally fix this?
  • What did you hope to achieve?
  • Why was that so important to you?
  • How did the course help you do that?
  • How are things better now?

This kind of conversation should flip the script.

So that, rather than feeling gross about selling your roadmap
(Because it feels like you’re selling a subpar product)

…It should start feeling gross to not help people achieve the same outcome your students are getting. It becomes an ethical issue.

If you know first-hand that your course is delivering results for students right now… what kind of person does it make you to ‘hate’ selling it to others who are struggling with the same problem?

Time to set aside your own discomfort, and sell in service of your audience.

They deserve the help you’re selling.

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