I work with many designers and business owners who are extremely talented at what they do but have a real fear of selling. Whether it is because they are shy, self conscious, insecure, or just plain afraid of rejection the idea of putting themselves out their terrifies them. For some it is up there with public speaking. So they avoid selling at all cost. This is a bad strategy. For designers and entrepreneurs sales expertise is an important skill to have. Learn to get good at it.
One of the biggest ways is to get over your fear of selling is to realize that you are helping people when you sell them your product. Unfortunately many people think that selling involves getting people to buy, buy, buy with no regard to what they need. In actuality as a designer or business owner aren’t you seeking to create the best product possible. So if you believe that you have great merchandise that will benefit your buyer than not selling it to them could indeed be a disservice.
Rejection plays a part in the fear people have of selling. When you accept that people saying no is an element of the process and it isn’t you they are rejecting it is easier to handle. Have a strategy to overcome objections but if you have done all you can and they still pass then just move on.
Another reason for the fear of selling is being in-experienced. Learn all you can about the selling process. Read books, watch videos, and listen to podcasts on the subject. Then practice a lot. Learn how to show your collection by repeatedly showing it to friends and family till you are totally comfortable with the routine. Call 20-30-40 buyers in a day and try to have as many conversations as possible. Do that a few weeks in a row and it will desensitize you to the fear.
Lastly do not look at sales as beneath you. Good salespeople are honorable and trustworthy and worth respect. It is a time honored profession that if you embrace can make the difference between success and failure in your business.
Maria Pesin knows fashion, especially the business side of the fashion industry. Do you know how Manolo Blahnik got his start in the industry? How he leveraged a paltry 3 grand into one of the world’s most famous luxury brands? While she doesn’t take credit for Manolo’s success, Maria has walked a similar path on numerous occasions. The world of fashion is not silicon valley, and it has nothing to do with Madison Avenue marketing. In this industry there is ALWAYS room for something new and exciting, but you have to have your ducks in a row. If that’s what you need, believe me, Maria is the General Patton of fashion ducks!
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