Long ago when I was a Boy Scout, we had this fundraiser where we sold donuts door-to-door. They kept track of who sold the most – it was a type of leaderboard… and I always came in dead last. I probably could have done better, but I was always afraid of being rejected. This week’s blog is about how I learned how to get out of my own way (and move a little higher up the leaderboard)…
Video Transcript and Relevant Links
So have you ever bought any Girl Scout Cookies®? I might’ve. Have you ever bought any Boy Scouts’ donuts? Probably not – especially if I was the one selling them to you…
So I’ve been thinking about sales and marketing. I think about those things quite a bit lately and I was just remembering back when I was in the Boy Scouts many decades ago and Boy Scout doughnuts. I don’t think it’s like a thing like Girl Scout Cookies are, but the Boy Scout troop that I was in when I was 12 or 13 years old, we would have a fundraiser and we would sell donuts and all the kids in the troop—the Boy Scout troop—were supposed to go out and sell donuts door to door. And every year we did this fundraiser.
I was the absolute last place out of everyone. They would have a little bit of a leaderboard. I would be the last place. I was super competitive when I was a kid, but I wasn’t competitive with selling donuts. I was just scared to death of going out and it was fear and it was just awkwardness and worried about what people would think of me.
And so each year I would sell a bag of donuts or usually two bags of donuts to my parents and then I have one next door neighbor who was always super, super kind and super, super sweet to me and I go over… I’d screw up my courage and I go over and knock on their door and I’d ask them if they wanted to buy a bag of donuts and they would say yes. And so then I would basically sell three bags of donuts—two to my parents and one to this neighbor of ours—and I would just refuse to go out and go knock on any other doors and ask and do any kind of sales in any way and try to get people to buy these donuts.
It was a nonstarter for me. I was worried about rejection. I was worried about what they would think. I was just scared to knock on those doors. I was an introvert then just like I’m an introvert now and it’s sort of funny if you think about it really, how hard is it to sell donuts? Of course we’re in this new low carb era. Maybe it’s a little harder, but the fact is, right now anyone comes to my door, any kid comes to my door, I’m basically going to buy whatever they’re selling whether I’m going to consume it or not. If it was donuts, I’m probably not going to eat them, but I’ll find someone to give them to. Really how hard is it to sell donuts? But in my head I had all kinds of this mental head trash about rejection, about what they’re going to think about… I’m like taking something, I’m taking their money from them.
And it’s taken me years to reprogram my head about sales. And I think what’s helped is marketing because the difference between marketing and sales, well, marketing is where you attract people in so they’re set up to make that sale. But if you look at the work I’ve done in the world, I’ve spent the last 22 years basically perfecting this thing we call the Product Launch Formula® and the last, I don’t know, 13-14 years teaching people about Product Launch Formula. And really, if you do the Product Launch Formula right, you almost don’t have to sell because the marketing is so effective that it leads people up to that sale.
But at the end of the day if you’re going to make the sale, you still have to ask for the order. It’s a term we use a lot, “ask for the order” and I think the rewiring that has happened in my head, how I think about sales now… and this is from a friend of mine, Bari Baumgardner, she says “sales is service” and that’s the way I look at is sales is service. If you’ve got a great product and you’re selling it to the right person, then it’s the highest service you can be to provide the solution to whatever their problems are to provide this solution, to give them more pleasure or take away some kind of pain.
Like right now, what do I do? I mostly sell coaching and for entrepreneurs, that’s what Product Launch Formula is, that’s what all of my products are—some type of a coaching or a service to help people grow their business. And I just have to look at the results I’ve gotten and the results my clients have gotten to know that, if it’s the right time for them, and they’re the right person, (and my marketing brings those people in), but when it comes time to ask for the order, I just have to think about the incredible impact I’ve had on so many other people over the years and the incredible impact that could have on them.
If I could get out of my own way and get over that fear of rejection, get over that idea that I’m taking something from them and just understand that what I’m doing is I’m delivering massive value and I’m just asking for them to step up into that value, to step up into that brighter future for themselves and whatever you’re selling, it’s going to be the same. You have to look at … If you create a great offer, a great product that’s truly going to help someone that’s going to give them pleasure that is going to take away their pain, then you’re doing them a disservice if you are not selling effectively.
The great thing is, there’s amazing sales training out there, there’s amazing marketing training… but the thing you have to get through your head first is that you’re not taking anything from anyone when you sell to them. And maybe you don’t have this feeling, maybe I’m the only person that had this feeling, but I think this holds a lot of people back. A lot of people are scared to ask for their order. And the reality is it’s the greatest service that you can do for someone. And as soon as you can start to rewire your brain to start to see your selling as truly serving, well the more effective you’re going to be.
So I’m Jeff Walker. Wherever you’re watching this, scroll down, leave a comment for me, and let’s go get ’em this week.