How to Get Over Your Crippling Fear of Selling Anything

Bullet points

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“The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek.”Joseph Campbell

I started writing this article around 2:30 PM on a Saturday. By the time I typed the first letter, I had already spent over $100 from 4 different places. 

  • 5 Hour Energy and Bottle of Water from my local gas station
  • Kindle book (Atomic Habits by James Clear) from Amazon
  • Cheese and Egg Protein Box from Starbucks
  • $97 Online Course on Mobile Video Editing 

These were all things that I wanted.

My point? We all consume things and if we didn't have people marketing and selling them to us, we wouldn't know they existed!

The world needs ethical marketers and sales people and I want you to become one of them.

But if you're new to selling and marketing, you're likely a little afraid of it all.

Being afraid to sell products or services online (your own or those of affiliates) is perfectly natural. In fact, it's weird if you aren't at least a little nervous when you ask people for their hard earned money.

This article will show you how to silence that fear and ensure that you don't feel like taking a shower every time you make a sale!

NoteThe purpose of this article is NOT to help you sell anything under the sun and feel good about it. You should feel like shit if you're selling snake oil. You should feel like shit for selling out your friends and family into a pyramid scheme. This article is going to help you overcome the fear of selling GOOD products and services that you know will help people.  

Being Afraid Is a Good Thing But Too Much Is Crippling

Being nervous to sell something is perfectly natural. It shows that you have empathy for your audience. It shows that you are a genuinely decent person who isn't ok with cheating people. 

This fear will help ensure that you create or promote only great products. Fear keeps people honest.

However, for many people, that fear is so great that it prevents them from selling things that people would genuinely love and value!

How much does that suck? People who have things that we'd love to pay for but they don't give us the chance because they are afraid they will disappoint us and be labeled as some kind of scumbag. 

9 Principles That Crush Your Fear of Selling

If you follow these 9 principles, you'll feel exponentially more confident the next time you sell something. 

1. Sell and Promote Only Amazing Products You've Used

This should go without saying, but unfortunately, it isn't common practice. When you know a product is great, selling it is easy. You'll also sell it much better because you know it inside and out. 

2. Sell to the Right Audience

A product that is great for one person may be awful for another. Don't promote a product as a "one size fits all," solution if it's not. 

For example, don't promote a $5,000 real estate training program to people who make less than $30,000/year and have no money to invest in real estate! Make it clear who your product is for and who it isn't for before you push anything. 

3. Apply the "Grandma" Rule

Picture your grandma. Imagine that she is in the target audience of people that would buy your product (in reality the odds of this are slim but use your imagination).

Would you sell your product to your grandma? If not, don't sell it to anyone. 

Grandma Rule

4. Provide a Killer Guarantee

I don't promote any product that doesn't offer a no questions asked money back guarantee. This makes selling much easier because my buyers have plenty of time to decide if I sold them something that isn't going to work for them.

Tip: Use your guarantee as a copywriting mechanism to reinforce your main sales points. For example:

"If (X PRODUCT) doesn't give you (X RESULTS) within 30 days of purchase, simply email us and request a refund. We ask ZERO questions. If it isn't perfect for you, we don't want your money."

5. Never Lie or Exaggerate

There is a fine line between great marketing and bold face lying. A great product shouldn't need lies to sell!

6. Admit When You Were Wrong or Things Change

Things change. If a product you were selling/promoting is no longer as useful as it used to be, don't pretend that it is. 

If you're promoting a product for someone and you come to find out they have been scamming people, don't double down and defend them. People make mistakes but you need to know when to admit you were wrong. Don't promote something eternally if it is no longer as valuable as the price tag

7. Accept That Some People Will Be Upset No Matter What

Regardless of what you sell or how you sell it, there will always be a few people who think you suck. Look at any Facebook ad and you'll see a handful of ? and ? reactions. You could be giving away $20 bills and you'd still get these at scale. 

If these people haven't bought what you're selling, their opinions should be taken with a grain of salt. Don't ignore "haters" but don't let a handful of them dictate how you run your business.

8. Accept That Your Buyer Has a Role You Can't Control

You can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink. 

Lead a Horse to Water

I've purchased countless online training programs and I only finished a fraction of them. I don't blame the creator of the program or the person who promoted it to me, I blame myself. I didn't give the product a chance so it's not fair to blame anyone else. 

Understand that you are selling to adults who have to make their own decisions with what they do with what you sell them. Unfortunately, many people will never act on what they buy but that doesn't mean you are wrong for giving them the chance. 

9. Give Plenty of Free Value Whenever Possible

You earn the right to sell things. When you've given a lot to your followers for free, it is much less daunting to finally ask for them to spend some money. 

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