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June 28, 2022

Don’t “Fake It Till You Make It”. Use What You Have To Your Sales Advantage.

When we are selling to new clients, some of us are new to it. Some feel out of place. Some are just introverted. But many of us are nervous.

And if you are new at selling, this applies especially to you.

Never “Fake it till you make it”. It’s terrible advice. Why? Because it’s so easy to get caught. Even worse, you are starting the relationship with your client on a lie. And you have to keep that lie going if the relationship continues. That’s very bad.

Always use what you have . Use what you are…what you really are.

Any nervous tick, stutter, limp, shyness, or feeling of inadequacy…just makes you unique. And you know what? The client has felt the same way.

If you think you are too old, use wisdom and experience as your advantage.

If you are brand new and young, use your eagerness and willingness to got the extra mile as your advantage.

Are you shy? At the beginning just say “If I seem nervous, it’s because I really want to work with you”. And you know what? The person has been there too, and will completely overlook it. And now they are pulling for you..

Do you stutter? Lisp? have an accent? They pay more attention to what you say. It all just makes you more unique in their mind.

Years ago, I injured my lower back. For a few years, I could barely walk, and needed to use crutches to get around. I was in serious pain most of the time. And I sold vacuum cleaners door to door.

Did I quit? No. I hired a guy to help me carry everything, and I cold called, door to door on crutches. Was I trying to get sympathy? Not in the least. But I worked with what I had.

And after a quick question about the crutches (nearly everyone asked), it was ignored and I was off selling. Maybe an occasional grimace here and there….from me, not them.

Are you from a different country? Are you short, fat, tall, bald, odd? Use it.

The “Average person” is a myth. If you think someone is cool, collected, brilliant, sophisticated...it’s because you don’t know them well enough. I’ve shared the stage with some pretty well known marketing gurus. I can promise you, any fear or phobia you have…they have in spades. The microphone won’r pick up their knees knocking.

When I was in high school I was so shy that I never had a date, never went to a dance or sports event. I didn’t even attend my own graduation. Painfully shy. I never looked anyone in the face. I always looked down.

So….for some strange reason, I decided to sell for a living. First life insurance, and then vacuum cleaners.
I never overcame my shyness. I still don’t enjoy social gatherings, and avoid them if I can. I never go to parties.

And I never did “Fake it till you make it”, although I got that advice often. I just sold while shy. You can be shy and still work hard. You can be anything…shy, anxious, afraid, phobic…and still work hard, except be lazy. Lazy matters.

No matter what thing about you is different, believe me, it matters far more to you than to anyone else. If you have a pimple, it seems like everyone is staring at it. But you know what? Everyone has had a pimple. Nobody cares…and almost nobody will even see it unless you point it out.

Just starting out? Be that eager new guy that will move heaven and earth to help a new client. Mention that because you are new, you have few clients, and so you can devote more time to your new clients.

Customers love helping out new people. Remember, everyone was new at their job at least once. They know what you are going through. Go through it together.

If I were making cold calls and it was my first day. The first thing I would say to the first person I talk to would be “You are the very first person I have talked to on my new job. Please tell me if I screw up”. They will almost certainly laugh, and give you extra attention. They will be pulling for you to succeed. People are like that.

“Faking it till you make it” means you are wearing a mask…all day. And masks are exhausting.
Be genuine. It’s not only the easiest thing to do, it’s the best way to sell.