When your sister-in-law or neighbor pitches you a product or service that you know she sells, does your brain go:
Of course she’s singing its praises – she’s selling it, isn’t she?
It’s the old self-interest conflict, isn’t it? That pesky reaction doesn’t come up usually, when the person has no financial ulterior motive – like recommending a movie or restaurant. (Of course if she hides that she’s selling [fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][whatever] until after her pitch, suddenly everything wonderful she said about it becomes suspect.)
But in sales this “yeah right” reaction pops up all the time, because so many people have had too many unpleasant experiences. Most people are so skeptical they figure that the seller, including acquaintances, will say whatever they have to, to make the sale. (Think Do Not Call List with over 110 million people on it who are sick of the pitches by phone. You on it?)
Countless women networkers have told me on calls that they do NOT want to perceived as a “sales-type” to their social group. Sales types being those kinds of folks whose values are not the same as their own.
How about we just anticipate this unavoidable question and deal with it right up front? Show your own values?
One way: Lead with a little dose of honesty and authenticity. It might take the scary right out of it.
“Lulu – I’m calling you because want to talk to you about something that has really helped me [lose weight], [get rid of some lines around my eyes], [whatever]. Anyway, I liked it so much I decided to sell it/go into business for myself to see if there might be other people like me who’d like to know about it too. That’s why I was calling you: Do you know anyone who might like to know about something like that?”
You have been up front. No hiding you are in business. You have told an authentic story about what the product did for you, and why you are now selling it, and you are asking for a referral, instead of aiming straight at your friend’s heart and pocket book.
Of course you won’t get a sale most of the time. Whatever she says, be agreeable. It’s like asking if your friend plays tennis. Perhaps one in 10 or 20 do, the rest don’t. Say no first and save her the stress. They might give you a referral. And once in a while, she’ll say “yes, that sounds like me. What have you got?”
The BIG BENEFIT: By being transparent, you will likely not lose the friend or scare her away from you. You have preserved the relationship and not been a “sales type” who can’t stop talking about their thing and nagging everyone they know. Or someone who makes promises they can’t keep about what might happen to her if she uses it.
And yet you have told your story, so in case she comes across someone who has the problem you had…
For many of us, preserving the social network matters more than making money. We can always find something else we like to earn income.[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]