Negative Thinking – is it destroying your marketing?

negative thinking

How to Stop Feeling Guilty and Awkward When You Market Your Business

When you talk to potential clients and referral partners about your business, do you feel confident, happy and valuable? Do you feel like you’re doing them a service by letting them know about the value you offer?

Or do you feel like you’re imposing on or annoying them, like you’re a fraud, or like you don’t deserve their money, time or support? If you feel this way you are suffering from negative thinking.

The good news is, selling doesn’t have to feel awkward, pushy or manipulative. You can build meaningful connections and relationships while promoting your business, and feel great while you’re doing it – and you’ll get more clients in the process!

Being comfortable and confident is vital for making sales.

negative thinking

If you’re hesitant, guilty or uncomfortable while you’re marketing your business, it will show in both the conversation and your results.

If you seem uncertain about the value of your offering, the person you’re talking to will pick up on that, and they’ll share that uncertainty.

This will make them reluctant to make a purchase or recommend you, which can cost you sales, valuable relationships, and hours of time that you waste on trying and failing to grow your business.

You might not even know WHY this sense of awkwardness is plaguing your efforts – all you know is that it’s making you miserable. But before you can fully remove this problem, you have to identify its source.

Why do people fall into negative thinking when marketing their businesses?

When people feel uncomfortable while promoting their businesses, it’s often because of one or a combination of the following factors. Take a moment to ask yourself if any of them apply to you, and to give yourself an honest answer.

Reason 1: They feel like they’re imposing on the other person.

When you approach a potential client or referral partner, do you feel like you’re annoying them and wasting their time, and like they’re tolerating you at best while wishing you would go away?

Do you feel unwelcome and unwanted – not because you’re doing anything wrong, but just because you’re taking up some of their time or asking them do to something for your business, like making a purchase or sending you referrals?

If you feel that way, here are two ways to alleviate that problem:

  1. Ask if it’s a good time.

By asking this, you make sure that you aren’t trying to talk to them while they’re itching to get to a prior commitment.

If it is a good time, you can proceed with more confidence; if not, ask when would be a better time.

  1. Instead of going straight to talking about yourself, get them to talk about things they’re interested in.

This will make them feel valued, it will help you to get a feel for whether or not they need you, and it will make your recommendations sound more informed because you learned about their situation before offering advice.

If a person you’re talking to shows signs of discomfort, ask them if something is bothering them. This lets you clear the air and address any mistakes you may be making, it frees you from the discomfort of trying to guess what’s wrong, and it tells them that you notice and care about how they feel.

Reason 2: They feel unworthy.

Do you feel like your product is not worth the price you’re asking?

Are you embarrassed to ask for money, even if you know you’re worth it?

Many people feel like they aren’t worthy of the attention, wealth and success they desire, due to the unpleasant experiences and messages they received when they were younger.

Others may feel like their product or service isn’t good enough because they aren’t certain of its quality.

If you feel this way, I encourage you to take a few minutes to explore this. Is it your product that you don’t think is good enough, or is it you?

If you feel like your product isn’t good enough, evaluate it. Will it get your clients the results they want? Does it give them all the information and tools they need in order to succeed?

If it seems inferior to someone else’s product, what are they doing right that you can learn from and put your own spin on?

While you’re making this assessment, remember that different people learn in different ways. A person who didn’t understand something a famous and successful guru said might understand the exact same principle better if you explain it in your own unique way.

If you feel like you aren’t worthy, it’s important to explore the source of that feeling, because it can affect every aspect of your business and life.  This is a very common form of negative thinking – we all have it.

When was the first time you felt unworthy?

What messages have you received that made you feel this way? Do you believe they’re true on an intellectual level, or do you intellectually know they’re false, but feel like they’re true nonetheless?

Replacing those negative messages with healthy, positive beliefs takes time and work, and may require professional help. Logic alone often won’t suffice to break these deep-seated emotional beliefs, but your first step is to recognize what those messages are and how they’re affecting our life.

Give yourself time, patience, love and acceptance as you work on changing on your deeply-entrenched beliefs, celebrate each bit of progress, and whenever you make a mistake, remind yourself that to err is human, and it doesn’t mean you’re unworthy of joy, wealth or success.

Reason 3: They feel like frauds.

If other people in your industry seem better than you, or you’re just starting out and you have no client results to speak of, it can be hard to believe in your own value.  This negative thinking is deeply rooted in many of us early in childhood – especially if we have older siblings.

Many small business owners aren’t confident in their ability to help people, and they feel like they’re bluffing their way through their business conversations.

If you’re comparing yourself to people who you believe are better than you, it’s especially easy to feel inadequate – and that reinforces negative thinking.

At times like this, it’s vital to remember that even if you’re just one or two steps ahead of your clients, you can still help them take those important steps.

If you don’t feel like you know enough to really make a difference, there are several ways to build your confidence in your value and expertise, several of which will help you to think of new and better ways to help and serve your clients.

Reason 4: They feel like they’re doing people a disservice by marketing to them or asking for money.

The concepts of selling and marketing have gotten a bad reputation, mostly because of the people who misuse them to manipulate, pressure or pester people into buying things they don’t really want or need, and who frequently intrude on people who aren’t interested in their products or services.

If you feel guilty about marketing, it could be because you’ve been inundated with messages that “selling something” is bad, and that you’re doing people a disservice by asking for money.

But the truth is, when you ask someone to pay for your services, you’re actually helping them in several ways:

  1. You’re helping them to get clarity on their priorities.

Do they want their desired result enough to pay for it and spend time on it, or is it time for them to stop worrying about it until they’re ready to make it a priority?

Saying “yes” or “no” to a purchase, instead of an uncertain “maybe”, will help them to be honest with themselves about what they really want, how much they want it, and what they’re willing to do to achieve it.

  1. You’re encouraging them to take a stand for themselves.

When people spend money on their goals and dreams, they’re affirming to themselves that those dreams – and, by extension, the clients themselves – are worth investing in. This in itself can be a huge positive step for them, especially if they’ve been struggling with unworthiness issues.

  1. You’re motivating them to take action.

When people get something for free, they aren’t as motivated to use it. But when they pay money for it, they have more reason to try to get some value out of that investment.

If your product, course or service requires action on the client’s part for them to get results, then by getting them to spend money, you’re encouraging them to take that action.

By getting people to make a purchase, or to at least think it through enough to say an informed “no”, you help them to get more clarity on their desires and goals, and you increase their odds of actually reaching those goals.

Reason 5: They’re pressuring themselves to make a sale every time.

Do you feel like you HAVE to make a sale or get a referral agreement every time you talk to someone about your business?

If so, you’re putting undue pressure on yourself, and you’re so focused on your goal that there probably isn’t much room in your mind to actually get to know the other person.

This can make you seem predatory or mercenary, like your agenda is more important than your conversation partner.

Ironically, if you want to get more clients and referral partners, you have to let go of your need to turn every business contact into one.

Instead, focus on building rapport, learning about the other person, and giving them the information they need in order to make an informed decision.

Want to attract more high-paying clients and referral partners?

According to the Nielsen Global Trust in Advertising Report released in September of 2015, eighty-three percent of online respondents in 60 countries say they trust the recommendations of friends and family.

That means if they consider the business owners they work with to be their friends, then having those friends recommend you to them means they’re automatically more likely to make a purchase.

In BNI, we focus on helping people to get recommendations from people who share their target audience, so you can make more sales, enjoy more income, and help more people to live better lives.

Last year our average members received an average of twenty-six referrals, worth a total of $24,789 per member. This year, we want to generate even more income for our members, and we’d love for you to be a part of that!

If you want to create mutually supportive connections with companies that are in touch with your target audience, that want to make a positive impact on the world, and that are happy to give you referrals, we hope to see you soon at your local BNI.  A positive and supportive attitude is one thing that our members promote to one another – you will not find negative thinking at a BNI chapter meeting.  Check out a meeting – To find a BNI chapter to visit click this link.

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