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Why Do I Feel Sleazy When I’m Selling?

The Fictional Used Car Salesman

Everyone’s got that picture in their head of the greasy hair slicked over to the side, plaid full-body suit, fake alligator shoes and a bad attitude guy. The fictional used car salesman. As a buyer, you know in your gut that this guy doesn’t have your best interest at heart. That he’s going to take advantage of you in some way shape or form by selling you something you don’t want, for a price that you can’t afford. But TRUE selling doesn’t have to be that way. True selling isn’t actually selling at all. True selling is sharing. True selling is believing so deeply in what you sell that you can’t not tell someone about it.

But Are We Manipulating Others When We Sell?

Marketing’s basis is in psychology. Therefore marketing can be used to manipulate another. I call this “Dark Marketing” and believe me, I have been there. Using human psychology principals to get others to buy what you want them to buy. Dark Marketers prey on a person’s blind spot or their unconscious patterns. Smart Marketers see a need and attempt to alleviate it. One is based in opportunism for self-gain and the other is based in compassion.

But there’s also this stone cold fact: Someone cannot be forced to believe or do something. Technically, no one can be manipulated.

You can only be ripe for what you are hearing and DECIDE to comply (consciously or unconsciously) or deny. Even by merely thinking we might be manipulating somebody else through selling to them, takes their power away.

It is when we feel unworthy to take up space or when we feel unworthy to be listened to, we oftentimes have the same thoughts that we are manipulating somebody into doing something they don’t want to do. But that’s just not true.

It’s nobody’s responsibility but the buyer if they get duped by a Dark Marketer. 

  1. Ended up with a product the buyer didn’t really want because they just couldn’t say no? That’s the buyer’s responsibility.
  2. Didn’t read the fine print? That’s the buyer’s responsibility.
  3. Didn’t see that the salesman snuck in an extra fee before they signed a paper? That’s also their responsibility; albeit it’s gross and not-transparent and THE ACTUAL DEFINITION OF SLEAZE

The buyer CHOOSING to give their money to something they felt like would add value to their life? That’s also THEIR responsibility. So why aren’t you letting them exercise their right to spend their money where they please?

Shine Bright Like a Diamond

You, my friend, are simply trying to spread your message. Spreading your message is not sneaking in an extra fee before somebody signs on the dotted line. Spreading your message is not bait and switch. Loving your work and trying to make other people’s lives better with it is not price gouging.

You are fully worthy to be listened to your fully worthy to be purchased from and you are not burdening anybody by being paid for the work that you do. Even if nobody asked you to do it.

Because people don’t know what they need until they are told they need it. Then if they are ripe to help themselves they will want to buy your product. if they are not ready to help themselves they will simply not even see that you’re offering something.

6 Ways To Not Feel Sleazy When Selling: 

  1. Believe you’re allowed to take up space.
  2. Tell a story from your perspective. Human brains love a story and they love social proof that what you’ve done before works. Simply use your own story to sell it for you. There’s no guilt in telling a true story about your product’s affect on your life.
  3. Don’t take anything personally. If your potential buyer doesn’t want to buy your product or they’re not interested at all, it is not a reflection of you or your work that you put time and effort into. It is only a reflection of their state of mind. It is a no for just right now and not I no forever.
  4.  Listen intently to what they tell you. Try to get a holistic picture of how they are viewing their life. And if you’re really really listening to their excuses or their rejection, then you can start to paint a picture of what’s really going on so you can sell to them better. This also helps you shape questions to ask that will take a deeper look into how they view the world.
  5.  Talk to the Right audience. You wouldn’t go into a room with doctors and start to sell Construction equipment, would you? No. That would fall on deaf ears. when you were talking to the right group of people, they tend to be more open to what you’re saying. And at the very least you can get more information on how to sell to them better. And at the very most you’ll make a new client. Make your solution specific to your buyer. 
  6. Share your message clearly with authenticity. Too many bloggers and influencers these days will use #2 above to “hotwire a connection” with their audience. It’s tricky and hard to spot. It’s present as that little kernel of grossness you feel in the back of your mind. This is Modern Sleaze to the Used Car Salesman of yesterday.  Speaking clearly and authentically helps you avoid guilt because you’ve said #allthethings and this person still chose to give you money. LET THEM!

Here’s a great video by Marie Forleo on selling with integrity. Go forth and make money. You have my permission!!

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Need help digging into these feelings of unworthiness more? Write to me by hitting the contact button to set up a marketing mindset coaching session!

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