All the sales trainers I have ever had the good fortune to learn under have constantly said that the most important sale is the first sale, and the first sale is always to yourself!
If you don’t believe in the value of your product or service, how can you then sell it to others?
What they didn’t say is that you don’t just make this sale once. You will need to make this sale over and over again.
So many people make you doubt yourself, your product, your service, your price, your delivery method, your expertise and they do it, not to attack you, but to better position themselves in the negotiation.
On Friday I was referred to an organisation that was hosting a two day conference for 200 CXOs on the following Wednesday and Thursday. After an initial email briefing where they requested a “strong and experienced MC” I sent them a high level proposal.
Sunday they got back to me saying that it was a lot more than they had budgeted and in fact their budget was a third of my quoted price. They felt it was an easy gig. Very straight forward simply introducing people and asking a few questions.
This is where the doubt started to creep in.
Fortunately I know there is no such thing as an “Easy MC gig”.
Now most professionals (be they MCs, speakers, sports people, business people or whatever) make things look easy. Maybe they make it look effortless rather than easy. The reason for this, is they are good at what they do because they work at it.
As I advised this prospect, while it may seem easy, I have spent over 20 years honing my skill to make it look easy. So when the AV fails (as it will), when a speak finished in half the time and I step in with relevant and meaningful questions, when the audience is about to go to sleep and they need to be energised, when one of the strong minded CXO takes over the microphone during question time and starts waffling on with no question in sight or when a sponsor needs some attention, I will have you covered no matter what – that is what you are paying for!
My delighted clients, repeat clients and referring clients show me that my fee is fair and that I deliver great value for that fee.
So I had to decline that prospects offer to work for 1/3 my usual fee.
What about you? Have you made that most important sale?
Even if you are not directly in sales, it is important to know that you add real value to those around you. If you need it, collect some testimonials, quotes or evidence of that value so when you are starting to doubt yourself, you can look at the proof of the value you offer.
The first sale is always to you and you need to be sure you can keep making that sale time and time again. You are too important not to make it!