If you're in business for yourself, you're selling something. You may want customers to buy your product, or new people to join your team, or other companies to join you in a strategic alliance.

Are you making any of the top 3 mistakes I see in selling? Try this true/false quiz.

1) Anyone will be interested in what I offer and they'll want to buy it. True or false?
2) If I just get the chance to explain the benefits, people will be convinced and buy it. True or false?
3) If I could just learn the right words, I could persuade prospects to accept my offer (.e.g., buy my product/service or join my team). True or false?

Did you answer True to any of them? These are all FALSE.
The sooner you let go of these beliefs, and replace them with the following approach, the easier and more successful your sales will become.

Let's start with 1) Anyone will be interested in my product/service and want to buy it. I've seen this attitude with products and services ranging from skin care to insurance to technology.

Take skin care products as an example. People who are interested in skin care products either care about their skin's appearance or have a skin condition. People who don't care about their appearance and also have no existing skin problems - they are not going to buy your product. EVER.

To improve your selling, you need to get very clear on who your ideal clients are. There are several dimensions to that, which is why I devote an entire step in the 8-step process I use with clients to this.

The two most important things to learn about your ideal client are: what's their pain? And what's the price they're paying for living with that pain?

The pain associated with a skin condition may be poor self-image. That manifests itself in many deep and powerful ways: becoming more shy and reserved, not speaking up at work, not entering into personal relationships, not buying the right clothes or makeup, etc. So the price someone pays may be huge: staying stuck in the same job instead of advancing, giving up on the idea of finding the right life partner and having a family, etc.

When you find someone with a skin problem, who's aware that it affects their self-image and is holding them back, do you think you will need to persuade them that skin care is a good idea? NO!

When you find someone with great skin who has used soap on their face for their entire life, do you think you will need to persuade them that skin care is a good idea? YES! Because they don't have a problem. They are not feeling any pain.

Will it be easier for you to sell skin care products to the first group of people, who have pain? Absolutely!

You cannot sell to people who don't have a problem, who don't have pain. (One exception: when you're selling fun.)

I cannot emphasize this strongly enough. No pain = no customer.

The first step in improving your selling is to write up your ideal client. You can write this as a profile of one person who's representative of your typical client, or you can list bullet points that characterize a group of people.

The important parts to be really clear on are why people come to you (what's their problem) and how that problem affects their life. There are typically multiple layers to how the problem affects their life - make sure you get to the bottom of it. For example: lack of money means less time with the family which means being a bad mom.

When you start speaking to a mom in that situation, you will get to one level of connection with her when you talk about money. You will arrive at MUCH DEEPER level of connection when you talk about how to spend more time with her family. Because then you are addressing her deepest desire. Will she be receptive to what you're saying? Most likely yes!

Study your ideal clients carefully; make sure you know in depth what their issues and concerns are.

That's the first step that sets the foundation for a new approach to selling. In the next ezine, I'll continue the article with next two steps.


Sit down in a quiet spot, close your eyes, and visualize your ideal client. She (or he) may be a real person you've worked with recently AND you really enjoyed working with her. Or she may be a combination of real people.

Reflect on what her pain is - what is bothering her? How does that affect her daily life? Or her big picture goals?

How does it affect her relationships and the people around her? Is there another layer of effects underneath that?

Keep fine-tuning these details, then start COMMUNICATING this to your prospects. Your ability to connect will instantly and dramatically increase!

Author's Bio: 

Marcy Stahl’s passion is helping women direct sellers and solopreneurs achieve the successful lifestyle they want. She knows that the top entrepreneurs have the top mindsets. Her mission is to help every entrepreneur develop a profitable and abundant mindset.

Marcy is a serial entrepreneur. Previously, she co-founded and managed a government contracting firm that earned over $1M in annual revenues. She holds a B.S. with honors and M.S. in Computer Science from George Mason University. Prior to coaching, she spent 21 years in the corporate world in technology.

She is the co-author of Direct Selling Power. Marcy is an Area Chapter Coordinator with the Direct Selling Women’s Alliance (DSWA) and a member of the Direct Selling Women’s Speaker Bureau. She’s currently in coaching school for direct sellers.