How to sell with conviction (without feeling icky)

While on a course-building webinar last week with Adrianne Dorrison, I heard one tiny piece of golden wisdom that just struck me right in the feelings. Here’s what she said:

If selling makes you feel gross, it’s because you don’t believe in what you’re selling.

Wow! Doesn’t that just ring true? It did for me.

But first, there’s a difference between being uncomfortable about selling in general and being uncomfortable with how you sell.

I’ll be the first to admit, there are a lot of shady, scheming salesmanship tactics out there.

Copywriters and advertisers get a bad rap because of these outdated techniques that dominated adverts for so long – and still make unfortunate appearances.

Things like…

  • Using excessive amounts of fear, shame, and guilt to get people to take action.
  • Using tricks like fake scarcity (e.g. only 10 copies of this ebook left).

I’m not referring to feeling gross about shady sales techniques. You should feel gross about those. What I’m talking about here is feeling icky about selling your service in general.

Why you feel icky + What to do about it

Adrienne says the reason you don’t feel good about what you’re selling is that you haven’t truly connected with how your course… program… coaching… service… whatever it is…

You don’t yet understand how you (and through you, your offer) impact someone’s life.

Without that connection, the conviction just isn’t there.‍

The 100 Ways Challenge

This is what Adrienne challenges:

List 100 ways your product improves/changes/impacts someone’s life. (To make it less daunting, break up 100 ways into smaller chunks, e.g. brainstorm 10 ways for 10 consecutive days.)

What are you waiting for?! Let’s do this.

  1. Pull out your piece of paper. **Don’t worry. I’ll wait**
  2. Write “How I change lives” on top.
  3. List numbers #1- #10 for your first day.
  4. Now place it beside your bed.
  5. Before you go to sleep tonight, write down your 10 reasons.

Dive deeper with the 5 Whys

If you get stuck, I suggest using IDEO’s “5 Whys” technique:

Write down a reason.

Ask yourself why it matters.

Write down your answer.

Ask yourself why again. Write it down.

Repeat 3 more times. (Ask why 5 times in total.)

The 5 Whys exercise helps push past surface-level benefits and dig into the core of why things really matter to the people you help.

Let’s look at an example:

Why might you read this post?

#1. To feel more comfortable about selling. Why?

#2. To sell more courses. Why?

#3. To make more money. Why?

#4. To not have to work as much. Why?

#5. To spend more time with my husband + kids.

There are no wrong answers here, so write whatever comes to mind.

Happy side-effect = More empathy + purpose

This exercise not only helps you become more comfortable with selling. It also cultivates a deep sense of empathy and purpose.

With your 100 ways, you’ll better understand your customer, solidify your mission, and clarify your message.

Is that better for your marketing? You bet it is!

Copywriting, content, and communications that connect on a deep emotional level also convert. That means, you’ll sell more, change more lives, and be on track to making a difference in the world.

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