“I’m not good at selling stuff” is a phrase I always used to say anytime there was a job, a fundraiser or any opportunity where it involved me having to persuade someone to buy a product I was selling. I would cringe at the thought of having to ask anybody for anything, even though I was giving them something in return.
I guess the biggest problem for me was the fear of rejection. The fear I’d be turned down or looked at like I was bothering someone by approaching them to buy my product because I can’t lie, there’s been times when I really didn’t enjoy someone coming up to me selling things either. However, I did appreciate their confidence and ability to do what I thought I could never do.
My fear of selling didn’t just come as an adult, I never liked selling anything. Dating back to the days when we had to sell a certain amount of raffle tickets or chocolate candy bars in grammar/high school. I simply had a hate for selling.
I know y’all remember having to sell them bomb ass chocolate bars with the chocolate, caramel, krackle or almonds inside. Those were really the world’s finest chocolates.
Anyway, anytime those times of the year would come around, I wouldn’t participate and my aunt would probably be the one who front the bill or sell it, not I. I just felt like I wasn’t cut out to sell and I didn’t feel like I had enough confidence or the gift of gab that some people were so blessed to have. I was kind of a shy person until I felt comfortable around you, but even then I didn’t feel confident enough to do certain things, especially persuading someone to buy what I was selling.
I remember one time I had gotten elected to sell raffle tickets at church for our women’s event and I refused. Well, I didn’t flat out refuse, I just didn’t put the effort into trying to sell those tickets. I can’t lie, I liked to save myself the rejection. I felt bad, but at least I remained in my comfort zone, which was how I liked it. Trying to sell things to people or ask for monetary support took me out of my comfort zone, which is why I disliked it so much.
Now fast forward to 2018 of September when I was chosen to be apart of a fashion show, which required me to sell my raffle tickets in order to participate in the fashion show. I told a few co-workers, friends, close people and Facebook about my show, but I didn’t sell it, I left the decision up to them to buy a ticket or not. I didn’t put much effort into it because I was willing to just pay out of my pocket to avoid selling. It sort of felt like I didn't have enough belief in myself or the product I was selling and as a result, it prevented me from selling.
Fast forward again to June 2019 when I finally published my first book and I announced it was available for purchase. I was really struggling with how I was going to market and sell my book. Being honest, I’m still struggling and quite frankly, I’m a nervous wreck. I’m experiencing a nice amount of anxiousness and frustration with how my book sales are going. I’ve only sold 4 copies and those were mostly family and when I did have the opportunity to sell and pitch my book to my church members, I almost choked up in the midst of my spiel like B-Rabbit did on 8-Mile.
I had to fight back tears because I felt sort of nervous and overwhelmed because my First Lady kind of made me give her a break down of my book as she asked me question after question, which took me by surprise. I know, I’m an entrepreneur, so that’s what is expected to happen, especially when you’re trying to persuade someone to buy your product.
I was thankful I had a few people around me who opened up the conversation, so that I could get the opportunity to sell my book to someone. However, I left that situation feeling discouraged as hell because I had an opportunity to sell my book and lacked the confidence I felt I should have had to wow my customer.
She still bought a book, but I wasn’t my surest whilst pitching my book to her. My voice was cracking, my body was sweating and I was nervous as hell. My boyfriend was right there by me and he heard it in my voice too. Then, I really got to thinking more about my future with selling this book after the conversation that I had with my boyfriend’s cousin who dropped a few gems on me about selling my product. I expressed to him my fear with selling and he made me feel a little better, but I also felt a little challenged to do better with my efforts.
In that moment, I wished that I could have hired him on the spot to be my book publicists or marketing partner because he definitely gave me something to think about. But, my mind couldn’t seem to get past the fear of rejection, although rejection was to be expected.
I can’t get past my lack of confidence,but I’m trying to overcome by just praying on it and stepping out on faith regardless of the outcome because I know that I’ll never know how good I could be or how far I could go if I NEVER TRY. Hell, I might actually be better than I think, but I have to stop engaging in“stinking thinking. I have to go out there and standing behind my story and most of all, I have to stand firm behind myself. By the way, “stinking thinking” is basically negative thinking if you didn't know that.
I try to tell myself not to get discouraged and that I can do this, but then that negative voice in my head seems to overpower the positive talk I’m trying to engage in. I still keep fighting even though I know I have the potential to GO HARDER!
My advice to anyone who can relate to experiencing fear of rejection or feeling like you lack the confidence you need to get things done, be patient. Be patient with yourself, things won’t happen overnight, no matter how it may appear on IG or FB, they didn’t blow up overnight. They just showed you their glow up, not when they was tore up.
Build up that confidence hun and just be mindful of those times when you are coming down hard on yourself. You know, engaging in that negative self talk that you seem to always do, instead do things that help build your self-confidence and self-love because it really does start with self. It starts with you loving you, trusting you, healing you and believing in you.
Pray about it and ask for what you feel you lack. God will hear your cry and see your effort and provide you with everything that you thought you didn’t have. It’s so many people who have shared their testimony on how they weren’t qualified for a certain job or business venture, but ended up being promoted and a successful business owner. Won’t He Do It!!!
Next, prepare yourself for rejection and most of all BE READY FOR WHATEVER because in the game of selling yourself or going after what you want, anything is fair game.
Lastly, JUST DO IT... Hell, if Nike wouldn’t have never done it, it wouldn’t have been done or somebody else would have done it. Do you want to be the person who got it done or the person who didn’t do it at all?
Verlisa is a writer who has a passion for encouraging others through her story.
LisaRenee Speaks...So Why Not Listen!!!!