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Advice for Someone With Expertise, but Afraid to Market and Sell

afraid of marketing sales

This topic relates to almost anyone, not just entrepreneurs. If you have a job and a quota, this can still work. Entrepreneurs have a harder time because there is no one standing over their head holding them accountable. Entrepreneurs create their own obstacles since feelings, emotions and comfort levels can have a more dramatic impact until a personal commitment and discipline takes over. 

If you or someone you know has experience, wisdom and high expertise but is afraid to market or sell their products or services, here is a bit of advice:

1) The first time

Consider that everything appears to be hard the first time. i.e. tying shoes, swimming, going on a first date, first ride on a motorcycle."

2) Interview

Interview one person per week for the potential of selling products or services for that person with high expertise but is afraid. Every week new opportunities reveal themselves, and it becomes a training opportunity. Someone might stand out as "the one" who will be a perfect person to hire.

3) Consider what is more fearful 

Not taking care of family and having them eat beans, live in poverty that potentially leads to family break up or divorce?  Being "afraid" of this seems bigger than a fear of marketing and selling.  Imagine going home and saying to loved ones: "I am sorry we have no food, we have to sell the house, and we are canceling Christmas because I am afraid of marketing and selling."

4) Read 'To Sell is Human' by Daniel Pink

Better yet, listen to the audio book. Who has time to read? It is priceless for traditional thinkers, those afraid or even the most experienced marketing and sales professionals. It is a game change and might be the only advice needed.

5) Collaborate

Everyone has a gift. Consider another who has less expertise but understands marketing, selling, inbound marketing and guerrilla marketing. Have a conversation weekly with someone to consider a win-win. No one is successful on their own. 

6) Experience bigger fears than marketing/selling  

Skydive, scuba dive, bungee jump, mountain climb, walk down dark streets at night in a downtown city. Learn how to shoot a gun at a shooting gallery, try to chase a chicken, call a movie star you admire. Taking risks will be a test to determine if the focus of your fear is on marketing and selling or just a fear of life.

7) Seth Godin's books

"Leap First: Creating Work That Matters" or "Poke the Box" is challenging and an eye opener. Excellent. In fact, almost any of Seth Godin's books will be helpful. 

8) Practice.

Practice on a dog, a parrot, someone who love unconditionally. As to marketing, the practice comes in the form of "one at a time" where invitations are sent without an expectation. 

9) Forget about the objective of first selling or marketing a service.

Instead have the mindset of "Don't just sell. First, make their day."  Everything changes when you watch and listen to what others are interested in with a goal of making their day. Fear might completely disappear since the objective has moved from "get" to "give". The result is new friends, new appreciation and a new perspectives on who you are - someone with high character and expertise.  With so many positive responses from others, their positive remarks will fuel more conversation and help you dance with fear.

10) Last but not least, guerrilla marketing

When following guerrilla marketing principles, it works 100% of the time. Instead of thinking "marketing", understand guerrilla marketing, tools (aka weapons) and mindset. There is less risk since a guerrilla marketer relies on innovation and time vs. big budgets.


If being afraid is related to a risk of spending money and/or looking wrong, I am very confident that any one or two of the above will offer someone with high expertise the opportunity to move mountains.

If fear is part of their nature, how they walk the earth, that is an entirely different topic. Seth Godin's books are a great read. (I like the audio books)

Topics: Guerrilla Marketing Marketing Selling Recommended Books Personal Development