The Lightbulb Podcast

Join Guernsey girl, Martine, for a weekly creative chat where she shares resources, actionable ideas and the occasional knowledge bomb (!) This podcast is for artists, makers and creative business owners interested in marketing, social media, business and technology. The Lightbulb Podcast is available to download and subscribe to in iTunes and other podcast directories.
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Jan 20, 2017

The one where I look at why selling feels gross and share strategies to help you get over it.

Why Selling Feels Gross and How to Get Over It (Creative Me #podcast episode 28):…CLICK TO TWEET

Podcast Transcript


Hello and welcome to episode 28 of the Creative Me podcast. Today we are talking about selling. Yes, sales. It doesn’t have to be a dirty word. Be prepared for a bit of tough love in this episode.

On Making Money

I imagine you’ve got a product or service for sale if you’re listening to this podcast. You need to sell because, if you don’t sell, you are not going to make money. Businesses are businesses because they make money. If you’re not planning to make money from your business, I hate to I hate to tell you this, but you don’t have a business.  So making money is quite important.

Why Does Selling Feel Gross?

Why, oh why, does selling feels so gross? Is it actually possible to sell something without feeling disgusting?

Let’s unpick this a little bit.

If I say the word “sales”… what do you think? What do you see? I think of words like pushy, discomfort and lies. All negative words – I suspect you are the same.

Reframing Selling

Selling doesn’t have to be unpleasant, pushy or dishonest.

The main aim of today’s show is to reframe the word “selling”. I want you to start thinking about selling as helping.

Believe in Your Product or Service

In order to start thinking this way, you need to truly believe in the product or service you are selling.

Ideally, your product or service will solve a problem and if it doesn’t solve a problem, then it will make your customers’ lives better.

People who sometimes struggle with this concept are artists; people who create beautiful things.  This is because, quite often, a beautiful thing doesn’t solve a problem. But a beautiful thing does enrich someone’s life and it can help them become the person they aspire to be.

Not Convinced?

So you’re nodding your head at this point… but you still feel awkward selling your stuff.

My question to you is this: what’s wrong with your stuff? What’s wrong with your product or service? I suspect your discomfort is down to some fear surrounding your product or service. If this is the case, get feedback from a peer in your niche (not a family member). Review your offering and make it better.

Next question: why are you focusing on your feelings? You should be thinking about your customer. Find out what their needs are and give them what they need (selling is helping).

You can sell through teaching. Give your customers a lot of free value – give first, then ask. By doing this you establish authority and develop relationships. Remember people only buy from people the know, like and trust.

Sizzle Not the Sausage

When you are ready to sell/help, focus on the benefits of your product rather than the features. In marketing circles, this is referred to as selling “the sizzle not the sausage”.

What People Like

Selling done well doesn’t feel horrible; certainly not to the person on the receiving end. In fact, people usually love buying stuff.

People don’t like being sold to in the way we described at the start of this episode. However, people do like it when their problems are solved. They also want to be offered the chance to become a better version of themselves.

After Sales

If selling is helping, the relationship with your customer does not end as soon as the sale is over. Care for your customer after the sale.


  • Reframe selling: selling is helping
  • Get over your feelings and focus on the customer: what are their needs? Which problems can you solve for them? How can you help them be better?
  • Review your product and/or service offer.
  • Give first, then ask – give away lots of free value before asking for the sale.

Wrap Up

Please let me know your thoughts on selling in one of the following ways: