5 Mind Traps That Freelancing Marketing Professionals Believe They Are Entitled To But Stops Them From Making Sales. Find Out Now the Truths That Will Set You Free!

An unemployed housewife gets pumped up after joining an entrepreneurship course. She is sharing her first win with a friend.

-Yey! I’ve got my first business website! After that, I’ve got to treat myself to ice cream!

– How will you integrate this template with the e-commerce solution that would serve you?

– Oh, I don’t know! I’ll see you later about these small details!

– How are you going to advertise to your prospects?

– If you build it, they will come!

– That’s what the famous Jane Doe from Crippleware Inc. told herself before starting her multimillion-dollar company!

– Who?

– My point exactly!

We live in a society where a current message seems to be:” you are not good enough“,” you must strive harder, be better”. Thus, self-confidence can be hard to attain and hold.

(keep reading ↓)

Sometimes, self-confidence can be justified through the superior quality of our products, services, or ideas. But, at the same time, too much self-confidence, even justified, can be a dangerous trap. I wonder if you’re curious to find out which are such harmful limiting beliefs. How would some marketers and freelancing salespeople believe what could self-sabotage them in the business processes? These may apply to people who tend to be more entrepreneurial and those who tend to be employed. I’ll list them, then go into each.

  1. I made so much effort until now, and I haven’t got enough sales. What I do doesn’t work. Fuck this! I’ll go skiing…

  2. I naturally expect those who benefit from my products/services/ideas to appreciate me directly and recommend me further.

  3. It’s sufficient to post the prices on my website. Then, those who want to buy will buy. I don’t want to be bothered unnecessarily.

  4. I want the customers to come to ME, not me to go to them.

  5. Even if this prospect doesn’t ask for a solution, I must solve this problem with my offer!

Now, let’s go into each of them!


1. I made so much effort and haven’t gotten enough sales until now. What I do doesn’t work. Fuck this! I’ll go skiing…

It is generally a good idea that if something doesn’t work, to change it. Still, it’s not a good idea to change it without understanding WHY it doesn’t work. When each big crisis comes, the business people who made a lot of money without knowing why suddenly have a bigger, newer problem: they are losing money and don’t know why.

Therefore, just because something doesn’t work right now doesn’t mean it’s the wrong thing to be doing. Maybe what you’re doing is just a part of what needs to be done. Perhaps you need to add some elements. Replacing altogether what you’re doing without knowing what you need to do risks making your efforts a blinking dot in an ocean of change. Maybe what you’re doing is not supposed to work YET. Perhaps if you wait a little bit, you’ll get significant results. Maybe you’re not doing it enough. The key is to measure. In marketing and sales, we’re not dealing with abstracts like public relations or diplomacy. Please also read my article on Analytic Vision about Why Public Relations Are Not Marketing. More metrics can and must be measured. These will point you in the right direction if you know how to read them. You weren’t expecting an excuse to bail out, right?


2. I naturally expect those who benefit from my products/services/ideas to appreciate me directly and recommend me further.

How often does it happen that receiving a product or service totally blows your mind and dramatically changes your life? Not so often, huh? Therefore, you might understand that you cannot hope your clients will have their expectations surpassed in a competitive environment. Unfortunately, the hard reality is that most of those who buy what you promote/sell may never use the product. Maybe even if they are satisfied with it, they either don’t know how to appreciate it or consider they are entitled to it.

Sometimes, everything you need to do is ask for recommendations. Then, you might find out that you will receive them! But, to do that and to increase the satisfaction of each buying customer, it is essential to keep in touch with each of them. The expectation of being recommended is less likely to happen if you don’t.

The same principle works with products offered free for reviewing purposes. The idea that the inner value of a particular product should generate appreciation is unrealistic. This hallucination presupposes a certain level of interest and competence within the receiver that might not exist. Therefore, everything you give away for free must be sold harder than what you sell for money. Why? Because free or cheap is easy to get misrepresented as value-lacking for most.


3. It’s sufficient to post the prices on the website. Those who want to buy will buy. I don’t want to be bothered unnecessarily.

Besides the different ways you can display or advertise a price on a website, I consider it helpful to make a breakdown and explain such correlations as:

  • How much impact will this payment have in the long term? What can be expected in terms of ROI (Return On Investment)?
  • What components enter into the production/delivery of this product/service? What costs are involved?
  • How much is the buyer paying for every day, minute, or second of using your service? It might be more readily acceptable to break down the price for a more extended period.
  • Make a comparison to how much a similar product costs in the competition.
  • Compare how much it costs to keep the problem that your product is fixing.
  • What is the unique feature only you can offer at this price that can’t be found anywhere else?
  • What guarantees (if any) are you offering?

Therefore, when someone who might be interested calls you, you get the chance to make a sale. Definitely, you do not want to misrepresent the value of a particular product and be bothered unnecessarily. Still, you don’t want to scare away potential prospects who don’t understand why it costs so much.

There are also those clients you might want to give a special discount. Maybe you like them and want to work with them because they don’t give you such a hard time. Perhaps they are serial buyers. Maybe they can recommend you more potent buyers. Maybe they don’t afford your product, but they really want it. Perhaps they are willing to make things work and negotiate. Maybe you can do a barter. Who knows? Don’t discourage potential buyers with a simply stated price without any explanations.


4. I want the customers to come to ME, not me, to go to them.

Yes, this is what marketing is about. Still, you’re not satisfied with how many customers choose to come to you? So then, it would be a good idea to keep in mind: “If the mountain doesn’t come to Mohamed, then Mohamed can go to the mountain”.

There is sometimes the perception of competition for superiority: who needs whom? Who is more important? While sometimes one aspect is certainly enhanced over others, we must admit that each of us is found in either perspective at one moment. This is not a bad thing, and it’s certainly not a big deal – or at least it shouldn’t be.

The psychological perspective is that if the customer comes to the supplier, the supplier is more important and significant and has the upper hand. But, on the other hand, if the supplier goes after the client, the supplier needs the client.

The ECONOMIC perspective is slightly different: 1. if the demand exceeds the available offer, then the supplier has a slight advantage over the competition (not over the consumer) and can negotiate with the customer for a better price. 2. If the offer exceeds the demand, customer pressure might favor the competition. Therefore, with competition being present in the market, the client can’t lose. The competition is not between the buyer and the supplier but always between suppliers. Keep this in mind before playing mind games with the prospects: nobody is entitled to feel superior. Even if, by sales numbers, one has an advantage, (s)he must work hard to keep the edge.

When the negotiation between the customer and the supplier becomes a zero-sum game, it means that both can’t win at the same time. But, in reality, they can both win. The zero-sum game is a psychological game, not an economic one.

So to sum things up, a sales business is not a competition of significance of who has the upper hand between the customer and the supplier, unless you choose to make it so, in which case somebody loses. You cannot do a long-term business out of winning all the time while your customers are losing unless you have a monopoly, which is an aberration in a capitalistic free market. Do you want to know the only case in which it may be reasonable to have a monopoly? My opinion is: when you invent a product or service, there’s no direct competition (yet).


5. Even if this prospect doesn’t ask for a solution, I must solve this problem with my offer!

Rejection management is not so much a sales thing but more of a psychotherapy issue. Similarly, wanting to “save” the perceived victim in the customer does not belong to sales.

Some people are oriented towards goals, look for solutions, make the call and make a massive order in specific contexts. Still, most don’t.

Those who don’t look for solutions have problems.

Most often, they aren’t aware of it.

If they get insights into the problem, they might not be aware there might be a solution.

If they are aware there might be a solution, they might not realize which solution is appropriate.

If they can somehow figure out not only that there is a problem and a solution and what that solution might look like, they might have a hard time getting convinced that your solution is THEIR solution.

What do you do for those who don’t reach you when they have a problem (most of them)? I’d say it’s a good idea to:

  • Describe their problem in detail so they become aware that they have it. Hope they are willing to recognize it within their personal experience.
  • Explain how big their problem really is. Then, list how much money, time, or resources they are losing by keeping this problem.
  • Explain why it is essential to think of their problem as a solvable problem.
  • Explain how a solution might work.
  • Explain what the characteristics of a good solution are.
  • Explain why your solution is better than other solutions.
  • Explain why your solution is the one they must and want to choose.
  • Ask them to choose your solution now.

How does that make you feel about all these steps to go through the process of marketing a solution. When, on the other hand, you have a sales conversation with a prospect, it is essential that you:

  • First, invite the opportunity to describe the issue.
  • Next, influence the opportunity to be aware of how this issue is a problem – what generates pain?
  • Push the pain button: how many resources get lost in the long term through this problem?
  • How should a solution present itself for the prospect’s pain?
  • Finally, elicit the criteria for buying the solution.
  • Tweak the solution presentation as an answer to the specific problem, following the particular criteria of the prospect.
  • Close the sale using everything above.

Jesus Christ spoke for those who chose to follow Him. He offered Salvation for a problem they already recognized and wanted to solve. Then came St. Paul, who did a lot of marketing and public relations for those who didn’t know much. Remember, in sales, you are not your prospects’ savior. Act like a professional and make sales! Save your share of contribution and good deeds for NGOs and Churchwork. You might even increase the sales by stating that, for example, 10% goes to a specific cause. Marketing is, in many cases, more complex work than firefighting.

So, there you have it. If you liked this article, please follow the next one after two weeks. It will get addressed mainly to sales professionals. But marketing specialists might be interested, too!

If you liked this article, I also invite you to read: 

Marketing Un-Mix

Jack’s Brand

Tell Me Who Recommends You So I Can Tell You How Much I will buy

From Whom and How to Request a Testimonial 

NLP Modal Operators From A Marketing Perspective.

The Same Kind of Different As Me

In the Target? That Is the REAL Question…

New Media (vs) PR? – The Flea Circus Illusion

Get Over Entitlement in Marketing, Management, and Business

Why Public Relations Are Not Marketing

Marcus Victor Grant

Copyright © Marcus Victor Grant 2017-present. The Series started in 2017 and was updated for publishing in 2020. Copyright © Marcus Victor Grant, all rights reserved.

The materials on this blog are subject to this disclaimer.

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