The Top 3 Common Mistakes And How to Avoid Them

by Shana Lynn Yao
CEO | Business & Personal Success Strategist
Total Genius™

You're a hard working entrepreneur ready to "live the dream." So you put yourself out there. You’re doing the Facebook live videos, ‘scoping”, blogging, and doing your best  to be seen. And you see movement. People are “liking” your posts, you’re getting engagements, and think you’re going to make a sale.

But nothing. Despite your increasing list, your visibility, every time you mention your product or service… you hear crickets. False promises. Or people that just are tuning in for more "free".  

If this sounds familiar, don't worry - you're not alone. Despite all of your hard work and efforts, it's not that you don't have the best intentions - it's just that you haven't discovered the secret to selling success. 

A selling strategy that works does not entail "just putting yourself out there." There are actually 3 common mistakes that many entrepreneurs make when trying to create their success. It comes down to a few subtle but important shifts you need to make to turn your stagnant selling into selling success.  


The big mistake that businesses often make is they think converting prospects into clients means getting your name out there, getting people to know who your business is and building your list. 

But thatʼs not it at all. 

What your potential clients really want, is not YOU - they want the result to their urgent problem. 

You see, you’ve been focusing on the wrong goal. You thought the goal was to get them to work with you - and that’s not it.  I mean, I know you are the bomb-dot-com, but if you’re trying to sell them how great you are and how you can give them the solution, that’s not what they want. 


You see, they don’t need to care that YOU are the person that can deliver the result. Your potential client isn’t and doesn’t want to look for YOU. They want an answer to their urgent problem.

Additionally, youʼre not going to convince people to do something that they aren’t already thinking about. Yes, there are a lot of “persuasion” techniques out there, but REAL, AUTHENTIC selling is about helping people understand how to solve their problem.  Your job is to  get their attention by showing them how to do something thatʼs already on their mind. 

Once you realize your audience is after a result, you want to meet them where they are NOW (the urgent problem) and show them how they can get the result.  The result is NOT to work with you. It’s to get the “thing behind the thing.”

Sell them what they want, give them what they need. You see, what you do in your business is just what you do. But what people actually buy is actually “the thing behind the thing”. 

People are buying the EMOTION/FEELING they get after they get the thing you sell. If you want to hang a picture at home, you need a hammer and nails. You don’t WANT the hammer and nails, you want the picture hung on the wall so you can be proud of your pretty home.

If you are struggling with your weight, you don’t hire a holistic health coach because you want to go on a torturous 7 day detox… you want to LOSE WEIGHT and fit into the jeans you wore in high school so you can feel sexy and skinny.

If you are struggling to make money in your business, you don’t want to have to learn systems, sales funnels, creating a website - and you actually don’t want just the business - you want to do what you love, make money, have freedom so you can HAVE YOUR FREEDOM BASED LIFE.


Show them how to get what they want. 

I know, I know. You don’t want to give away too much information so you’re doing what I call “low level” marketing. Many entrepreneurs fall victim to the belief that people won’t understand how amazing their product or service is, and they don’t want to exclude people - so you’re strategy is to promote “easily consumable” information. 

That’s great, but if you are trying to attract quality clients - clients who want to pay you what you are worth, just giving information or things that aren’t actually helping them closer to the result they want, and is just a lot of information, you aren’t doing the ONE thing that will get them to understand why they need to hire YOU. And that is, build CONFIDENCE. 

Information is FREE, and people that want free, who have a lot of time to spend looking and consuming free, are not necessarily the people looking to spend significant money. 

The goal of a successful marketing strategy is to get them to TRUST you because you help them TRUST THEMSELVES. You lead them closer to you when you make them a more confident buyer. With the information you provide, they can now hire anyone - not necessarily you - but if you gave them answers to problems they are struggling with - who do you think they will turn to in the end?



Uh oh! You chose the wrong career. :o

As a business owner, it is your job to - ummm - SELL THINGS. Yes, selling your products and services is a part of business. If you are just hiding your offer at the bottom of a blog post, or “hoping” they will ask you what you do or find you so interesting that they will check out your website, you’re doing what I call “introverted marketing”. 

The reality is, if you are speaking to people who have an urgent problem and they are your ideal client, when you mention your product or service, and if you’ve built their trust in you and them, selling is EASY. In fact, it’s not really “selling” - it’s just you telling them how to get the answer they have been looking for. 

When was the last time you were at a store looking for a specific item and someone said “What can I help you find?” and you felt victimized like they were selling you???

Do you ever feel “sold” when a waiter comes to your table after dinner and brings the dessert tray and offers you one?

This is about the art of “positioning” - or what I call Personal Influence™ - which is the Art & Science of changing the lens in which you see yourself, which changes the lens in which others see you. 

When you have an answer to someone’s urgent problem, and you know how to position yourself so that they see you as a trusted authority, it is your job to ensure they get the help they need. Which is you, your properly positioned business, and the unique solution or you can provide.

I heard this phrase once and you should write it down: 
There are only 2 things you need to know in life. What you want, and how to get it.

There are 2 things your ideal clients need to know to become your client:
1. What they want
2. How to get it

Be the solution to your own problem. Remember, people do business with people they TRUST. Integrity speaks volumes. 

So I applied your principles in “Why People Aren’t Buying What You’re Selling” on a post I did last night and got six new subscribers to my email list. Not too shabby for after midnight on a Friday! THANK YOU!!!

If you're running east to catch a sunset, you'll never get there.

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Shana Yao is CEO and Founder of TOTAL GENIUS™, where she works with high achieving entrepreneurs to discover your genius - the combination of your greatest strengths, talents, and life experience - to create a profit generating business based on your purpose, that fulfills your life and makes an impact on the world. She is an award-winning Business and Personal Success Strategist with over 28 years of experience managing multimillion dollar retail and shopping center locations, including the famed Rodeo Drive. 

In her signature program Discover Your Genius, Shana helps her clients achieve discover and empower their genius within. Using her knowledge of neuroscience, neuro-linguistic programming, positive psychology, emotional and positive intelligence, and high level business strategies, she works to develop her client’s unique vision by uncovering their purpose, their message, building their profit-generating signature program and putting their words into action on their website and in their customized marketing strategy.Schedule a chat to get your business and personal brand positioned to sell.